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 }

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