Has someone casually made a hurtful remark about your weight? Maybe someone said you should probably skip dessert (you know, because you’re fat)? Or maybe someone told you to take cover because you’d blow away in a storm (because you’re just too skinny)? Then, of course, they laugh because it’s a joke. You should learn to take a joke. Whether you’re a woman or not, you can be subjected to these mean-spirited jokes. However, my significant other has not had nearly as many of these remarks directed at him as they have been directed at me. Because—let’s get real here—people like judging women’s bodies. Log in to Twitter or Instagram and many of the comments about body shape are almost exclusively directed at women. The new trend is people commenting about their concern for your health. Being fat is unhealthy. Being too skinny is unhealthy. Unless they have a medical degree and are your physician, they have no clue about your health. (And even medical researchers can’t agree on what’s considered a healthy body weight.) We know that eating McDonald’s five days in a row or not eating at all for several days is unhealthy. We know that it’s important to move our bodies and feed our gut healthy foods. We all know this. We don’t need reminding. But there is always someone that just has to remind you anyway. Your body weight is no one else’s business. It’s easy to tell someone off on social media. It stings when people you love and care about constantly comment on your weight. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that I can recognize the difference between someone who is genuinely concerned about my health and someone who is obsessed with their own definition of beauty. In talking to other women, these comments usually come from mothers, aunts, or grandmothers. Instead of feeling insulted or hurt, when a comment about your body shape is thrown at you from a family member, consider why. Is it genuine concern or are they projecting their own neuroses on you? Maybe they come from another era when it was fine and dandy to sexualize and publicly judge women for their appearances? Or maybe they had their own negative experiences with weight and beauty and they don’t even recognize the hurtfulness of their comments? It’s hard to both accept and love your body while also being exposed to negativity. We are all works in progress. Some of us choose to learn and grow. I’m learning to brush off negativity. I’m learning to be at peace with myself. I’m also learning to understand that we all grow differently and at different times.
I guess in order to tell my story, I have to give some background. I am 32 years old, I am the mother of 3 children (all of which have different fathers), I have been divorced twice and am engaged to be married for a 3rd time. Glutton for punishment? Perhaps. Living life to it's fullest? You could say that.
My first child was born when I was a young 20 years old. My boyfriend at the time was a year younger than me. Although he begged me to agree to marry him and start a family, when the surprise came, he decided he still wanted to be young and dumb. Throw in some minor pregnancy complications with a dash of bed rest and he was long gone.
I met my first husband when my oldest daughter was 2. He was exactly the opposite of what I usually look for, so I thought I was being smart! Ha! The only good thing that came from that relationship was my 2nd daughter. I also learned way too much about drug addictions and how to protect myself. My usual trusting spirit was broken. He was regularly breaking in, stealing from me, making me feel unsafe... I left that marriage a very different person. I had been destroyed. Traumatized.
In walks husband #2... ready to be my knight in shining armor. He was charming (or I thought so), he was going to school, appeared to be trying to get his life together... all good things. He was also available to stay with me at a time I felt very unsafe. I was vulnerable. Perfect for him. We were together for 2 years before I got pregnant. During those 2 years we had broken up, he had gotten a DUI, and then it seemed he wanted to be better. So I gave him the benefit of the doubt. **don't do this** We decided to get married. He decided to get sober. Life seemed to be on the right path for once... until it wasn't. Turns out getting sober isn't enough for an alcoholic... treatment should follow... like counseling, meetings, working on yourself, otherwise you're just a "dry drunk". That's what he was. And he was mean. I was being emotionally abused and didn't even realize it. He was manipulative. If he was unhappy, the whole house knew it. Then the silent treatment followed. For weeks at a time. I'd beg, plead, cry... and I was met with blank stares. I got nothing.
In June of 2016 we had a new girl start at work. I was the trainer of my department, so she was placed right next to me. Taylor Rose. I felt an instant connection. I knew she was special. I just didn't know why.
