In November, I had my own portraits taken by a group of extraordinary portrait photographers, including the top modern glamour photographer in the world, Sue Bryce. Although I am at my heaviest weight ever, when presented with the opportunity to have my portraits taken by these amazing photographers, I jumped at the chance. How could I not? It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Nevertheless, the body shaming thoughts still took over: “I have a couple of months to lose weight to look better in the portraits.” “My stomach is too big; I need to purchase shapers to hide it.” “I’ll probably be the fattest person there getting pictures.” “No one will want to photograph me because I’m too fat.” “I won’t be able to find any nice clothes because I’m too fat.” You get the picture.
Well, guess what happened? I DIDN’T lose any weight before the shoot. I did buy a body shaper to wear under my outfits, but I HARDLY WORE IT. I WAS the fattest person there getting my pictures taken, and…it didn’t matter. ALL of the photographers wanted to take my portrait. I WAS able to find some beautiful clothes. None of those negative original thoughts mattered. Thank goodness that I didn’t let those thoughts cripple me or talk me out of having the portraits taken.
A few weeks ago, I receive the final images. How can I put it into writing how these portraits make me feel? I am at my highest weight ever, and yet when I see myself in these images, I also feel the most beautiful I have ever felt in my whole life. How can that be? How can I be the fattest and see myself as the most beautiful all at one time?
Because look at these images! LOOK AT THEM! The photographers captured so many different sides of me…soft, sexy, confident, and so, so very happy. When I see these portraits, I don’t see the things that I don’t like about my body. I see the things that I LOVE about my body! My eyes, my smile, even my boobs and my arms…I love every inch of me in these portraits! When I see them, I don’t see the individual pieces of me that I don’t like. I see/feel/remember the experience, the friendships made, the getting my hair and makeup styled, the fun, the laughter, the sheer enjoyment of taking time for myself and for having beautiful portraits taken that I will pass on to my children and they will pass on to theirs.
Thank you to Sue, Tammy, Emily, Nikki, Joanna, Shauna, Tatiana, and Lori for capturing these beautiful portraits. I love them. And more than that, I love me in them. Thank you for that gift.