Self-love / Boudoir by Billie

Each and every single one of you is vulnerable and trusting in me. I wanted to take this opportunity to do the same, be vulnerable with you all, share a little about me and my thoughts. I took some raw self portraits here in the boudoir studio. I didn’t do my hair or apply any makeup at all, the images below are completely me & raw. I wanted to show you that you are beautiful and sexy just as you are in this moment! Thank you for taking the time to read!

self-love /self ˈləv/

regard for one’s own well-being and happiness

Over the years, I have struggled back and fourth with self-love and acceptance. I grew up being bullied about my name and weight, so I didn’t really know how to feel about myself for a long time. I have always had fluctuating weight due to struggling with a binge eating disorder, depression and crippling anxiety after my mother passed away when I was 17 years old. There were many days where I didn’t
even want to get out of bed, much less look in the mirror, and when I did, I thought to myself “I’ll never be good enough, pretty enough, or even worthy of love in my lifetime”.  I would weigh myself and obsess over what I saw beneath me. I had this image of a “perfect” woman in my head & wanted to look a certain way didn’t - so it tore me apart and perpetuated the bad feelings I had about myself. Tears would flood my eyes,
run down my face as I’d grab on to my extra skin, run my fingers over the dark circles
under my eyes, pick out and pull at all of the imperfections I saw scattered
throughout my body. I found everything to be wrong with me and I burned these
terrible thoughts and images into my mind every day, and I truly
believed all the nasty things I said to myself for many years. The media I grew up experiencing definitely didn’t help with these thoughts either. I rarely saw women
with my body type look happy or confident in themselves. I had come to the conclusion that there wasn’t anyone or anything that could get me out of this cycle.

One day, a thought crossed my mind - would I actually speak to other women the same way I spoke about myself? Absolutely not… so what made me deserve this kind of abuse? Especially from myself? My body is what gives me a chance at experiencing the miracle of life. My body is what allows me to
live every day, breathe, walk and even makes it capable of loving another human being. It didn’t deserve this torture I put it through every single day. After years of self-hate, neglecting my own self-love, I had enough. I knew things had to change. I then slowly began complimenting myself on something small every single day. I would focus on the things I liked in life and what made me happy. I made it a daily goal to
compliment other women as well and to find and share the beauty in everyone I met.
I knew I never wanted another woman to feel or experience the way I had felt about myself for so long. After these few small changes, I was able to see more beautiful things about myself. I noticed the way my green eyes shined bright in the sunlight. The way my hair fell on my pale freckled shoulders and around my face showcasing my chubby rosy cheeks, which I
had never liked before. I noticed the curve and sway of my hips when I
walked confidently and with a purpose. I began to stand a little taller,
breathe a little deeper. Slowly, I began to love myself a little more and more each day.
(PS - let’s be realistic here.. there will always
be those down days every once in a while. But it doesn’t have to be every single day of your life.)

I had experienced something I never had. Self-love
& the realization that we are all beautiful in our own ways is exactly why I started Boudoir by Billie. I wanted to share that feeling with as many women that I possibly could. I knew deep down each and every woman in the world deserved that in their life - they deserved to see beauty in themselves regardless of their size or shape. To be able to look at themselves in the mirror and actually love what they see (even if this part takes time). To know that they are worthy of self-love and love from others. To see their beauty through the eyes of another real human being that has felt the same way as them at one point or another. I had this overwhelming feeling overcome me that it was my destiny to help spread self-love and acceptance to all of you however I could  - so here I am.

So, you’ve got “flaws”.
But you know what, love?
Your flaws are what make you a whole human
being. Your flaws are what make you completely unique from any other in the world. Actually, when you think about it, your flaws aren’t really
flaws after all. They are the many unique shaped puzzle pieces that fit together perfectly to create you into the whole, beautiful person that
gazes into the mirror in front of you. Your body tells the story of your life. Your laugh lines are a reminder of the times you couldn’t stop smiling with someone that you loved. The stretch marks racing across your belly are a sign you created life from within or even just indulged a little in something that you liked. That’s perfectly okay. Scars from self harm or accidents show that you lived through pain and you’re here and so much stronger - wear them like a trophy. These life experiences shaped you into the person you are in this moment and that’s such a beautiful thing.

I could go on all night.. but what I want you to know is that you are strong, amazing and capable of so much.
Speak to yourself like you’d speak to your mother, sister or best friend.
Show yourself love & compassion.
You are beautiful and worthy of anything and everything in life.

{ Boudoir by Billie / Columbia, MO Boudoir Photography Studio }

Introducing… Miss Rebekah { Boudoir by Billie / Boudoir Photography Studio / Columbia, MO }

Q: Tell us a little about yourself!
A: “I’m a single momma of three beautiful little women! Ava - 4, Anya - 1 & Ariella - 2
months. I work full time as a medication aide.”