We became fast friends. She was hilarious and smart. She'd had experiences that I didn't and I listened to her intently. I soaked it all up. She was the kind of person I had been craving. We could talk for hours and never get sick of each other.
I considered Taylor my best friend very quickly. I was able to open up to her. Share my life. My misery. She never judged. She listened and offered advice and an outside perspective. She was my person. And I knew I never wanted to be without her.
Taylor was fighting her own battle. She came into my life a broken person, but she had decided that she wanted to live. I was watching her thrive. She transformed before my eyes and it was the most beautiful experience.
Fast forward a couple of years. My marriage is failing... badly. He didn't want help and I was done being sad. I'm a strong person and I was allowing a man to ruin me. He was making me a miserable person. I deserved better. My kids deserved better.
I had also developed some feelings for my best friend... more than friendly feelings... I was seeing Taylor in a new light. And I could tell she felt the same.
My husband and I separated. I had started counseling and realized quickly that my marriage was not going to survive. I told my counselor that I was a crazy person. I was way too old to all of a sudden decide that I was what... bisexual? Who does that?! She of course very kindly told me that I was not crazy and that it happens more than I think. She helped me navigate through my feelings, through my tumultuous divorce, and into my new life. I made the decision to stop worrying about what my life looked like "on paper" and what others thought. I chose happiness. I chose to truly love myself for once. It has made all of the difference!!
Taylor and I have been together for a while now. She proposed to me last month and I will also propose to her soon enough (shhhhh she's probably reading ). Taylor makes me feel special, secure, happy, sexy... shall I go on? She loves my kids and they're obsessed with her. She makes our house feel like a home just by being here. She is my dream come true. And the best part?? I wasn't even looking for this relationship. It didn't start out as a physical/sexual attraction. I have loved her in many ways, in different forms, and our life together is just beginning! I have never been so excited for the future. I have never felt so secure. I have truly never been this happy. Life is finally good. Really good.
If you would like to book you own session & tell your intimate story, send me a message! Lets chat.. I'd love to capture these moments for you!
I This isnt an easy topic to write about. I know that what I'm going through isnt my fault and that there are other women in the same boat as me. Unfortunately there is this huge negative stigma that comes along with women especially around my age that havent given birth.
I'm 36 years old and have been with the same man for almost 11 years. I dont have any biological children, that's not for lack of trying or desire. I've wanted to be a mom since I was very small. I played with dolls, even using my little brothers diaper bag to carry everything a mommy needed for her baby. I babysat, even helping friends who had kids at a young age by doing it for free. It's always been my one wish and it hasnt come true.
I'm not going lie, I've held resentment towards women at times that complain about having kids, how they drive them nuts or they dont have any privacy etc. I keep thinking they have no idea what it's like to have none at all. Or listening to women complain they cant have a second or a third, and I think all I want is one happy, healthy, normal, baby. How am I supposed to feel sorry for someone that already has one or more?
I'm a stepmom, I know that I'm luckier than many to even have a kid in my life. But I get these looks or a snide remark is made whenever I introduce my stepdaughter. They ask do you have any biological children and when I say no it's like suddenly they elevate themselves above me. As if the fact they have contributed to the gene pool makes them better than me or experts in motherhood.
Children dont come with instruction manuals. Every parent is literally winging it from day one because every child is different. I hate the if you had kids you'd understand comments. It's like excuse me? Understand? I'm sure there are some differences. But one cannot understand what it is like as a woman to not have done the one thing we are designed to do.
I feel defective. It's hard to love my body when it isnt functioning properly. When it feels like it's working against me. I can tell you we are not on the same page, my body and I. Every month when my monthly "friend" shows up it's like a slap in the face. When it's late I get that small excitement that maybe its finally my turn. But then ironically, a short time later, and after taking a negative pregnancy test, it shows up.
It makes me so mad how some women put themselves above women like me as if they actually sat down and hand made the child for 9 months. They got pregnant and nature does the rest is how I look at it. I know that sounds mean but it's the truth. The real work comes after a child is born. I'm sure labor isnt easy. I have heard from my friends what they have gone through and it's very intense for lack of a better word. But that doesnt make anyone better than me.
