I’ve never considered myself to be one the “pretty” girls. I’ve always seen my flaws over my attributes. My legs have always been too short, my hips too wide and my butt too big. At 4′ 10″ every pound gained is much more noticeable than on an average sized woman.
In the past I have been very hard on this body of mine. From corsets to diets to eating disorders, this body has been through the wringer because I’ve wanted to look a certain way. The sad part is, I never saw this unhealthy.
In high school, I was actually very petite. I was on JROTC drill team and marched and practiced 3-5 days a week, outside in Florida heat. No matter what I did, I always felt like I was huge compared to most of the other girls on the team. This low self-esteem, along with stress, led me to being bulimic through most of high school.
Only a handful of my friends knew about my bulimia. No matter how much they tried, they couldn’t get through to me. I just knew I was fat and ugly and told myself they were just trying to be nice.
In 2007, when I joined the Navy, I weight 112 pounds. Considering my height, I was actually a fairly decent weight, but I was by no means in shape. I couldn’t run the 1.5 miles required and barely passed the PT test to go to basic training.
After I graduated boot camp, I was in the best shape of my life, so far. Being forced to eat properly and exercise has its benefits. I still felt uncomfortable in a bathing suit and ashamed of my body though.
Let’s fast forward to 2013, after I had my first daughter. I’m not going to lie, I lost all 25 lbs of my baby weight in about 2 months. I felt pretty good about myself, but I still hated parts of me. All I could see in the mirror was the belly skin that now sagged down, limp and stretch marked. The breasts that are too big for my small frame. Over the next year, I gained back all that baby weight. Then, I found myself pregnant again with our second baby.
The second pregnancy was hard, physically and emotionally. I felt so huge and disproportionate. I just wanted to look like like those cute pregnant gals, with the little round baby bump and small chest. I was nearing 200 lbs at the end of my pregnancy (remember, I’m not even 5 feet tall) and I just hated looking at myself in the mirror. It wasn’t until after I had Siggy, that I finally started to appreciate and love my body more.
Having two little girls has changed the way I look at myself. It’s not that I no longer we my flaws, but it’s how I see them now.
This belly that sags and more than it used to, housed two perfect babies. The chest that i often loathe because of it’s size and weight and how big it makes me feel, has feed and nourished two little people. My arms may be a bit flabby, but they are always there to offer hugs when needed.
I now know that the only way I will ever be able help my children love themselves and their perfect little bodies, is to show them that I love and imbrace my own body.
This why I have chosen to photograph women, especially those like myself, who see their flaws more than their outstanding beauty. I want to help women to see that, though we not look like models in magazines and Victoria Secret ads, we are still perfect and beautiful. There is a power inside each and every one of us, sitting just under the surface. We often loss this power to our own negativity and harshness, but it remains there, waiting.
I want to help women embrace this power by embracing themselves, by healing those wounds we have carved in ourselves with feeling of ugliness and unworthiness. I know how empowering and uplifting it is to just feel good about ourselves and I want to spread that power like wildfire! I know that if we can start seeing the beauty in ourselves, we can spread that beauty to those around us, to our friends and our children.
We have the potential to change the world around around us. To stop the cycle of body shaming and self abuse. We can make this world a better place for our children, where all body types see the beauty and perfection in themselves.
I have chosen to use my passion for photography to help get us there. I want every woman who stands in front of my camera to see how gorgeous she really is. I want her to look past the numbers in her jeans and on a scale and see the true beauty that shines through her. I believe that anyone that can take a photo, but the truly capture someone’s essence….that is what makes a potrait.
I strive to capture images that make my clients smile every time they look at them. To feel the love, strength and elegance that resides inside of them. This is my passion, my calling, because I believe that every woman, no matter her height, weight or pants size is absolutely, perfectly flawed. And that is beauty.