16 Apr You Are More Beautiful Than You Know
This Dove ad campaign is so beautifully and eloquently revealing the weight of self-criticism that we women carry. I love it, and if you haven’t seen it yet here you are:
Every photoshoot I do is a revelation like this. Sometime women come in for glamour or boudoir photography confident, loving themselves, with only a few insecurities- but too often even that confidence is a thin veneer painted over the surface. More often women come to me with no idea how beautiful they really are. They-we- carry around every harsh word and every criticism thoughtlessly offered over the years. They carry around a mother’s “you’ve always had heavy thighs, dear” and a long ago teenage boy’s mocking comments about curves or lack of them. They tell me about their prominent nose, their flat rear, their cellulite.
My job is to break through those barriers. To bathe them in beautiful light and show them how to move and find stillness in ways that reveal the amazing, gorgeous woman that the people who cherish them see every moment of every day. To capture the vibrancy, the laughter, the serenity, and the strength that makes them wonderful, and show it to them like it’s new; when of course, it’s nothing of the kind.
Sometimes it takes a while for those insecurities to come out, they’re so deeply buried. I’ve had women I thought were fearlessly confident break down during the Big Reveal because they couldn’t see past those old ghosts to the woman in front of them. I’ve had others unable to embrace their pictures because the images they see are so far from the way they see themselves that they can’t treasure this new, beautiful person- this person that the people they love see every day. Sometimes we cry together and use tears to wash clean the old wounds.
Most of the time, though, when I show women the beautiful self that they had hoped, but never been sure, was there, it shatters some of those old ghosts and wipes the slate, if not clean… cleaner, at least. It laughs in the face of those old bullies in a way we couldn’t at the time. It lets us go back in time and hold the hand of that heartbroken girl. It’s a chance to celebrate and claim the beauty that is the birthright of every single woman.
So if you book a photoshoot with me, I ask you this : Be open to your own beauty. Be prepared to love yourself. Don’t look for your flaws, but instead embrace every bit of beauty you see. Be ready to love yourself, and embrace this beautiful woman that I reveal to you with open arms. She’s been there all along.