My womb may have always been empty but it's full of regret, sadness, and disappointment. I dont get to unload the weight at the end of 9 months to show what all my suffering, discomfort, and depression has produced. I dont get to hold a miracle in my arms that is my own. That is a privilege given to others, some quite frankly are undeserving. There are many kids in the system that are proof that some people should not be blessed with children.
But I digress. You might be asking if I'm bitter and honestly, yes I am. I carry some bitterness, who wouldnt? For someone like me who has wanted a child their entire life, infertility is a hard pill to swallow. But what offsets that is my stepdaughter. I dont want to think where I would be without her. I dont have the same strength some women have that are still whole without a child in their life at all. I'm not that strong.
I know here we support body positivity. I hope that those that have had kids that dont like how their bodies look now read this. I dont look at you guys as ugly or fat. To me you are mothers and that is so beautiful. I see that you have curves, and extra weight but that's not what stands out. You have that weight because you are concentrating on your children so much and giving so much of yourselves you dont have the energy or time to take care of you. You're moms and that's more than enough.
Please dont misunderstand me with this topic. As I stated in the beginning it's not an easy topic to discuss. I dont wish any bad on anyone and I hope this has helped shed light on women like me. I also hope that for those that are like me you realize you're not alone. And if you ever want to talk I'm here.
Thank you Miss E for sharing. Please feel free to share your experiences or thoughts in the comments.
I finally was able to photograph the associate photographer at Embrace Boudoir & Glamour, Danielle Doran. I had a mentoring session scheduled that morning and she requested a plus size model, and I instantly thought of Danielle. She is stunning, and confident. She was the PERFECT model. As I posed her & looked at the back of the camera at the images I was capturing, I was in awe. THESE photos will be magical. THESE photos will empower plus size women. THESE are the photos that I want to represent my brand and my entire mission...
EVERY BODY IS A GOOD BODY. EMBRACE YOUR BEAUTY.
The following is all in Danielle's words..
So being a photographer I feel like we often forget what it’s like to be on the other side of the camera. It’s been forever since I’ve had someone else take my photos. So when Katie asked if I would model for her, my first initial reaction was a mixture of emotion. I was excited, and scared shitless.
I’m a fat (yes, FAT!) girl. I have scars. Stretch marks. ROLLS. Cellulite. Pcos (hello hobbit feel and random weird patches of body hair!) how could I MAKE myself attractive in 4 days, from when she asked me to do the shoot, to actually doing the shoot!?!
I couldn’t. Because I already WAS. And I just needed to be reminded of that.
We look in the mirror and see one thing but other people see something COMPLETELY different.
Coming into the studio was obviously a familiar feeling for me but that day, it was different.
“Is this how my clients feel? Wow. This makes so much sense.”
Of course I knew how people felt, but there’s a weird different level of vulnerability you feel when you know you’re going to be striped down to your undies and or, naked in front of someone. Even with it being someone you know and trust.
I was happy to be greeted by familiar faces. Our one makeup artist, Faith, had came in to do my hair and makeup for the session and I couldn’t of been happier. I’ve watched her work on tons and tons of clients and it was finally MY turn to have her work on me!
I wanted to be surprised so sitting in the chair while Faith worked on my face and hair and NOT looking in the gigantic mirror across from me was SO HARD but... so incredibly WORTH it!! We wanted something fun and different to the typical Smokey eye look people want, and let me tell you, Faith knocked it out of the damn park. Not only was it a unique look but it was well done, not so bizarre that it wasn’t me and it didn’t take away from my natural beauty but ENHANCED it.
After faith was done with my hair and makeup it was time to slip into some lingerie. Katie helped me pick out a cute grey romper from the model closet and narrowed down the clothing I brought as well to what we would use for the session.
I put on the romper for the second time that day and stared in the mirror for a moment, I was honestly surprised by how I looked. But a good surprised. I took a deep breath and walked out into the studio.
