Here at GCP we strive to make every part of the empowerment boudoir process exciting, empowering (of course), and fun. We begin by preparing you for your shoot with an emotional prep guide and phone consultation. On the day of your shoot we set up a playful atmosphere to ease your nerves and create positive memories. But it goes WAY beyond that – we want you to feel OPTIMAL body confidence.
For us, empowerment boudoir is all about self-discovery and celebrating the amazing, strong, vulnerable, beautiful woman you are. Here’s a little about how I am learning to step into my own power and our top tips for stepping into YOURS.
My Experiences with Low Body Confidence
As a boudoir photographer I see women in some of their most vulnerable moments. When I first started out in this career I wasn’t entirely shocked to see that women would become nervous on the day of their shoot or the days leading up to. Yes, even the ones who seemed VERY excited when they booked the shoot had some nerves take over.
At first, I shrugged it off. It’s normal for a woman to feel insecure about her body, right? I mean, it isn’t IDEAL but it seems like we all do. I know I do. So, I didn’t think much of it. But, as time went on, I noticed that these insecurities weren’t just affecting their photoshoots, they were affecting their lives.
I heard women talking about how fat they’d gotten after giving birth, how many rolls they had, that they didn’t think they would look good in front of the camera. It just went on and on. My heart broke as I listened to these stunningly beautiful women ripping themselves apart.
It made me step back and evaluate how I look at MYSELF. I realized how often I worry that it’ll get hot out and I’ll have to wear shorts – what if people see my cellulite? I noticed how often I stand in from of the mirror and tell myself I’m fat and hate on myself for it. I realized how Unconfident I was feeling and how it was rippling into other parts of my life. It wasn’t just how I saw my physical self. It affected my self-esteem, my confidence in networking, my approach to my business.
Ways to boost body confidence
Alright, let’s get into my favourite ways to boost body confidence. I’ve used these myself and seen AMAZING results. Of course, like everyone, I’m still a work in progress, but that progress is going much quicker thanks to these strategies.
1. Change your negative self-talk to positive self-talk
The way we speak to ourselves is extremely important. It can set us on a positive trajectory (toward confidence, success, and resiliency) or a negative one (toward low self-esteem, failure, and giving up). Changing the way I spoke to myself was the hardest part of dealing with my body insecurity. It was a daily struggle to stop myself from worrying about my cellulite or my weight and tell myself that I was beautiful ANWAY.
2. Use confident body language
Your body tells a story. How you move, how you stand, and how you sit speaks to how comfortable you feel within your own skin. We’ve all seen a woman strut her stuff and thought to ourselves, “Wow, she is confident.”
But actually being confident isn’t required to move, stand and sit as though you are. Fake it ‘till you make it, girl. Turns out, using confident body language (even if you don’t feel like it) improves your confidence! It’s like the old saying, “Fake it ‘til you make it.” In other words, stand tall and proud.
Sit up straight, push your shoulders back (no more hunching over your phone or laptop). Not only is strong posture good for your health, it’s great for your confidence and setting a positive example for your kids. As you get into the habit of moving with confidence, you’ll feel more confident, more capable, and stronger.
3. Stop demanding perfection from yourself
Did you know women have higher expectations of themselves than men? That might not be shocking if you talk to a lot of women. But it has to make you wonder, “Why? And, how can we go easier on ourselves?”
Child psychologists tell you to never expect perfection from your children because perfectionism increases stress, self-criticism, and in its unhealthiest forms, can lead to eating disorders, depression, high blood pressure, and thoughts of suicide.
If you don’t expect perfection from your children, why are you expecting it from yourself? In case you need to hear it again: You are enough the way you are; you are beautiful and strong, hardworking, and loving; learn to embrace who you are.
4. Turn it off
We already talked about turning off the negative thoughts in your mind. But that can be easier said than done when you’re constantly inundated with things that make you feel bad.
For example, I might ask you, “Why do you think your weight determines your worth?” And you might tell me, “Well look around! It’s all over my Instagram feed, on commercials, at the mall on the mannequins. I can’t escape it!”
But can you? Can’t you simply turn it off? Unfollow the Insta models you’ll never look like or don’t even want to. Stop paying for magazine subscriptions. Shop at stores that embrace a real body (the movement is growing). You’ll find sweet peace in learning you have more control over how the media influences you than you think you do.
5. Make some lists, then make some more
Some days are better than others: One day you look in the mirror and feel stunning, but maybe the next you avoid looking into the mirror at all. When you get a promotion at work you feel capable, hardworking, and intelligent but when someone undermines you a few weeks later, self-doubt creeps in.
In these darker moments when your negative self-talk barrels in uninvited, a list you previously wrote will guide you back towards the light. Write down a working record of all your accomplishments on your phone and keep adding to it. Write about any awards, certificates, degrees, diplomas, notes of appreciation, promotions, or any other document or recognition that shows how capable and strong you are.
Boosting your body confidence, one step at a time
How you love -or don’t love- yourself has a ripple effect on the people you love more than anything – your children. Your kids learn more from watching what you do than what you say.
Building a strong self-esteem might feel awkward at first, but over time it will become second nature for both you and your children. You must practice positive self-talk, use strong body language, stop demanding perfection from yourself, turn off negative media that’s filling your head with lies, and make lists as to just how wonderful you and your kids really are.
You owe it to yourself to be a strong confident woman, yes. But you owe it to your children too. Show them what it means to love yourself. Show your daughters and sons how to love their bodies; not to mention, show your sons how to love women even if they don’t fit within stereotypical body norms.
Contemplating an empowerment photoshoot?
Prepare your mind and step into your power with this FREE Emotional Prep Guide!