I have been thinking about this topic for quite a while and had a really lovely conversation with a client about it recently. I meet, talk with and photograph women of all shapes, sizes, age and skin color. I really feel like I have met or photographed every type of woman out there! One thing I have found to be true is that every woman seems to have some hang up about something on her body. There is something she doesn’t love.
I am a bigger woman, and have been my entire life. I have wished to be skinny, dieted, and tried to make myself “better” than I felt I am. I have incredible insecurities that I always owned as just my own. I know my size has made other women of size comfortable with me because they’ve told me that. I am so happy that any woman would feel safe enough to take boudoir photos with me, but as a big girl, I know the internal struggle some of these women have. There have been days I wondered if the beautiful skinny girls would turn away from me because of my size. I have thought that a fit girl walking in will not want me to photograph them because I am fat and not fit. It's my demon. Probably totally irrational, but that fear was there.
A few years ago a beautiful client came into the studio and she was stunning; the perfect body, great curves, could buy any lingerie she wanted and it would fit her. Then she said - I am sorry I don’t have any boobs.
WHAT? Did I hear her right? She was apologizing to me for not having large enough breasts. Then she apologized for “looking like a boy”. I was dumbfounded. She was beautiful and a magazine perfect body! How could she feel like she didn’t look enough like a girl? At her reveal, she was shows she did have curves. She did have boobs. She was perfect just like she is. She cried and told me how she’d never felt beautiful in photos before.
It’s happened again and again in the studio. Women walk in every day and apologize to me for some flaw that only they see. They point out something they dislike because they think I will struggle with it. Their butt is too flat, their boobs are too big, their hair, their smile is weird, and the list goes on. I ask, your butt is too small compared to who? The next woman walking in the door might say, “My butt is so big” and I will say “Compared to what?” It’s YOUR butt. The women with small breasts want bigger ones. The girls with big boobs want smaller ones. Who makes the rule of the perfect size boobs?
At a session recently I encouraged my client to not wear a bra under her bodysuit. She joked that they’d look terrible without support, but I promised her they wouldn’t. At her reveal she said, “My boobs look nothing like I think they do.” #truth We do not see that truth in our own appearance.
As women, we compare our bodies to other bodies and find flaws that don’t exist. We compare our breasts to the other woman’s breasts that we think are perkier, bigger, rounder, or sexier. Instead of comparing ourselves to others and what we think could be better, wouldn’t it be more beneficial for us to learn to love and accept our body, flaws and all?
Even the picture perfect women in advertising are airbrushed and retouched, often to unrecognition. We are not comparing ourselves with reality. Let’s celebrate our own bodies. Love your little boobs. Embrace your big butt! None of those thing determine your beauty or worthiness. You are so beautiful just as you are and at the end of the day the only person who needs to love your body is YOU.