I was greeted by Katie and Heather with tons of compliments and praise. I hopped on the bed and waited to Katie’s instructions.
The first few minutes were super nerve wracking for me, I knew the typical positions but my mind went blank on how to do them. Katie instructed me on how to move and as the first couple of poses passed I felt more and more comfortable.
Plus all the compliments helped a bit too! (Lol)
The session honestly felt like it flew by, we tried a few more outfits and had a lot of laughs together. All in all it was super enjoyable and a comfortable experience.
When I got home I had a few sneak peeks waiting for me. I was hesitant to open the message at first, what if I hated them? What if I looked fatter than I was?
I took another deep breath. I opened them. My jaw hit the floor. And it hasn’t left since!
I was STUNNED. I kept saying to myself “that isn’t me. Nope not me. I’m not THAT beautiful. Nope. Can’t be true.” But it WAS me. I AM that beautiful. And it WAS true.
The posing was classy. The tones were perfect. My fat rolls were fucking GORGEOUS!
I never felt so beautiful. I never have seen myself that way. I fell in love with myself again. And again. And again. With each new photo it was literally love at first sight over and over again.
Yup. I said it. I’m FAT. I LOVE myself. And? I’m happy.
I saw myself reflected as how other people see me through heather and Katie’s lenses.
Not some weird gross ogre that I see myself as but a strong and confident women and that’s what makes me beautiful. I just needed someone to show me what I feel on the inside IS reflected on my outside, and Katie and Heather did that.
Are you ready to feel empowered? Book with Embrace Boudoir & Glamour!
What was your favorite part of the entire boudoir experience? Spending time with my husband. It was such an unsual date and a nice way to enjoy ourselfs.
How did you feel after your session? Hot!!!
Were you happy with your hair/makeup? Why/Why not? Yes. Faith did an amazing job. I have a dermal in the middle of my forhead and she was careful to apply around and not get any makeup by dermal. Being a piercier I was having major anxiety about that because I never let anyone do my makeup for that reason. i just know exactly what can happen when unwanted things build up around a dermal.
Did anything change about how you see yourself? I am much more positive. I was recently diagnosed with lupus. I knew that my body was going to begin changing and that I needed to start having the up most respect for my body and loving it as it is. My husband adores my body, and having a couples session together I was able to actually see that. He's loved me through all my body changes and diagnosis. I am a very visual person and these images help me remind me of that.
Any advice for others looking to do a shoot? Book it! Don't second guess yourself. This is about loving YOU as you are. No one, absolutely NO ONE will love you better than you love yourself. Katie has the ability to show you the beauty you didn't know or forgot you had!
ARE YOU READY TO GET INTIMATE & EMBRACE WHO YOU ARE? BOOK BELOW!
What was your favorite part of the entire boudoir experience? My favorite part of the entire experience would have been the hair and make up. Every woman loves to be all done up and feel beautiful. The hair and make up artists really complete the entire package and have you going into your shoot feeling confident.
How did you feel before your session? What were you most nervous about? Before my session I would say my feelings were towards how the photos were going to turn out. Was I going to focus on the negative and body shaming, or would I be happy with the outcome. I honestly did not have any nerves about taking the photos, I was just nervous about what the outcome was going to be.
How did you feel after your session? After my session I felt like a million bucks! My confidence was through the roof and I wanted to run out and tell everyone about Katie and Embrace. I was finding every reason to go out in public just so people could see me, people I didn't even know.
Were you comfortable with your photographer? Why/Why not? I was absolutely comfortable with Katie. Before the session I had filled out the questionnaire with likes and dislikes about my body and she never brought the questionnaire up. However looking back on the session and looking at my photos she made sure to highlight what I loved and stay away from what I did not want focus on. I appreciate that she acknowledged all of this without verbally mentioning anything. Plus you are not the only one posing for the photos, she is going at crazy angles herself to make sure to get the best shot for you!
