Since so many women struggle with body issues and low self esteem I asked if she'd share her experience with my readers. This is her story.
"Throughout my entire childhood as well as my adult life, I’ve always despised my physical appearance. I was always the “bigger kid” and today society considers me to be a “plus size” woman. I’ve accepted the fact that because of my body frame, I’ll never be a size 2; nor do I wish to be. Despite this, I still struggle with self-acceptance and suffer from low self-esteem.
It wasn’t until recently that I came to the realization that I’ve never liked myself, never mind loved myself. This realization quickly spiraled me into a deep depression which resulted in me seeking professional help to try to get to the source of the negative judgments that I’ve held against myself all of these years and to hopefully figure out a way to get me to see the proverbial light at the end of my tunnel. It was my therapist who challenged me to do exercises that would gradually help me become more comfortable and accepting of who I am, inside and out. She challenged me to continue to do things outside of my comfort zone, things to keep me on my path to self-acceptance. Because I’ve always had insecurities about my physical appearance, I avoided taking pictures like the plague.
After some serious thought about what I could do that would be way outside of my comfort zone, I came up with the idea of doing a boudoir photo shoot. I figured go big or go home! While searching the web for boudoir photographers, I came across Stefanie’s site. I immediately fell in love with her work and knew that I didn’t need to look any further.
Before I could talk myself out of it, I called Stefanie to make an appointment. She was super professional and told me that we could either do a consultation over the phone or in person, whichever made me feel the most comfortable. I opted for the phone consultation. Stefanie was so nice and down to earth and she explained everything that I needed to know about the process and also gave me some great tips. Once we went through everything and after she answered all of my questions (I had a lot,) we scheduled the date of my shoot.
Up until the day of my shoot, I was full of nerves; but on the day of, I didn’t have any and was ready to go. First up was the application of my makeup and false eyelashes by the fabulous Angela Haringa. I couldn’t believe my transformation, the makeup was flawless! Next, I was on to the first of 4 outfit changes of which Stefanie previously went through with me to help me decide what would look best with what (i.e. shoes, accessories, props etc.) From start to finish Stefanie made me feel so relaxed and comfortable. Because of this I was just able to let loose and have fun! After the shoot, I felt so empowered and confident…I had a blast!
Shortly after my shoot, Stefanie had my pictures ready to view. When I saw the pictures, I couldn’t believe that it was me that I was looking at. Never in a million years could I have imagined myself looking as amazing as I did!! Stefanie did an unbelievable job and she captured my personality perfectly!
This entire experience has been very eye opening for me. Not only do I now feel more confident and accepting of myself, but I’ve realized that it’s not a bad thing to try things that you never imagined doing. All of my friends and family are amazed at how “stunning” I look and many of them have asked me if I’m now modeling or if I took the pictures for my portfolio to become a model. At first all of this sounded very bizarre to me because
1) Although I now feel more confident about myself, it’s going to take some time to re-program my way of thinking after several years of automatically thinking of my physical appearance in a negative light.
2) I’ve NEVER EVER considered myself to be model material BUT, I have to say that I’m seriously considering looking into modeling! And to just think that all of this came from this one photo shoot, this one life changing experience that I owe all to Stefanie.
Ladies, if you can relate to my life struggles; I strongly encourage you to do a boudoir photo shoot with Stefanie. You won’t regret it!!"