I'd love to show you how beautiful you truly are. It sounds cheesy, but it's all kinds of true. The way the light falls across your cheek, how the room lights up when you smile, how much grace you bring to this world when you stand tall and strong in the face of so many hard things. I want you to see your soft edges as the holy places where we meet each other.
I'm going to be honest with you. I was raised conservative Mennonite and if there's two things we had emphasized growing up, it was modesty and the evils of being vain. Okay, really, we had lots of other really great things emphasized, and lots of good food, but for this blog post let's start there. I think that modesty is so much more than what I learned growing up. If my shorts (yes shorts, we were conservative but in Florida so we only had to wear skirts on Sundays) measured too far above my knees I was somehow immodest, never mind how very differently my body was shaped from some of my classmates. My ideas about modesty have changed a lot over the years. I no longer see my body as the single source of evil for men in the world. I honor and respect men enough to know they are far more capable than what I was taught as a teenager, and I honor and respect myself in not just how I dress but how I interact with the world.
Now as an adult, I've been around the block a time or two, and I've met and gotten to know a lot of women. I can't say that I know anyone who I would say is vain. I know we all know women who post loads of selfies with whatever face is in this month, yada yada yada. It's easy to point fingers and talk about how into themselves they are. Reality is that they've likely got all the same insecurities that we all face down. Just because they are processing them differently than I am, doesn't mean that I am any less "self-absorbed". Self-hatred is its own form of self-centeredness.
So here I am today. Boudoir isn't my main passion. I don't shoot it a lot. But I have had the privilege to do a handful of sessions over the past couple of years. There's something really compelling that I've learned from doing them. Most of the time, women book the sessions as a gift for their partner. Birthday, Valentine's Day, what have you. The things is, by the time we are done, we've all realized that the session really was so much more about them than whoever they wanted to give photos to. It's hard to see your own beauty. Even just saying that, I cringe a little bit. My upbringing didn't tell me that it was important to see myself as beautiful. But here's the thing... if I'm going to believe that I am the incredibly intricate creation of a loving God that said what He made was GOOD, don't you think I should believe that I'm also beautiful? Our bodies are incredible. We are strong and capable and we do amazing things. We make babies, we fold ourselves around the people we love, we walk forward with courage. And yet, at the end of the day, most of us still don't like what we see.
Here's where these sessions come in. I'd love to be a part of creating a small change in this area of your life. Celebrate You sessions aren't really about being sexy, they're about being so much more. About being real about the way you wince when you see photos of yourself someone else took. About taking a deep breath, staying present in that discomfort, and learning how to see yourself in a new way. Let's be a team. Let's lay aside some of our fears and muster as much courage as we can find in this moment. Let's celebrate. Celebrate life, and beauty, and the fact that God made clavicles and hips and calfs and smiles and He called them GOOD.