Q: What makes you feel beautiful and feminine?

A: “This is a really hard question for me. This photoshoot I did with Billie made me feel more beautiful & feminine then I ever have… because it’s been so long since I have cared for myself. I’m always caring for my kids, & they make me feel beautiful of course when they tell me how pretty I look even when I know I’m a hot mess from being at work. Their words of encouragement are heartfelt and wonderful! But it was nice to dress in pretty lace and put make up on for once!”

Q: What were your thoughts before booking a Boudoir session with Billie?

A: “I’ll be honest, I woke up that morning excited… but did not want to go. I kept thinking of the millions of things I had to do at home, and that Monday was the only day I had off for another four days…I needed to do the dishes, do the laundry, and care for kids. I didn’t want to push it off on my mom, so I could go be pampered for a day.. How selfish is that! Incredibly selfish… but I told myself you won’t regret it if you go… you will enjoy it…this will be something fun and you NEVER DO ANYTHING for yourself. So I did!”

Q: How did you feel when you saw your photographs for the very first time?

A: “There isn’t even a word, in the English language that could possibly describe the way I felt! I was, mesmerized, shocked, happy, emotional...was this really me? Am I seeing myself for the first time because it sure fees like it! I am glowing! I am radiant and beautiful, and I can genuinely say that, I am freaking fabulous.”

Q: What was your favorite part about the whole experience?

A: “The positive environment, the laughing, Billie showing me the pictures on her camera after she had just snapped the picture, saying,” girl you gotta look at this you’re gorgeous!” Instead of just being strictly there trying to get the job done & move on to whatever else she had to do, she took time with me. She made me feel gorgeous inside and out with her helpful coaching & constant encouragement of how wonderful I looked!

Q: What do you say to anyone thinking about booking a session?

A: JUST DO IT! I have already had two sessions! Don’t even question it! Do it for you & no one else. I can’t even begin to describe how, much this has helped me, feeling low & just down and out.. this whole experience made me love ME again. And that is so important. Billie literally coached me through everything from outfits, every position, from your toes, to your legs, to your arms and hands. She will literally help you in every way when it comes to posing for these photos, you don’t have to be a model. You will never ever, wake up one day and regret doing a boudoir session with Billie… I mean, really… you’ll wake up and question it everyday if you don’t do it. I can promise you that after taking the chance and loving yourself just enough to put yourself out there and do this, you will forever be grateful.”

What NOT to do at your Boudoir Session.. { Boudoir by Billie / Columbia, MO Boudoir Photographer }

So, you were probably thinking you were going to come to this blog post
and it would list 101 things NOT to do at a boudoir session. You wanted
to make sure that you were well prepared for your future session with
Boudoir by Billie… Read on.

When I was a young girl, I remember
standing in line at the grocery store with my mom staring at the
magazine covers. “WHAT NOT TO WEAR”, “Don’t make this #1 makeup
/wardrobe mistake”, “How to lose 10 pounds in 10 days”, “Get skinny for
summer with this insane diet trick”… and the list goes on. and on. and
on. Now, that’s not the only place I saw things like this. Televisions,
commercials, the radio.. They were engraved into the back of my mind
that very moment. Am I sparking any memories for you as well?

up as an overweight withdrawn computer-nerd, I was desperate to fit in.
I looked to my mother and siblings for advice and guidance because they
were my definition of perfect women. I always wondered why I didn’t
have the “perfect” skinny body or look like the women on TV and in the
magazines at the grocery store. I grew up being teased for my weight
daily and once I got old enough to realize that it wasn’t okay.. I
started to try and spread happiness to other women instead of the hate I
had experienced my whole childhood. I found my deep love for boudoir in
the last few years and it has been nothing less than amazing.
Seriously.. It has stole my heart completely. Boudoir by Billie is all
about uplifting each other and celebrating our bodies.. Just as they are
in this moment. And I am so glad that YOU are here on this journey to
celebrate with me. Thank you.

Well, you’re probably wondering what NOT to do at a Boudoir session… You do NOT need to lose 50 pounds or even gain 50 pounds. You do NOT need to hide your body or your
beautiful curves. You do NOT need to hide your stretchmarks, bellies or
bumps. You do not need to wear something 2 sizes to big to hide behind.
Your breasts are fine just as they are. Your booty IS big enough &
good enough for a Tush Tuesday shot. You are NOT too thin to look good
in photos. You do NOT need to worry. What you should do is love and
praise your body, which is one reason why you are booking a boudoir
session in the first place. Embrace every inch and remember that your
body is what gives you life. You breathe, walk, talk and exist on this
earth because of your beautiful body. Without your body, that carries
you, you would not be here with us. You are perfect. I promise.

Boudoir for every. body. Let me help capture your sexy, feminine side.
Celebrate YOU. Contact me to book your very own boudoir session.

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