This was my second session with Jes, Emily, and Katie and with the help of these lovely ladies and the beautiful community they’ve built in their Facebook group I’ve come a long way on my body image journey since I started following their studio.
Like many women, I had a negative body image of myself since before puberty. I remember being in elementary school when I first told my mom how I felt about how I looked. I have to give my mom a lot of credit as I’m sure I caught her off guard but she did her best to reassure me and keep it positive. Throughout my childhood, teen years, and into my twenties I participated in (and fully adored) dance and cheerleading. The culture in these activities has come a long way towards being more inclusive in the past 10+ years but I always felt pressure to be thinner, to be smaller- there was always that imaginary voice saying “the smaller you are the better you’ll be.” This in combination with a number of other factors lead me down an unhealthy path… I was never formally diagnosed with an eating disorder but reflecting on my behaviors and thought patterns I can recognize that I had not only a distorted view of my body and worth but I had very disordered eating habits. Over the past 5 years or so I have been working on breaking those habits and thought patterns. I’ve been working on retraining my brain and accepting my body. My body has worth, even if it’s not society’s idea of “perfect.”
I’ve learned that I deserve to feel comfortable in my own skin, no matter how my body looks. I’ve learned that we can’t lose sight of how beautiful we are and we need to celebrate our whole journey. As a society we seem to make rules or have expectations for our bodies that are often unattainable. It seems to be an expectation that once our bodies go through puberty they should remain the same size and shape for the rest of our lives. I can tell you that I thought this way for years. I felt like I was failing because throughout the years my body was changing. This expectation is unreasonable when you think about it, your life is not a straight and static line, there are ups and down, great times and times of struggle. Your body goes through these and responds to these times with you. It is perfectly understandable and normal to have fluctuations and changes in our bodies. We allow our brains and thought patterns to change over time, why should it be different for our bodies? A concept that I’m still working on processing is that my body is a vessel for my brain and my soul. This vessel allows me to interact with the world. It’s an amazing vessel, capable of many great things, but it isn’t necessary for it to look a certain way. While I do my best to treat my body with respect and make healthy choices, I’m not perfect and I don’t need my body to be society’s version of perfect to experience life or justify my existence. Just because the vessel you travel through life in isn’t perfect doesn’t mean you or your experiences are worth any less. The fact is none of us are perfect. We all have imperfections and insecurities. I’m trying to learn to celebrate and embrace the things that make me different and things that mark my experiences in this life. I have moles and stretch marks and surgical scars and I’m choosing to celebrate them.
Booking sessions with Duluth Boudoir has become a way of celebrating my body and documenting my journey. Booking a session with them is a total experience, they are the best at what they do. It’s not just about beautiful images, they help you feel beautiful, empowered, and sexy. Don’t get me wrong I adore and cherish the images, but that’s not all you get out of the session. I would not be where I am on my body image journey without the influence of these wonderful humans. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that I’ll be back.
Kate, we love and adore you more than you know! You have become a staple here in the studio and we can’t wait until you come back! All our love, Jes Emily and Katie
We know this human is stunning, and we know you want to have gorgeous images of yourself as well. If you are interested in booking a session of your own or have questions about a session with us, click here and fill out the information to get started on your own personal journey with us!