The relationship you have with yourself sets the tone for every relationship you have with others.
This blog post is something that I have honestly struggled to write, because I feel it is so important and I wanted to make sure I did Miss T justice.
My biggest goal in life is to give women a voice. It is to help women connect with their power (or take it back) and to encourage them to live their life boldly and without fear of judgement or criticism. My goal is to empower them to see their beauty and strength and to help them truly love themselves, to the core, despite all the bullshit expectations that society places on them.
This goes for ALL women.
So often I feel I shouldn’t have to say thus. It’s 2019, for fuck’s sake. We are progressing as a nation (I try to be optimistic) and more and more people are getting a seat at the table.
As far as beauty standards go, we are finally getting to a place where myself and my aunties and my sisters can go into a store and find a foundation shade that matches their skin tone.
It has taken the voices of strong women of color to speak up and challenge this idea of a universal standard of beauty.
Growing up, I will be honest, I didn’t see a lot of faces that looked like mine. I didn’t see a lot of bodies that were shaped like me. I couldn’t get a haircut without fear that I would come out looking like I lost a battle with a lawnmower. And damn, those little things…they hit my soul. It planted within me a seed of self doubt and comparison.
The beauty that I have found in being a boudoir photographer is the fact that I wield the power to change ALL of this by showing the world that beauty exists outside of the ridiculous standards, those airbrushed models and picture perfect bodies, by showing the world beauty in diversity.
When Miss T emailed me she said she wanted to focus on celebrating where she is in life. She wanted to celebrate black beauty and serve as inspiration to other black women, showing them that they too are beautiful. She wanted to celebrate her baldness and the fact that you don’t have to have these flowing locks to be beautiful.
When she came in for her consult she was a bit timid, but nevertheless she was a woman on a mission. She has accomplished so much in her life, from uprooting to move away from a toxic environment, all the way to killing it in law school. She is accomplished, strong, and educated.
She has come so far in life, but she has been in the process of loving herself after years of being told she was less than.
The impact of bullying and the wounds inflicted when others attempt to cut us down to nothing are wounds that can take a lifetime to heal. Adding to that, we are inundated with ideas of what society views as beautiful, which only causes us to compare to expectations that nobody can live up to.
She came in and conquered. She transformed in front of our eyes and it was such a powerful experience.
Miss T said it best in her own words:
“It’s been a long time coming for me. I’ve always wanted to do a photoshoot, but I didn’t think I was pretty enough or had the perfect body. When you’re constantly called ugly for so long, you start to believe it. I live in a world that goes out of its way to make black women like me feel like we’re less than; to make us feel like we’re not good enough or attractive. I refuse to let this world to get to me and make me feel like I’m not worthy. I am so proud of myself for doing this. I will take care of and love the skin I’m in. If my blackness and my magic make you uncomfortable, then you’re feelings are not my problem.”
Thank you so much, Miss T, for sharing this experience with me!!!