I have always been a plus-sized girl…
In elementary school, I remember being one of the ‘biggest’ girls in class.
From an early age, I remember feeling insecure about my body, wearing long sleeves in summer because I didn’t want the other kids in gym to see the stretch marks on my arms.
I remember walking the halls in high school and hearing the girls comment on how much weight I’d gained during the summer.
I remember silently crying during a study abroad trip in Costa Rica, sitting in the lobby of the hot springs because I refused to be seen in my bathing suit.
I remember graduating from college, mortified to stand up when it was time to walk because I knew I had ripped my gown when sitting down.
I remember quietly walking away, or moving to the back of the group to hide my body when asked to be part of a group picture.
All this to say, I know what it feels like to feel insecure of your body…
As a photographer, I’ve heard countless times, “I’ll schedule the portrait session when I lose twenty pounds.” Or, “let me lose the baby weight first.”
Whenever I hear this, I completely understand and can identify with the feelings that come along with these words. And without a doubt, I want you to feel 100% comfortable when joining me for a portrait session.
HOWEVER — and I say this from personal experiences only — sometimes not waiting for the perfect weight, can be the most rewarding of experiences. Why?
Because it opens the door to acceptance…
Acceptance that yes, this is my body. No, it may not look the way I want it. But it is my body, and it’s been good to me because I am still here.
And as long as it’s still here, it deserves to be celebrated.
I’m sure for some this sounds completely crazy, and I get it….
Almost 10 years ago, I started a lifestyle blog — The Pink Caboodle — about my journey as a plus-size woman…the only catch? I never posted images of myself, because I was too scared to post them online. A part of me always felt that I was one foot in, and one foot out, how could I talk about body positivity and loving yourself, if I couldn’t live by my own words?
I remember it like it was yesterday, deciding that I would no longer hide behind the camera, but place myself in front of it.
It was terrifying at first, but with every new blog post that I did, and with every unshielded image I shared, it stripped away little by little the insecurities and revealed more of the confidence I never knew I had.
One of my trigger points are my arms. I have ‘pillow’ arms as we like to say in my family. I never liked wearing short sleeves or sleeveless outfits because I didn’t want people to see how big they were. Then one day:
I finally decided that enough is enough. I have suffered through the dog days of summer for long enough. It’s time to show some skin. Skin, that I am finally learning to feel proud in.
I literally forced myself to not only take pictures in a sleeveless dress but to also go out in public. It’s funny because I was so insecure and afraid of my body that I thought people would stare and make fun of me, but no one paid me any mind.
I’ve learned that the only way to conquer my fears, and especially this fear of showing my arms, is to just do it. So that’s what I did. And it was such a fulfilling experience. At first I was self-conscious. Was everyone looking at me? Were they noticing my stretch marks? But as I continued to walk around, I realized, no one paid me any attention.
That was absolutely mind blowing. For almost my entire life, I’ve covered and tried to hide who I am, out of fear of what people thought of me. And for what!? I came to the conclusion that how I look, or what size I am, really isn’t anyone’s business besides my own.
It’s a constant journey, and I still have my setbacks, but I am lightyears from where I was years ago.
All this to say, if I had waited until I was the perfect weight to put myself in front of the camera, I’d still be waiting. Forcing myself to push past my fears served as a catalyst for being able to not only discover my beauty but to shift my perspective of my flaws. These arms of mine held me up when having to learn how to walk again five times. They allow me to hold the ones I love. They reflect the triumph of my struggles. And they deserve to be celebrated. When you get to this moment in life, words cannot express how freeing it is.
Whatever your insecurities may be, I hope you can find this peace in your life. I encourage you to give yourself that extra push to get there. Don’t wait for the perfect weight, show yourself love now! The I Am Portrait Experience is the perfect opportunity to do that. This experience is for you — the woman who is ready to put herself first, letting go of the scars that bind you, and reigniting the joy, love, and admiration you have for yourself.
As someone who has been there, it’s my greatest honor to be able to spend this time with you. To encourage AND to protect you as you start to discover this beauty for yourself.
For more information on the I Am Portrait Experience click here.
Why wait? Complete the form below to schedule your free consultation for the I Am Portrait Experience!