About 5 years ago, I did something so impulsive and out of character that I am still in awe of myself when I think back on it. I was ready to face a fear head-on and I like to think I did it with style.
I’m sharing this experience because it was so helpful to me. My hope is that it might help someone who reads these words.
I have always struggled with feeling beautiful or sexy.
It’s not that I never heard those words…it’s more that I never felt them inside. In my mind, those adjectives described others, but not me.
To be fair, there were random, fleeting times in my life when I remember feeling gorgeous or sexy. Usually, while on vacation somewhere tropical…a little suntan and salty air worked together to make everything more sensual. And, I was relaxed and happy, which makes everyone more lovely.
Around the time I turned 40, I started to wonder if I could dig deep and find a sexier version of myself. I was finished having babies. Though, I should note that I actually felt very sexy for at least part of each of my pregnancies…probably due to the fact that I had real curves for the first time ever!
My new role of 'mom of three under four' was rightfully consuming me. Being a mom felt fabulous, but I didn’t feel or look fabulous. I began searching for a way to feel like a woman again…not just a mom. I was ready to find the adult, non-pregnant, non-nursing version of myself. I wasn’t sure how this would happen, but I knew it was time.
Enter the January 2010 issue of Redbook magazine. I still remember first seeing the article that set the ball in motion. Read the article by clicking the link below.
"I Posed for (Very) Sexy Photos"
By getting naked for the camera, no-nonsense mom Kimberly Ford rediscovered a part of herself she thought she'd lost forever.
I sat down to read about a woman named Kimberly and a photographer named TeresaNoraTrobbe.
Like any crazy idea that grabs you, this one started to grow almost immediately. I wanted to have boudoir photos taken! I hoped that posing for and seeing the images would help me to see myself in a new light.
The day after I read the article I emailed Teresa Nora Trobbe. I lived in Pennsylvania and she lives in California, so I asked if she could recommend anyone on the east coast who specializes in boudoir photography. That option didn't pan out, but there was a possibility that I would be on the west coast a few months later...so I didn't lose hope.
As it happens so often with moms, we lose a bit of ourselves when we become mothers. We don’t mind because what we gain is so huge that we let ourselves take a back seat. That’s fine for a while, but eventually it’s time to reclaim your personal style. Get your groove back, if you will.
I actually think that all women, with children or not, give so much to others that it can require some real soul-searching and stretching to find themselves again.
I was in search of the next me. I knew who I was as a mom. I knew how to dress like a mom. I wanted to step it up. I longed to see myself as beautiful…to feel beautiful. I was ready to discover where I was headed in my 40’s. What did I want to my look to be? Who was that new girl?
Here's how it happened that I finally began to acknowledge and appreciate my own beauty...
Matthew had to be in San Francisco for work in late spring. We decided that the kids and I would tag along and make it a working-vacation. I wanted to give him a book of boudoir photos for our anniversary in May.
I contacted Teresa again….and told her I was ready to book a day with her! It was magic. I rented a car. Drove with my three kids to Los Gatos, CA. The kids had their own mini-photo session (an incredible added bonus) and then spent the afternoon with a sitter. I had my session and we were back in
Noe Valley before Matthew knew we were gone.
Several photos from the kids' session hang in our home...
a welcome reminder of what I discovered that day.
My day with Teresa remains a very fond memory. As a result of that experience, I grew in ways I could not have imagined. Don't get me wrong,
I am not cured of insecurity about my physical appearance. Far from it.
But...I am more gentle with myself and more accepting. And I realize now that it's all in my attitude. That beauty and sexiness truly do come from inside.
I felt beautiful and sexy that day...because I chose to.
I realize that posing for boudoir photos probably isn’t for everyone. Stretching beyond the normal boundaries looks different to each of us.
I only know that for me, the leap allowed me to see myself in a new light.
I suddenly saw myself from a less critial angle. When I look at the book I gave to Matthew, I am reminded of the extreme bravery required of me
that day…and I smile at the girl I see in the photos.
She is sexy and beautiful. And she believes it.
What’s your stretch? What could you do to change the way you view yourself? To find the positive instead of the negative?
Don't wait...stepping out of your comfort zone could improve your self-image, forever:-)
If you have any questions about my crazy adventure…I’d be more than happy to share further. Just ask.
Thanks for reading.
Hello, I'm Kristen.
As a personal stylist,