Welcome to Part II of our 4 part series. Last week, I shared my thoughts about why women yearn to be seen as and feel beautiful. If you missed it, you can check it out right here. This week I wanted to share a little bit about my personal journey with self love and acceptance. #thestruggleisreal
So if you've followed me on social media for a while, you know I'm a foodie and sugar fiend who is constantly on and off the weight loss wagon. Over the years, I've lost and put on weight more times that I can count and no matter how many times I lose it, the weight inevitably comes back to find me. #sadfaceemoji
Anyway, the last time I lost weight, I had a very specific goal in mind. My baby sister was getting married and I was her Maid of Honour. There was no way I was going to be the "Auntie" on the train, so I got super focused, got myself a health coach and lost the weight (again).
Losing the weight was great but what was even better were the changes that happened on the inside. I had a renewed sense of self confidence and started caring more about the way I looked. I stopped attaching my sense of self worth to what my loved ones said or didn't say. I fell in love with the girl in the mirror all over the again and I have to tell you, it felt really REALLY good!
It so happened that this personal triumph coincided with the beginning of my journey into Women's Portraiture and so at the end of the year, I decided to have my own personal glamour shoot to celebrate my journey.
Now picking who I wanted to was a no brainer - I wanted someone who could work with real women. Photographing a tall skinny pretty model is not very hard - take a picture with your iPhone and she'll look good. But to take a real every day woman complete with lumps and bumps and make her look and feel like she's a million dollars - well that's a whole different ball game. There are only two other photographers I would trust to photograph me, one of whom is my good friend and super talented photog Gaz of Gazmadu Photography.
I told her I wanted to feel beautiful and sexy and we totally achieved that. Like most women, the last time I had had a photoshoot was my wedding day (over 8 years ago) and it felt really nice to be able to focus on me for a change. And I was finally able to say "Welcome Back" to the woman who had been lost, neglected and forgotten for way too long.
The other day, I was looking for something and came across my pictures and I heard a small voice inside say "Wow Wani - you ARE beautiful!" And it wasn't because I had waist length hair or wearing a tonne of makeup but because I was looking into the smiling eyes of a woman who no longer needed to look to others for her self validation. It truly is the most amazing feeling. #winning
And let me tell you, feeling beautiful has this knock on effect of increased confidence, which means you take more risks, which leads to more rewards, which basically leads to world domination. #truetalk 🙂
Joyce Jacob did an amazing job on my makeup and Dupe of Tasala HQ hooked me up with her amazing wigs!!!
Here are some of my favourite images from the shoot. Can't wait to have another one later this year. 🙂
Next week, I'll be sharing some behind the scenes of how I prepared for my shoot and my top tips on how to make sure you get the best out of your glamour / beauty photoshoot too. Till then....