love you. love, me

observe.  accept.  release.  transform.

-yung pueblo

 Photo by Chelsea Francis

Photo by Chelsea Francis

Three weeks ago I did one of the scariest, nerve wracking, disarming, beautiful things... I did a boudoir shoot.  

The word boudoir means "a woman's bedroom or private room".  When we hear the word we automatically think lingerie and boobs and nakedness and racy poses.  And often times that's exactly what it is.  But, not in my own case.

 Photo by Chelsea Francis

Photo by Chelsea Francis

I had known a few women that did boudoir shoots and when they were done had nothing but amazing things to say about the experience.  How much fun they had, how sexy they felt, how empowering the whole thing was.  Little signs and reminders kept falling in front of my face until finally I said "FINE!  I get it!  I'll do it!"  So I called up Chelsea, one of the most empowering, gracious, loving lady photographers I know, and asked if she'd be up for doing the shoot and she was ECSTATIC.  Immediately the plans were set in motion.

 Photo by Chelsea Francis

Photo by Chelsea Francis

I scoured the internets for sexy outfits, things that I thought would make me feel beautiful.  I looked at all different women in all different poses.  And then it hit me- these women are not me!  That isn't my body!   I needed to remember that this was me doing this for me.  Everything I was going to feel comfortable and beautiful in was already in my closet.  And I didn't want to pose.

 I just wanted to feel beautiful as me being me.

 Photo by Chelsea Francis

Photo by Chelsea Francis

Fast forward to the day of the shoot.  7am at South Congress Hotel.  Lots of coffee.  Four badass, beautiful, real, hilarious women in one tiny room.  Let me tell you- you will get real intimate real fast when you're getting to know people in your underwear.  

It.  Was.  Fucking.  Awesome.  

Three hilarious hours flew by and when we were done we went out by the hotel pool and ordered 10am cocktails, a burger, and fries.  We took selfies, swam, shat the shit and it organically became one of the best Tuesdays of my life.

 Photo by Chelsea Francis

Photo by Chelsea Francis

When I was in my late teen's I developed my fascination and amazement at the beauty of women, both inside and out, but specifically our bodies.  We are all so different and so beautiful yet society, men, and other women are always trying to convince us that we're not.  We're conditioned to take any criticism we receive, keep it to ourselves and not let anyone know how much we're hurting, and to change x,y, and z things about us if we want to look and feel beautiful.  This creates a crazy competition between all women.  To "look better" than everyone else.  To have better hair, flawless skin, bigger boobs, toned abs, not too skinny but not fat, manicured everything, sexy outfits but not too sexy cuz you don't want to be a ho.  Y'all.  This hurts my brain.  We gotta let all that go.  We have to feel beautiful from the inside out for ourselves, not for anyone else.  Your people will find you beautiful no matter what simply because you are you.  Unsolicited opinions, while they can hurt, mean nothing in the grand scheme of things.  Your body is first and foremost a gift to you.  It is then a gift to others you choose to share hugs, cuddles, kisses, and love with.

So this shoot was for me to take a further step into loving me.  To allow other women to shower me with love.  And I highly highly HIGHLY recommend that at some point in your life you give this experience a shot.  There is no word in the english language that can describe the experience of loving your body down into the core- it's just something you've gotta find out for yourself.

 Photo by Chelsea Francis

Photo by Chelsea Francis

The biggest thank yous to Chelsea, Janelle, and Cynthia for holding my hand, my dress, and my heart through that experience.  I have seriously never felt more wholly beautiful.  Love you guys forever and ever <3

xoxo

Candice