I Am Beautiful

It has been a couple of months since I have written anything here. I have been so busy trying to start up a business that it seems I never have enough time in my day to just sit and share what has been going on in my head, heart and soul.  Now just two days before my 49th birthday I decided to share a wonderful experience I had.

So here goes….

The title of this post seems very conceited.  I am sure that is how some people may interpret it.  In fact I am not trying to be conceited at all, I have had an epiphany that came from doing something I was terrified to do, but at the same time exhilarated.

What did I do you ask?

Let’s just back up a bit first.  As a plus sized woman, my entire life I have felt self conscious about how I look.  Every time I started to feel good about myself someone seemed to come along and shatter my self worth and self esteem to pieces.  My own mom told me once when I was a single parent getting ready to start dating again that I should have weight loss surgery, because if I were to remain plus sized, nobody would love me.   Can you believe that?  NOBODY was going to love me because of my size.  This made me terribly sad, disconnected and just plain hurt!   Needless to say coming from someone who should love you unconditionally it really broke a piece of me inside.  I acted tough on the outside and told her that if someone couldn’t love me for who I am then I would be fine without a man in my life.  I was strong, independent and refused to risk my life and possibly cause permenant damage to my body.  I was healthy and still am, despite being overweight and just because she had the surgery didn’t mean I had to do it too.  Thinking back I think she just wanted the best for me but it still hurt.

Fast forward to Summer 2015.  I was scrolling on Facebook and came across Belle De Muse which is part of Muse Photography  a local photographer who was offering a “Boudoir” photo shoot.  She posted pics of a few of them she had done.  Very tasteful and the women looked so glamourous.  I have been trying to take more pictures of myself and be included in more pictures with my family and friends.  When I am gone from this earthly plane I want there to be something left for my kids and grandkids to be able to remember me.   My husband, who loves me unconditionally indulges me with selfies and funny faces.  He ‘gets me’ and knows how important and how difficult it is for me to accept myself as I am.  To love my WHOLE self unconditionally.   I mentioned it to him that it might be something I would like to try.  I had no idea what it involved or anything but, he was completely supportive and encouraging throughout the whole process.

I entered the contest, I didn’t win but still had this gnawing desire to try this.   Even if he was the only one to ever see these photos, as long as he liked them it would be worth it.  Not to mention the fact that it would require me to be open and trust the process and see where it led me.

Fast forward through Summer and into Fall.  One day I was scrolling through FB again and saw a sneak peek of a shoot she had done, and the woman was full figured like me. The photos I saw were done tastefully but so beautiful.  It actually inspired me more and more until I finally contacted her via messenger and set up a time to meet.

JR came with me to the meeting.  We met at a local Mexican restaurant and I ordered a margarita (or two) and we all hit it off instantly.  It was as if I was meant to meet this beautiful, talented young woman.  We laughed and talked and got to know each other.  She described how she likes to work and what the process would be.   Me, I was more concerned with what the hell am I going to wear!

We set a date for her to come to our home and we would shoot in different places in our house.  We collaborated on lots of things.  She checked out my wardrobe and found things that I wouldn’t have thought would be ‘sexy’ in this type of shoot.  JR worked the day we shot photos and the younger kids went to their sister’s house right after school until we were done so that we could have total privacy and I could be more relaxed knowing everyone was taken care of.

Photo shoot day arrived and I was anxious and nervous.  Despite getting semi comfortable with selfies and being in pictures with my kids, hubby and granddaughter I could pose those to cover up the areas that I still felt  self conscious about.  With less clothes on that was going to be a bit more difficult.  I wondered about how would I pose, could I suck in my gut enough to make it look smaller yet not look blue in the face from holding my breath?   I had seen her work and I trusted her artistic ability and reminded myself that I must trust the process.  Other people in my life have told me I am beautiful.  This lovely photographer told me I was beautiful so I must let go of all pretense and trust.

We had plenty of time before the first camera click ever happened to chat over a glass of champagne and some light snacks I had prepared.  While she did my hair and makeup it felt weird at first to have someone else doing all of this for me.  I have never been a full face of makeup girl before but my photographer is a gorgeous woman and I trusted she would make me look my best.   When I saw my face and hair for the first time, I almost didn’t recognize myself.  It was very surreal.  I looked pretty, I physically felt a boost in my self esteem and I seemed to stand differently.  I could see a twinkle in my eye that I had never noticed before.  After all up until now I had barely looked in the mirror at myself other than to check for spinach in my teeth, or to blow dry my hair in the morning.  This is the feeling I had yearned to feel my whole life.  I had felt that feeling from around the age 24-26 and then I don’t know what happened but I hadn’t felt very confident or even pretty until I married my husband JR and then again now.

I feel as if my life had to lead me here to this place, this garden where loving myself, my body, my heart, and my soul was an everyday occurrence.  It was euphoric for me.  Very emotional in a happy, freeing way.  I felt my shoulders relax, my breathing become more steady and my heart rate regained it’s natural rhythm.  I was ready for my close up!!

After the first few photos were taken and we talked during the whole thing, laughing and joking I really started to have fun!   We spent the afternoon searching out lighting so we could make sure to get the shots that I had envisioned as well as collaborative shots that we came up with together.  I laughed, I smiled a genuine smile that wasn’t forced or fake.  I felt emotions as she prompted me with things to think about while posing.  I felt relaxed yet unbreakable and strong!!   I let my guard down and bared my heart, soul and body that day.

