WARNING: If you’re anything like me, you may need to grab some tissues first. Her words had me balling at my computer as I read her email!
I love hearing from my clients and chatting about where life has taken them over the years. Well, hearing and getting to catch up with Mrs. G was definitely the highlight of my week. It’s hard for me to put into words what her words meant to me. It’s fun and exciting to start a new business venture, but it’s only natural to have moments of “Oh crap. What am I doing?!” from time to time. But Mrs. G’s words brought me back to reality and reminded me of the exact reason of why I chose to go in the direction I have with my business.
“During our moving process, I found my boudoir photos at the perfect time. With my husband’s relocation package, we were fortunate enough to have the moving company pack all of our stuff in addition to moving it. Before they came, we went through the house and separated all of the things we didn’t want them to take (or see!). My husband pulled my photos out of his bedside table for safe keeping, and one afternoon when he was at work, I sat to look at them (for the first time in at least a year). I was first very emotionally charged by the memories it brought back of our wedding. With the photos was the note I had written him to give with the preview photo at our rehearsal dinner. It explained all the reasons why I love him and was so excited to marry him. It had the homemade tags I made for the photos and a watch I also got him…all the little trinkets from that day. Everything came flooding back, and it was amazing.
What’s more though, was the way I felt when I saw my pictures again. You see, at that time, I was just barely in my second trimester. I had only gained a couple of pounds and had a very tiny baby bump. It was a bump that, if you didn’t know I was pregnant, just looked like I had gained a few pounds. Weight and body image is something I’ve struggled with for quite some time. I’ve never been huge, but I had my share of years where I was ‘chubby.’ Once I took the initiative to get in shape, I worked my butt off to get to a happy place. I exercised, ate well, and got myself to a healthier, stable weight. Stepping on the scale became more of a game to me because it was fun to see how much I could fluctuate in a matter of days or even hours. But whenever that number went up, it always came back down, because that was what I worked to achieve. Now that I was pregnant, though, it was another story. It was obviously perfectly healthy for my weight to go up and stay up. I was growing another human inside of me! Still, it was very hard to see. I had quite a few pregnant lady meltdowns early on. Gaining weight and feeling ‘chubby’ again was counter-intuitive. Until I truly began to feel pregnant, it was very difficult to feel comfortable in my body.
But when I saw my boudoir photos that afternoon, all of those insecurities went out the window. Through those pictures, I saw ALL of the beautiful features of my body, beyond my tummy and weight. I vividly remembered how strong, confident, and comfortable I could feel in my own skin. It didn’t matter what shape or size I was that day, you helped me feel a kind of beauty that radiates from the inside, a beauty that still existed in my new, barely pregnant body. No matter how big I eventually get, that beauty will always be there. And my husband will still have the same reaction to my body as he did that day he first saw the pictures. He hasn’t batted an eye at my changing figure, because I’m still the beautiful woman he married.
I never expected to feel so unsure about my body when I was doing such an amazing thing, growing a baby. I have always been one of those women that dreamed of being pregnant, having that beautiful baby belly. When I didn’t have that love of my changing body early on, I felt guilty. How could I be upset that my baby was doing this to me? But it wasn’t baby’s fault. It was just my feelings of self-doubt that had me worried about what people might think when they saw my tiny little pooch. Looking back at that time, I feel silly for being so concerned about that. Who cares what strangers thought about my body? I wish I could have felt less insecure at that time, but hopefully if we have a second baby, I won’t even care. AND, hopefully my thoughts that you put into your blog post will help other women avoid those concerns, too!
Now that I’m more obviously pregnant, I absolutely LOVE my body. I still work hard to eat well, exercise, and keep my weight gain to a healthy amount, but my bump, the belly I was so unsure about before, is the miracle that I’m growing. I’m so proud to show it off, and I am extremely grateful that I have the confidence to do so!
Those pictures, Dana, what you did for me, it’s something I’ll always be grateful for. You gave me a breath of confidence I have never felt before, and I’ll carry that with me through every stage of my life. And if this tiny human I’m carrying is a girl (we’re not finding out!), I hope I’ll be able to instill that same confidence in her. You do amazing work, and I can’t thank you enough!”
We all struggle with insecurities about our bodies and it was crazy to me that Mrs. G struggled with hers at the time of our session because she is gorgeous! This is so much more than taking “sexy pictures” to me. I always wanted to have a business that had a bigger purpose. A HUGE thank you to Mrs. G for letting me share her story and to all of my amazing clients. You make it possible to do what I love to do and I’ve loved serving you!!!
Hair+Makeup//Heather, Dalisay Hair Salon