So, let’s be honest, stretch marks are a normal and frequent occurrence in the lives of so many people. Especially if you have gone through physical changes like pregnancy, and weight gain/loss, stretch marks are a part of life! Yet they’re frequently stigmatized and viewed as ugly or unattractive. This can make a lot of people uncomfortable and ultimately insecure, especially when it’s time to bare skin in a boudoir session. It has been my experience that so many women ask for stretch marks to be edited out of their boudoir photos.
Therefore, I felt that it was time for stretch marks to get their appreciation, because seeing them in a new way and embracing them, will actually teach you how to begin to really love your body. Trust me at first, I ran from them too! After having my first child, my body changed so dramatically, I felt as if I was living in an alien body. Dark purple lines all the way up to my breast line nearly. I was embarrassed and didn’t feel sexy at all. Instead of embracing my new body and scars, and appreciating what it had gone through to produce a beautiful life, I instead felt ashamed. I lived with trying to always make sure my body was covered, in fear that someone would see them and get grossed out. I ran to the first plastic surgeon I could and pleaded with him to make me feel like myself again. Now let me say, although I love the tummy tuck the doctor did for me, I will say, I do wish I would have tried harder to see my body differently before I went under the knife. But life had a funny way of making me because after making the decision of a tummy tuck, I got a strong desire for more kids. Guess what? Two pregnancies later, the majority of the stretchmarks came back.
The difference is now, I’ve learned to appreciate my body and love with every scar. Sure, I’m still the typical complainer of weight gain and whatnot, but I guarantee, you won’t see me without a crop top in the summer, proudly displaying the new stretchmarks that have emerged.
So, what changed for me?
As a woman who is in the business of building other women up, I had to teach myself to do that same thing for myself first! I mean if I’m going to preach it, I better believe it. I built the whole experience on empowerment, transformation, and loving the skin you are in now! It took time, but I slowly started to show other women my scars and I could see that made them feel more at ease. Something as small as that opened a door for one another. Now rather than attempting to cover, edit or hide my perceived imperfections, I understand just how magnificent my body is. A miraculous body that held the life of three precious children in my womb at different times. My body has seen stress in weight gain and loss and everything in between. Also, the women helped me unknowingly in their boudoir shoots. Some, who were just so comfortable in their own skin, and man did it ever show in their sexy pictures. Seeing just how common they were also helped normalize them in my own mind.
What also helped me is the love of my husband. He loves and appreciates my body, sometimes even more than me. Contrary to what many women think, stretch marks can actually be rather attractive to men. I think it serves as a reminder to my husband of the beautiful time that I carried his sons, his seeds.
I want you to start to see and believe too that every stretch mark on your body is a snapshot of a time in your life when your body underwent a beautiful transformation. Instead of being ashamed of them as I once was, allow me to capture them, unedited, showing your journey, and history, adding even more depth to your story and photoshoot.
In this day and age where every photo has an unrealistic filter or is edited don’t you want to show the world the true authentic you? So let’s do it and give your body the grace it deserves. If we can first normalize this now taboo topic, then we can destigmatize the behavior of trying to hide them as well. Then people of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds could benefit from a world that is more inclusive, empowered, and less judgmental of such superficial things.
In the end, if you are still not comfortable and ready for the full embrace, all you have to do is communicate with me. Let’s chat about your pain points and what concerns you have about your body. Then together we both can work through a comfortable balance for your boudoir session. My main goal is to show you through my lens just how beautiful you are while giving you the self-assurance that you desire.
Self-love is the biggest gift you should gain from this experience! Boudoir photography is all about enjoying your body and celebrating the beautiful person who is you. I want you to place your attention on self-love and acceptance and nothing else. You and every inch of your body are lovely and distinctive in their own way! Every scar, wrinkle, and mole on your body is perfect! Once you take the time to love yourself for you then we can start changing the narrative of the world.
Always remember you are beautiful just the way you are!