This weeks blog post is very close to my heart. I am so freaking proud of her!
It's written by a client turned friend about her experience with boudoir and the journey to self love.
Self-love, boy do I dislike the definition per dictionary.com “the instinct by which one's actions are directed to the promotion ofone's own welfare or well-being, especially an excessive regard for one's own advantage” or conceit or vanity. What a crappy definition in my opinion, but hey I’m not dictionary.com J
When I think of self-love, I think about loving myself, no just parts of me, but all of me.I was diagnosed with IBD (irritable bowel disease) one day shy of my 18thbirthday.Twelve years later, I am thirty, I’ve had 12 abdominal surgeries, numerous medical procedures and have scars scattered across my torso.But on August 15, 2015, I stopped loving myself.
I went in for a planned surgery to return to an ileostomy (think colostomy but no colon). I knew what to expect physically since I’d had one temporarily before but this time, it was going to be permanent. I figured, I’m married now, my husband is supportive, and all we wanted was for me to be healthy so we could, fingers-crossed, get pregnant, but nothing prepared me for how I would feel in my own skin when I woke up.
After a few months of recovery and a few complications, I was on the mend with a poop bag hanging from my abdomen. My husband still found me beautiful (because he’s amazing), my mom loved knowing that I was eating again (liquids for a year does wonders), and everyone around me kept telling me how brave and tough I was. But I looked down and saw this bag on my stomach and no matter what I did, I felt ugly, especially without my clothes on. Not really conducive to making babies!
Enter Candra Cain Photography. One of my best girlfriends had organized a boudoir photo shoot with hair, make up, and Candra in my home county in Eastern Oregon. With a little encouragement from my friend and a text message session with Candra, I was onboard. She was so supportive of me wanting to find my beauty again.
The day arrived and after the hair, makeup, and a glass of champagne, it was time to strip down….literally. Candra said “you’re just beautiful”. There was no “even with your bag” or “we can cover that up.” I let Candra know I needed to embrace this new “appendage” to me and that’s what happened. Within minutes, I felt like my old self, ostomy and all. I didn’t mind that I wasn’t positioning myself to hide that part of me or covering it up. I was sexy. It was me, and I was beautiful.