Guest Blog: Jess D - Brand Ambassador, Business Owner and Mom
“I’m going to need a strong drink,” I remember saying shortly after I walked through the door to my first boudoir session. Let me give some background: growing up my mom was a family photographer and I was constantly in front of the camera or helping her with lighting for clients. She even worked for a photo company at the mall for awhile, and my sister and I would go and get photos done just for fun sometimes. I also did theater, speech team and show choir in high school, so having an extremely extroverted personality was also something that was natural for me. This however, was different.
When I walked into Sarah’s home studio, I was totally freaking out. “Why the heck am I so nervous?” I remember thinking, “Get your crap together, Jess!” At this point in my life I was the heaviest I had weighed in quite some time, I had two kids, was married and really wasn’t sure why I had agreed to this shoot with Sarah.
When you’ve had kids, you’re forced to get used to your new, normal body. Your boobs tend to go east and west when you lay down, instead of north and south. Stretch marks are super common. I have them on my stomach and thighs and although they have faded after ten years from my oldest kid, they still aren’t my favorite thing to look at in the mirror. Cellulite has also taken up some real estate in my legs. The list of things eating at my self confidence was growing! In short: I didn’t have the typical Victoria’s Secret looking bod, so why in the world did I volunteer for this?!
I know why though, I needed it. I needed to feel sexy, to really see that in a photo. Bless my husband, he does tell me that I’m sexy but you know, sometimes you just have to see it yourself to believe it.
Well, that drink hit and we started playing music that I could let my inner goddess out with (Lana Del Ray for the win!) and I started to loosen up and relax. When Sarah showed me the first few photos on her camera as we went along I was so excited that I looked...well...pretty awesome. I don’t mean that in a bragging way, it was just something that I didn’t feel like I could look like when my self-esteem had really taken a blow. I was so fixated on my weight and my body not being what it used to be, that it messed with my picture of myself.
Sometimes we as moms forget to take care of ourselves. We put others first all the time and then forget to take a moment for ourselves. When I saw those pictures and really got to look at me, it truly changed my perspective of myself.
I can be a mom and I can be sexy.
I can be a mom and still be connected with my sensuality.
I can be a mom and can rock a boudoir shoot.
When I got the gallery of edited photos back, I chose my favorites and had them made into a book for my husband’s birthday. He was pretty shocked (in a good way) and really liked them. You know what though? I realized it ended up being more of a gift to myself. It was nerve racking and out of my comfort zone, but I loved every second of that shoot. It was a chance for me to reconnect with my body in a positive, healthy and beautiful way.
You don’t need the perfect body, you don’t need to hide your flaws and you aren’t selfish for taking the time to do something simply for yourself. I felt so confident after my boudoir session, and yeah, even SEXY!!! So much so, I even did a second shoot!
There’s nothing wrong with being a mom and feeling sexy, own it friend, I’m cheering for you! Just do the dang shoot (and if you need to throw a drink or two back to relax, then do that too! You got this!)