Sneak peek day came and she messaged me with just ONE photo.  This one!!   12194960_1925770300980871_3205827737540760382_oI was blown away!  I had no idea I could look like this.  She told me that she didn’t change anything about the shape or size of my body.  We had agreed that she would smooth out some varicose veins I have had since high school on my right leg and that was it.  When I showed my husband he couldn’t wait to see more.

Neither could I!!

We waited as patiently as we could until she finished going through all the shots and finally had a portfolio for us to look through and choose which pictures would be made into prints and which pictures we wanted to put into a book as it was all part of the package we chose.  Even though I couldn’t see my face or the rest of my body in this picture I felt so beautiful!  Oh and how about those shoes??  I don’t walk well in them but they sure aided in making me feel sexy and they don’t look too bad either!   (If I do say so myself)

When reveal day arrived I couldn’t wait to see what she captured.  I was anxious and nervous, even more so than when I had the photos taken.  I was stunned and amazed to look at her Ipad screen and see myself looking glamorous.

I must admit I felt a bit self conscious of the fact that I couldn’t stop looking at myself.  But, I looked good, and for the first time in 20+ years I looked how I felt inside.  She captured my inner being in those pictures and I will be forever grateful to her for that.

This beautifully talented and special woman and I have become friends through this experience.  I can’t explain the connection we seemed to forge immediately but she is just the sweetest person.  Loving, kind, supportive and just a downright wonderful woman inside and out.   She told me how beautiful I was and although I didn’t believe her at first, I do believe her now.  🙂

I have to say that if you have ever thought even for just a second about doing photos like this.  I say to you, find a great photographer, meet with them and be sure there is a connection before committing but I urge you to do it!!   Nobody says you have to show everything, but show what you are comfortable with.  I can guarantee that you will be so glad you did!

Now without further adieu I share with you just a few of my photos.

BE BRAVE, BE BOLD, BE YOU!!!

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31 thoughts on “I Am Beautiful

    1. Thank you for such kind words! The same can be said about you, you are amazing and funny and gorgeous inside and out! 🙂 You definitely should do it, don’t wait!! (I had considered waiting until I could lose 20 lbs but when I thought about it, that wouldn’t be ME and this is me right where I am.)

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Melissa we have known each other for many years and I have always thought you were beautiful inside and out. Don’t ever change for anyone, be yourself and you will always be loved by many. JR is so lucky to have found you and you two are so great together. Best of luck in all that you do I know you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. Love you

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’ve always been beautiful in my eyes, both within and without. But?
    These photos are absolutely stunning, and show just another facet of the beautiful woman you are. All of us ladies like to feel sexy and not in some degrading way. Your photographer did a fabulous job, and yes, your inner shine is front and center in every photo. J.R. is a lucky man to have such a beautiful and sensual wife. I’m so happy you did this for You!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Melissa, you are beautiful inside and out. I think you just summed up what most of us Plus sized gals have felt about ourselves. I think sometimes we are our own worst enemy. The number on the scale should not define us. You are so brave to have done this I am so proud of you and they came out lovely and sexy as hell! JR is a wonderful man, much reminds me of my hubby so supportive. Hold your head up lady, you are gorgeous! ((hugs))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Ann!! That means a lot that you read it and liked the photos. I want my girls to be strong women who do not feel defined by their size. As long as they are decent and kind humans that is what matters most of all. ((HUGS))

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  4. Awesome!!!! You are a Very Beautiful Women inside and out!! Jr is a Very Lucky man!!!♡♡♡ You made me cried….smile and lol….Loved it!!! Thanks for All ….Plus Women out there!!♡♡♡

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Cori! Didn’t want to make anyone cry but it is nice to know my words conveyed emotion. 🙂 I am the lucky one to be loved by such and amazing man as JR! 🙂

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  5. The photographer did an amazing job of capturing your beauty. It’s hard to accept our beauty no matter how many people tell us. Once we get that ‘we aren’t pretty’ refrain stuck in our head it’s hard to get it out.

    I’m so glad you were brave and got these photo done but even happier that you are able to see the stunner you truly are.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Jen!! I agree that the negative talk can sometimes take us over, I wish for every woman to somehow see the beauty that others see. I have learned to see myself differently now and actually feel as if a giant weight has been lifted. 🙂

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  6. Those are the most BEAUTIFUL photos! You are STUNNING, though you always were in my eyes. So happy you did this for yourself. Way to rock that leather….I think I might have even gotten a bit turned on looking at all the sex appeal! Love you chick!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You’re beautiful, brave, and have a gorgeous spirit! I’m so happy you did this for yourself lovely! I did a boudoir shoot once for my boyfriend (now husband) Christmas gift. It was the most freedom I had ever felt being raised religious. The only thing I got away with wearing were the short bum shorts for gymnastics! You look stunning in the photo I’m able to see, since my phone’s being an asshat and not letting me view your slide show. 😜
    I will try again from my laptop congratulations to you sweet friend. 😃❤️🌟🎉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. How awesome was that!!! A plus sized woman myself I enjoyed your post and pics alot. I was married for 25yrs and now single with dare I admit low self-esteem. I’m inspired by your post. Maybe this kind of thing is just the pick me up I need! Thanks for the honest share.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading. Being plus sized doesn’t makes us less a person than a thin, short or tall person. We are all people who deserve to lead positive, loving lives. HUGS for you and please always remember that You are a worthy person. Be You!! Do what makes YOU happy and makes you feel good. 🙂 (ad long as you aren’t hurting yourself or others of course) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Learning to love myself is my goal. Slowly I see myself differently from even month ago. I love all people size, shape, color it doesn’t matter. I just wished others lived by the same codes. Thanks again! P S trying that photo shoot soon!

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