For most of my life I looked up to people who were able to pull off the newest beauty trends, especially ones that required you to be flawless and thin. I always felt like I never measured up to those standards and it left me feeling insecure.
It took me a long time to realize that beauty trends are just... well trends.
They fade, they change, and in the end I realized the people I looked up to were filled with insecurity as well as they tried to keep up and feel relevant and beautiful. I do believe that some trends can obviously be super fun in life, but it's easy to forget that our value isn't reflected or based on what brief and short lived standards are in at the moment. I find a lot more comfort and security in myself by enjoying what my body is like, and by celebrating the diversity and beauty that is found outside of a typical magazine model.
I grew up constantly comparing myself to my older sister who I always thought was prettier than me ever since I was very young. I wasn't thin like her. I had a more muscular build and was chubbier, so in my head I thought surely everyone thinks she's beautiful and I'm ugly. I never had a lot of self confidence and I tried to hide my body, even though I was at a perfectly healthy weight. Not until after high school, and when I started working out did I really appreciate what my body was capable of, and how my strength was a beautiful thing about me-- and so what if my muscles were covered in some fat?!
When I joined the Boudie tribe I encountered Ashlee' s lovely and amazing work as well as the positive atmosphere and that gave me the final push to really accepting my own body.
Another thing that has changed the way I see myself, and others, was being able to work alongside Ashlee. As her assistant I have seen how all of these beautiful women come in for their shoots, feeling vulnerable, and leave feeling in awe of themselves. And at the end of each shoot when a client leaves I am always left in awe of them. Each person so unique and beautiful in their own way, and not just physically. So when I see other women in this way, I can't help but look at myself in the same way and think "Woah. I am extraordinary and stunning the way that I am".
I'm not really sure if I had a real fear. I just always knew I had to have a shoot with Ashlee... And it finally happened! If there was fear, there was a small fear of regretting not being able to have my shoot because I always put it off a lot. When I became pregnant I almost panicked a little thinking it was too late and I should have done this sooner! I am so relieved that I finally was able to have the boudoir experience that I always dreamed of. Hopefully someday I can have a shoot after having my baby to document my changing, beautiful body. Before my shoot I already felt pretty comfortable with myself. I would say an 8? But damn, when I saw my photos I knew I broke that 1 to 10 scale 💁♀️
Despite having assisted Ashlee with multiple shoots, I thought I would have it all down and not be nervous, but when it came down to it, I was still nervous! It didn't last long though. In the end we had so much fun with this shoot that the nervousness just melted away. Ashlee told me I was doing great and I felt so confident by the end of it.
I honestly couldn't believe that it was me in my own photos. I have never seen myself from this perspective. I was in awe. I saw myself as elegant, and sexy. I secretly even laughed at myself and thought, damn, my husband means it when he says I'm hot!
The shoot itself was my favorite part. Of course I am insanely excited over the by product of the shoot, the photos themselves, but the experience itself was refreshing. It was time I got to spend to spoil myself, and celebrate me. I enjoy working with Ashlee, both as an assistant and as a client. She is funny, relatable and positive, and I always see her doing her best in giving a unique experience to each client and she gave the same great effort and energy in my shoot.