When I set out to write this post, it was going to focus mostly on women over the age of fifty and plus size women. In my experience as a boudoir photographer, these are the women who most often report feeling “unpretty.” But I want to take this a step further. Let’s bust the biggest beauty myths that are holding you back from seeing yourself as you really are: a beautiful – no GORGEOUS – goddess!
We talk about beauty myths a lot on the Women’s Exclusive podcast and the Women’s Exclusive Facebook group. It made me think, “I need to address this on my blog since this is something I see SO MANY WOMEN face every day in my work.”
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BEAUTY MYTH: Older women aren’t beautiful.
BEAUTY TRUTH: Older women are JUST AS BEAUTIFUL as any other age group.
I feel like women over the age of 35-40-50-60 have gone through a lot in their lives. They have kids, some have grown and moved away.
A lot of these women have lost touch with who they are and are trying to rediscover themselves. One of the things a lot of them have lost (or maybe never found) is the belief that they are beautiful.
And it’s easy to lose that when we see so many images of YOUNG women in the media. Or when we see women 50+ chasing plastic surgery to look younger. And when every other ad we see is for face cream or hair dye or just about anything designed to make us look YOUNGER.
But your age is a representation of WHO YOU ARE, and ALL YOU’VE LEARNED along the way. I think it’s about time we started genuinely appreciating everything that comes with age.
I just realized that most of the amazing, empowered women in my favourite movies are taking the world by storm AFTER the age of 30, 40, 50 or older.
BEAUTY MYTH: Plus size women shouldn’t do boudoir shoots.
BEAUTY TRUTH: Some of my favourite boudoir shoots were with plus size women.
Lemme just say this: Curves are AMAZING.
…But I know it doesn’t always FEEL amazing to have them 😢
The road hasn’t been easy for plus size women, though. Their reasons for feeling “unpretty” can feel insurmountable, at times. Movements like the #EveryBodyIsBeautiful and #EveryBodyIsABeachBody movements are certainly helping move things along and bring this truth to mainstream discussions. However, fat-shaming is undoubtedly something a lot of women still endure on the daily.
Even though I love working with all women, I find working with curvy women to be a lot easier. The light can easily catch a curve in just the right way without a lot of work on my part. It’s like the beauty just reveals itself, effortlessly. I don’t have to do much posing or lighting to get the perfect shot.
BEAUTY MYTH: Your skin needs to be smooth and flawless to be beautiful.
BEAUTY TRUTH: Literally no one’s skin is flawless!
I know my skin isn’t flawless. I have a few developing wrinkles here and there, scars from past injuries, and some tiger stripes from childbirth. As a boudoir photographer, I see a LOT of skin. In case you’re wondering – none of it is flawless.
Sure, we touch up images, now and then, for clients who don’t want their blemished skin showing. And, trust me, so do magazine and most Instagram filters. But we also love taking raw shots of skin just the way it is. One of my favourite kinds of empowerment shoots is post-baby boudoir. I love the way that a woman’s post-baby body shows just what a fantastic job it did at bringing a human life into the world.
BEAUTY MYTH: Thigh gaps are where it’s at.
BEAUTY TRUTH: Tell that to my girl, J-Lo. 😉 (who, by the way, is also 50+ and KILLING IT)
This brings us back to the exact same point: EVERY BODY IS DIFFERENT.
Some women naturally have thigh gaps, whether they are thin or average weight or plus size. It all depends on how your weight is distributed.
Think a thigh gap looks good, but your body doesn’t naturally create one? Maybe you just aren’t meant to have one. Or, perhaps you can do specific exercises to create one. Still, a thigh gap doesn’t say whether you are beautiful or not. I honestly don’t know a single person who would argue against how GORGEOUS J-Lo is! And she’s got some strong 💪 thighs on her.
The amazing Demi Lovato even took to social media to fight against haters who think a thigh gap is a sign of beauty, writing “I don’t have a thigh gap and I’m still beautiful the way I am.”
Can a thigh gap be beautiful? Of course. If it’s part of who you are, CELEBRATE IT. Same as if you’re naturally curvy, or thin, or have big breasts, or small breasts, or straight teeth, or curly hair…
BEAUTY MYTH: Women who are very thin aren’t beautiful.
BEAUTY TRUTH: Every body and metabolism is different.
I’m starting to feel like a broken record over here, but I’ll say it again anyway: ALL BODIES ARE DIFFERENT.
We all came from a different set of genes. We all live different lifestyles in different parts of the world. Some of us are naturally super thin. Some women have heightened metabolisms. Sometimes, being thin is just a reflection of genes or lifestyle; sometimes, it’s the result of an illness.
The Biggest Beauty Truth
Our beauty comes from within ourselves. It is shown through our bodies in the form of a smile, a gesture, a posture, and a look in our eyes. It is NOT defined by the shape of our bodies or the state of our skin.
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.
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