Are you happy with your products you received? If not, why? I absolutely love my products! I love the book that I can flip through every evening and it can even be taken on travel with us. But the video, just wow! That is worth every penny to add on. It is a memory that you will have forever.
Did anything change about how you see yourself? I feel way more confident in my own skin now. I shouldn't be ashamed of myself. This is the body that I was given, and it is the only one so I need to love it! You are beautiful and nobody can take that away from you.
What motivated you to do a boudoir shoot? I was motivated to do the boudoir shoot for a Christmas present. I knew booking the session that the final product was going to be an amazing gift but that the experience was going to be for me. It was like 2 gifts in 1.
Any advice for others looking to do a shoot? Do it for YOU! You are worth it. You may say that you are booking a session for a gift (and that is okay!) but what you get out of it is just as much for you as it is for the recipient. You are going to leave with a whole new set of confidence that you can carry with you. If you are scared or nervous, now is the time to jump on the opportunity. You will get to see yourself in a whole new light.
How did you feel before your session? What were you most nervous about? "We both were very nervous mostly about being naked in front of someone other than each other. The vulnerability of the shoot made us nervous yet the ladies and environment made us feel more comfortable. We also were nervous about the reaction of the photographers to photographing a same-sex couple."
What motivated you to do a boudoir shoot? "Gwen initially found out about the shoot and the boudoir photography. She joined the women’s only Facebook group and instantly fell in love. She then began showing Bonnie the photos and then both became interested in trying it out for themselves".
What was your favorite part of the entire boudoir experience? "We loved the experience of trying new things. Sitting in a small bathtub together and exploring each other in a new way was brought to life with these photos, making them more meaningful to us as a couple."
How did you feel after your session? We absolutely loved it. The experience was new for the both of us, but the intimacy of the photos definitely brought back a fire within us we had forgot about. Afterwards we seemed friskier than ever and the happiest we’d been in a long time.
Any advice for others looking to do a shoot? Just do it! Take the nervousness and shove it very deep down. It’s totally worth it in the end. Even if you’re just doing a solo shoot, not a day goes by where we don’t look at our photos and think “damn, we look good!”
ARE YOU READY TO BE AN #EMBRACEBABE? Click the BOOK NOW button below to schedule your Embrace experience!
What was your favorite part of the entire boudoir experience? My favorite part about the boudoir experience was once we really started getting in to the picture taking. I was very nervous when we started and a little shy about revealing my body. But once we were a few shots in, Katie really put me at ease and it became fun. Seeing a few shots on the camera only boosted my confidence by seeing that the pics were turning out good. After awhile my shyness went away and I wanted to keep taking pictures!
What was your initial reaction to the images? I expected that I would not like all of them (of course) but I was AMAZED with how many I did like! I was expecting to maybe like half (because of my own critique of my body and previous photography experiences) but there are only a couple I was not a fan of. I was surprised, proud, and excited how I looked in the pictures.
Any advice for others looking to do a shoot? I would tell someone who is on the edge to do it. I really don't think they would regret it. I'm so happy I stepped out of my comfort zone and did this. For others who have already decided to do it I would say try and think outside the box for outfits and accessories. I was a little stressed out about finding pretty lingerie (it can be more difficult to find when you are a plus size girl) but honestly the pictures i liked the most I was not even wearing the lingerie I bought. I brought a hoodie, what could be less revealing than that! But I really like how they turned out. They were sexy without being revealing at all.
Did anything change about how you see yourself? I really feel a bit more sexy now. I also feel more photogenic. I'd like to think I can see myself in those pictures through my fiance's eyes. He thinks I'm beautiful and there are times that I can't see it. But seeing those pictures I think maybe that's what he sees in me.
What motivated you to do a boudoir shoot? I was invited the group and was initially shocked with all the (partially) naked women. I mean, it's not something I generally see on a daily basis. But as I saw the pictures and saw how beautiful the other women looked (after the iniatal shock wore off) and saw all the positive compliments they were getting I was interested. I thought this would be something out of my comfort zone that I would look back on the shoot and be happy I did it. And it is.
