Boudie Girl Shannon

This is a pretty easy post to write. One I believe we all can relate to. Sadly, as women, we are so hard on ourselves. That is one thing we all have in common. No matter your shape, size or age. Some of us hide our insecurities better than others. Don’t be fooled by the woman you see on the street that you think she has it all together. That you wish you looked like her. Guess what, she probably wishes she looked like someone else. It’s seriously such a crazy waste of time. Let’s try and do everything in our power to start loving ourselves NOW. For who we are. For the choices we made. For the skin we are in. So for the rest of this post, I’m just going to let my boudie girl tell her story, in her own words.

Unfortunately, just like the majority of other women, I’ve always been insecure with my body. ALWAYS! I’ve had the opportunity to follow your work for years and always loved the photos you took. There has never been a photo that I’ve seen (that you have snapped) where I’m like “oh god, that is not a flattering photo” it’s more the complete opposite - I’m always admiring the photos of how beautiful each woman is. Like truly beautiful!

For years I continuously said “yeah, maybe I should do it” and just never took it to the next step of booking an appointment. Fear of doing a terrible shoot that made me hate my body even more, fear of not having the confidence while shooting. However, It was after one day having a discussion with my mom about plastic surgery. I probably listed 5 things I said I would get done (you know, if I was rich like the Kardashians). My mom looked at me in shock and said “what would you be teaching your daughter? That you cant be beautiful in the skin your in? That you always need to enhance yourself?” I was kinda taken back by her statement. I’m all for plastic surgery! Especially If it’s something that will make a woman feel more confident - than hell yeah, do it!! My mom then continued to ask if I was really that unhappy with my body. Which, I’m not! but with society now a days, it’s so easy to criticize yourself rather than love yourself. My mom then continued to tell me I was beautiful just the way I was, and that I must have a false idea in my head about myself.

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The conversation probably sat with me for a good day or two. Being a single mom to a little girl, I thought about what I would say to her if she came to me and said the things I said to my mother. Of course, I would tell her she’s beautiful and she doesn’t need to spend thousands of dollars. I then realized I usually try and see the beauty in everything, and clearly forget to include myself in that equation. So I decided, fuck it!! I’m doing the shoot.

1. To prove to myself I can do it

2. To have these photos to say “yeah I did it, even after having a baby”

3. Not that I want to show them off to my daughter one day, but to show her that I was confident in my body (even if deep down I wasn’t at the time)

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So I booked the shoot!! Of course I was scared and nervous, and thought I would be so critical of my body in the photos. What do I wear? Do I try to cover my stretch marks? Do I try and hide my Trouble areas?! I came with so many outfit options and let Deb decide what outfits would be best. Crazy thing is- some of the ones she picked were the ones I was most insecure about wearing. But I left it up to the expert and had trust in her, that she knew what she was doing. The entire shoot was amazing!! I didn’t even need to see the photos. I came out of that shoot on a natural high (ok ok, and maybe a little buzz from the wine). Deb is so comforting and lovable- and dear god does she know how to make a woman feel good. Leaving the shoot, I knew this was the best decision I made. That night Deb posted a sneak peak. When I got the message from Deb telling me to check Facebook. I was excited and nervous all at the same time. I remember pausing to open up my Facebook. I took a deep breath and then *click* there I was. Not just for me to see, but for thousands of other girls who are on debs FB page. I loved the photo!! I literally looked at it and didn’t have a single negative thing to say. Not to mention- all the kind and supportive comments by all these other women. It totally changed my views on myself.

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My heart grew that day…..I finally saw what other people saw. With my stretch marks, My loose skin, my scars and war wounds, here I stand!! Just me, and I was proud of everything. It’s crazy that it took pictures of me half naked, to realize every imperfection is actually a perfection of me, it’s what makes me, me! I cannot begin to explain how empowering and fulfilling a “simple photoshoot” can be. I would recommend ANYONE who’s considering booking with Deb to do it. There is no way you will regret it.

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I would also add that I’ve realized- when you’re not confident due to your body insecurities- it’s not the flaws of your body that people are seeing, it’s your lack of confidence. When you have confidence all people see is beauty. So be confident in yourself, (even fake it till you make it) because if you continue to be positive, eventually you will start believing it and seeing it within yourself.

Thank you Deb, for helping me love my body.

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