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I’m getting naked for you. Well, not REALLY naked, just from the neck up, but I got your attention right!? I want to talk to you about body image, first off I want to tell you where I am coming from. As someone who was egregiously bullied as a child and who has struggled with her weight her entire life, I want you to know, I know you. I know you, because, EVERY. SINGLE. ONE of us has felt body shame in some way, shape or form.
We all have that inner mean girl who is constantly pointing out our flaws. Maybe she hates your pointy nose, that mole on your face, your thin lips, your double chin, maybe one eye is bigger than the other. Every single one of those things that I just listed, have bothered me about my own face. Never mind my body weight, which has been like the Dow, in a constant state of inflation and deflation over the last 30 years.
I’m now 37, and I don’t count my early childhood years, however, there are some vague early memories of comparing my own little naked body to the women changing in the dressing room at the local YMCA. We all have done it and we all have been there.
As humans, we are fundamentally ingrained with wanting what we don’t have. Whether it’s the so-called perfect body, the perfect job, perfect spouse, perfect kids, you get where I’m going with this right?
Wanting what you don’t have can actually be a good thing IF you use that want productively. First, you have to realize that there is NO. SUCH. THING as PERFECT. I’m serious, it’s a mythical creature like the rainbow riding Unicorn that grants wishes. Our ideas of perfection are so convoluted and subjective to our own personal experiences that it simply can’t exist as finite.
So once you let go of the idea of perfection, you can then look at those things around you that you want and use them as inspiration or goals. If you love that girl at the gyms rockin’ bod, then ask her how she got it, or set up your own plan to build your own version of a healthy body that works for you.
It’s taken me many many years to stop feeling jealous of someone else’s perceived perfection and to change my narrative to focus on what I really want for myself. This was my first step into learning how to love my body.
You can never achieve perfection but you can achieve your own personal goals. Block out the noise of what the media is telling you that you should be and focus on what truly makes you happy.
If you spent the weekend on the couch binge-watching Orange is the New Black while eating your weight in junk food and now are having some serious regrets. Don’t let that little voice in your head beat you up for it.
First, forgive yourself, and think about what lead you into sloth mode? Did you have a rough week? Did you work really hard? Maybe you had a big fight with someone? Often times our self-destructive behaviors come from something that happened days or even weeks ago, we just don’t realize it until it’s too late.
As a photographer, I hear these statements ALL.THE.TIME:
The answer to all of these is NO! Not because I’m not sympathetic to your self-image, on the contrary, it’s because I AM. I get it, these photos are capturing you in a moment in time, forever encapsulated for you and all who you share with to see. You want to look your best, THAT I can and will help you with.
But listen up, that doesn’t mean me breaking out the liquify tool in Photoshop and spending countless hours taking you from a size 12 to an 8. This does not help ANYONE, it only makes you feel worse because you don’t REALLY look like that. It’s not a true reflection of you at this moment in time.
So here’s the good news. I want you to listen to me, REALLY listen.
Your inner mean girl is a real capital B. I’m serious, she’s no one’s friend and she’s really just jealous of you. Stop LISTENING to her!
YOU. ARE. BEAUTIFUL
No matter your size, hair colour, skin tone, body type, facial features, each and every one of you are beautiful in your own unique way. Our self-perceived physical flaws are what makes us different, what makes us unique, what makes us, well us.
It’s a god damn miracle we’re even here and get to live this crazy experience of life. Your body is your vessel, it’s your mode of transportation for every incredible experience you have had and will go through. It was there for you when you came out of your mothers freaking womb, when you fell and smacked your face while learning to walk, it was there for you when you first rode a bike, when you had your first kiss, the first time you drove a car, had your heart broken, when you graduated, got married, had babies, etc.etc. You get it right!?
Your body should be YOUR BEST FREAKING FRIEND. You should love that darn body with every inch of your being and thank the powers that be that it’s yours. Thank your body, right now, have gratitude for all that it’s given you. I’m serious, try it!
Ok so some of you are like “YAAAS, preach girl”, others are like, “ya but my body and I are kinda in this whole Love/Hate relationship and well I’m finding it hard to even like her these days.” Girl, I hear you and I got you.
Like any bestie, our bodies can turn on us or let us down and vice versa. So when it comes to getting in front of the camera during one of those times where you and your body are just not jiving I do have tips and tricks for helping you to get through the photography session with confidence, ease and maybe even have a bit of fun. Click here to check out that blog!
It’s taken me a LONG time to love my body and to silence my Inner Mean Girl. I still work through this challenge every single day. I have lost so many precious moments that I wish I had photos of because I felt I looked fat or weird in a photo.
I REALLY don’t want this for you, I want you to say YES to getting your photo taken, to accept that this is you right now, and even if you and your bod are on the outs, I want you to know that the moment is way more worth capturing then not.
Past Krysta, NEVER would have done this, like even if you paid me a million dollars, but here is me, bare-faced, not a speck of make-up and I think I look pretty darn good! For true transparency, these were the ones that I was most comfortable sharing out of 30 some odd takes. Loving my flaws is still a work in progress but I’m getting there and you can too.
Photography by Megan Muir and edited by Krysta Gorman Photography