March 6, 2018
Insecurities. We all have them. We all let them control our way of thinking in some way. Whether or not we let them affect us positively or negatively is completely up to us as individuals. We need to start embracing our bodies as they are, because that’s the only sure thing we have in the world. Ourselves. We cannot leave it up to the people in our lives to make us feel good about who we are. Giving someone else the power to tell you that something about you needs to change is far too much power to give to anyone.
The weeks leading up to your shoot should be weeks filled with positive body affirmations and self love. You should go into your shoot with an open mind and a willingness to accept your body just the way it is. I like to believe that positive body affirmations are the key to beginning your self love journey. Why? Because that’s how my journey began.
I used to wake up in the morning and dread looking at my reflection in the mirror. I wasn’t fond of my facial features and I absolutely hated my body. It pains me to say that, because I can’t even fathom how I could have been so cruel. No other person was ever as hard on me as I was on myself. I was the reason I stayed in that horrible cycle of self hate. I didn’t allow myself to escape. I held myself hostage in this world filled with negative feelings about myself and as long as I stayed there, nothing would change. I would continue to feel negatively about my body until I stood up to myself. Nothing was harder than telling myself to stop being a bully. I had to face my insecurities head on and headstrong.
I had to find the power to stop allowing people to change the way I viewed myself. I started my journey by cutting all of the people out of my life who made me feel like I couldn’t be myself around them. I cut ties with dozens of people. Which seemed unhealthy at the time, because I found myself alone most days and nights. However, I spent more time trying to heal than I did trying to impress the wrong people. Which was a good enough start for me. It wasn’t their fault that I felt the way I did. None of them ever came right out and insulted me, but they did make me feel like I needed to compete with them, while simultaneously keeping a safe distance from their throne of popularity.
I found myself becoming insecure about how many party invitations I received or how many times I got asked out. That escalated to me being legitimately upset that I was still a virgin at 15 years old, just because most of my friends weren’t. I thought they simply had something that I didn’t have and that was the reason I wasn’t having sex. When really, the reason was as plain as day. I just wasn’t ready. It had nothing to do with them. Self hate was my lifestyle and I found every reason to blame my surroundings and experiences for my suffering. Rather than just taking responsibility and changing my own mind about myself. I always knew I deserved to be loved. I just didn’t realize that I deserved self love, which is a much deeper love than what I was looking for.
My most recent step towards self love was boudoir. Boudoir changed my life. I’m not just saying that because I felt so beautiful during and after my photoshoot, and that’s something that I hadn’t felt in a very long time. I say this because if it weren’t for boudoir, I do not know if I would be as happy as I am now. Boudoir helped me see myself as a woman, instead of a troubled human being. I had trouble finding my place in the world before I knew how strong I was. Boudoir didn’t just show me my body in a new way, it helped me see the strength of my mind. I knew that if I could do something so outside of my comfort zone, that I could do anything.
I feared that my body would not photograph well and that I’d be judged for letting a stranger see my body. I feared the backlash more than anything, which was wrong of me. I shouldn’t have cared what anyone would think about my boudoir experience, because it wasn’t going to impact them the way it would impact me. They would not cling to my photos with dear life the way I do now. I look back at my photos and feel a sense of pride. For the first time in my life, I did something for myself. I took control and forced myself to open up.
When was the last time you did something that was just for you? Not for your parents, kids or significant other. Just for you. I can tell you that in my entire life, I have only gotten my nails or hair done a handful of times. I didn’t go for walks on my own to get in tune with my mindset for the day. I never took long, relaxing baths between feeding my children and cleaning the house. I honestly think I forgot to take care of myself for several years because I didn’t see myself as a strong, beautiful woman. I always beat myself up over the things I wished I could be, instead of loving and celebrating the woman I am. I forgot that I work hard to give my family a beautiful life and I am a part of my family. I never treated myself like the queen I am. I neglected myself completely. Neglecting yourself should NEVER be an option.
Boudoir is for every woman. I didn’t think a woman like me could flourish in a world surrounded by strong, sexy women. I failed to realize that I am a strong, sexy woman and that I can flourish ANYWHERE. Regardless of your lifestyle, age or location. You deserve boudoir. Regardless of how you feel about your body, boudoir is for you. Just like boudoir is for me.
Written by Elyse F Haro