Unlearning 24 years {Revolution Reveals}

A new part of Revolution Boudoir is Revolution Reveals. I’ve seen how much of my story has touched others but unfortunately I cannot relate to every woman. I want to tell YOUR story for others to hear and be inspired by. Every boudoir session has a purpose behind it. Every woman that comes into my studio has struggled with something, has to overcome something, and wants to see herself in a different light and I think it’s so important to tell that! I want everyone to see past these gorgeous photos because it’s so easy to think “oh well she’s perfect, this couldn’t have been very hard.” or “Oh, I doubt she knows how I feel”. I want women to know they aren’t alone and that they too can overcome whatever it is they’re battling. 

I know I’ve told you my story before but honestly, I barely touched the surface. I know what others think about me. I know I’m one of the ones they’re thinking “this couldn’t have been very hard for her”. It’s actually the exact opposite. It’s terrifying for me. As a strong, independent woman, being vulnerable is my worst nightmare. I hate opening up, I hate letting people see me upset. I hate being open for pain or humiliation. And although it was one of the hardest things for me to do at first, boudoir is now my safe haven. Boudoir gives me the ability to open up and be free when I otherwise wouldn’t be able to. And throughout this journey, I have become increasingly more bold and confident not with just my photos, but my personal life as well. 

I would say my story starts where most women’s do - Middle School. Who else agrees that it should just be renamed Hell? This is such a vulnerable, confusing time and kids feed off of that. I had to be placed into a special reading class because I wasn’t at the reading level I should have been at, and that had a huge impact. I was embarrassed and tried to hide it as much as possible. Bullying was a huge thing even back then and it started the mindset of “never being good enough”. 

Then came Jr High and that should be renamed Purgatory. Dating started and that had a huge impact on my confidence. After every break up, I would learn new things about myself. Boys can’t handle rejection so their first reaction is to emotionally attack girls. My nose was too big. I was too emotional. My boobs were too small - This one bothers me the most because like… I’M A CHILD STILL. And the list of “too” goes on and on. This has honestly had the biggest impact because these were people I trusted. They were people I “loved”. They were people who called me beautiful and sweet and suffocated me in love. It was a stab in the back. I was at that fragile age though and I took everything seriously. Still to this day I tell myself “ew, your nose is too big.” or “I wish I had boobs”. 

Then came high school, the cliques, the peer pressure, the judgement. If you weren’t “popular” you weren’t anything. Peers had that special talent of making you feel like scum. There’s the competition of having the best hair, the best clothes, being homecoming or prom queen. It’s never ending. My high school experience was a little more complicated when my sexual and physical abuse started. That alone, like I’ve described in previous posts, practically killed me. It made me question everything about myself. It made me hate everything about myself. I lost all sense of purpose. I lost every ounce of self respect, self love, and motivation. I quit doing everything I loved. I threw out my drawing pencils. I stopped writing stories because they were just getting more and more dark. I lost myself. 

When I started dabbling in Boudoir Photography in 2013, I was at the lowest I could possibly be at. I was unemployed and depressed. All I could do all day was surf the internet, and that didn’t help one bit. Every single day I saw women judging, picking, fighting. I saw women being hateful, competitive, and backstabbing. It honestly put me into a deeper depression. I just wanted women to be there for another. We all understand each other’s struggles. We all understand the pressure of society. Why couldn’t we come together and be supportive? Instead of telling each other they aren’t good enough, why couldn’t we show each other how beautiful we are? And that’s how I started boudoir. I wanted to be a positive part of just a couple lives. I wanted women to feel beautiful, but more importantly, BELIEVE they are beautiful. 

My first personal boudoir shoot was a nightmare. I panicked the entire time. I felt so ugly. I picked out every flaw, every little piece of me I hated. I decided it was best for me to be behind the camera and so I stayed there for about two years. The next shoot was a little better and I found some images I actually didn’t hate. It wasn’t until my third shoot that I started to get that “wow, is that really me?!” feeling. It wasn’t until I let myself be completely vulnerable and open that I started to like what I saw. I had to stop focusing on each individual part and look at myself as a whole. I still remember looking at the below photo on the back of the camera right after it was taken. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe that was ME. I couldn’t believe I ever thought negatively about myself. I was so excited to create more. And so I did. 

I began to feel how my clients feel. Empowered. Confident. Stunned. Obsessed. I never thought I’d feel this way. I never thought I could feel excited about pictures of myself, let alone photos of everything I hated. I was no longer embarrassed of myself. I was no longer shy about showing others my photos. I became proud of not just these photos, but of myself for how far I’ve come. 

This has been a long journey. Boudoir isn’t a “quick fix”. It’s something you have to stick with, a commitment to continue to love yourself day after day. I had to teach myself I’m not the size of my nose or my boobs. I’m not measured in my popularity. I’m not damaged from abuse. I’m not a victim, I’m a survivor. I’m not defined by my flaws. I’m not my mental illness. 

I’m not a body, I’m a soul. Separating my soul from a body has changed my entire mindset.  It’s allowed me to understand bodies are natural and mine doesn’t belong to anyone. It’s allowed me to understand that bodies aren’t sacred, but souls are. Anyone can have a great body, but not everyone can have a great soul. I’ve gone from super conservative and reserved to super empowered and loud. I used to go with the flow, but I’ve realized only dead fish do that. Don’t be a dead fish. 

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