After having that situation with the other photographer and not being happy with my engagement pics I was really worried that I wouldn't like these pictures. I saw every flaw in those pictures and was worried that that's the way it was. I was worried that I was not very photogenic because I do weigh so much. For the past few months I've focused on bad pictures and fat shaming with everything happened in the media. And with these pictures being much more revealing, it made me feel more vulnerable. But I was so relieved when I saw my sneak peak and liked them. I was even more relieved when I saw the whole gallery and like so many of them. It really made me happy seeing nice pictures of myself and seeing the difference with a professional photographer behind the lens.
This project was so important to me. We as women feel that we need to live up to the industry standards of beautiful. We are all beautiful. We have scars & stretch marks. We have curly hair & straight hair. We have cellulite or illnesses that may have caused imperfections on our bodies. I am really working towards loving my body again, and I want all other women to love themselves & their bodies also. Our imperfections make us perfect. Our flaws make us who we are. These brave woman are showing you how beautiful they are. I couldn't be prouder of each and every one of them.
"I've finally gotten to a place where I have accepted my flaws, have started to regain my self esteem and am feeling better about myself. I've always wanted to be a part of something like this. I didn't wear any makeup or nail polish . I didn't shave my legs in preparation. I came as me. Simple and naturally me."
" I did this for me, me and only me. My every scar, stretch mark, bruise, my every everything is what has made me who I am today. I got knocked down this year but it is time for me to get back up and fight , fight for me. Why? Because I am worth it."
"I did this for several reasons one because I have lost 130/140lbs over last 3 years. It has been a struggle, not for the fact of just loosing weight but how I got there. Absive relationship always being told I'm ugly, worthless, fat etc.. so this was for me to prove to myself, other women and especially my daughter who is 14 it is ok to be yourself and love the body you have. I am not perfect nor will I ever be. i want to just express myself and be me! "
"Doing this was to accomplish the last issue I had with my body (my stomach) but it is also to have girls look at my pictures and see my body and be like hey her body looks just like mine! If she had the confidence to do this then so can I. I don't want those girls to hide in plain clothes and pass up those cute dresses like I always did. I want them to express themselves through clothing like I wish I did.. I know I'm not a size 2 I'll always be a size me!"
"I feel like there's already enough struggles in everyday life & hate in the world, therefore not loving ourselves for who we are shouldn't be one of them. Our images of ourselves can sometimes be created based on what others think of us, have told us about ourselves or the comparisons we make against others. We aren't in competition with anyone else & allowing others negative comments to have an effect on you is giving them power. No one is perfect & we all need to embrace our flaws. Negativity fuels the brain & creates us to be unhappy & everyone deserves to be happy!"
"As someone who was just above 100lbs in high school through college I got shit for it too. Comments like "don't let the breeze blow you away" or "eat a hamburger" and of course "real women have curves". REAL women are all sizes and need to embrace that. My metabolism wouldn't let me gain weight when I wanted to because I couldn't even give blood. Now I'm finally gaining weight . People still put words in my mouth that I think I'm fat just because I bring up the weight gain. No, I am happy with it. I wanted to be apart of this project as a reminder not to worry about what everyone else thinks. Not to worry about what makes a real woman. Just that I like myself."
"Like all women I have insecurites about my body and have not felt sexy in my own skin in years. It was empowering to be part of a group of women that felt the same way, but decided to participate in the project and face their own insecurites."
"I did the Body Love Project for the empowerment. The moment you find you can love yourself and the skin that comes with it , it consumes you with the power to fully love others despite their shape, size, age or ethnicity. Unconditional empowerment."
It kills me to think that women look at themselves in the mirror & start poking, and pulling. Sucking things in & picking apart every stretch mark, every scar & every "flaw" they see. Women should NEVER base their confidence on their looks alone, but on what makes them, them. I want to help empower every woman I possibly can. I want to help them see how incredible they are. We are strong. We are incredible. We are beautiful.