“Holy shit, I look incredible!” I don’t even know how many times I said this, or something similar, to my bestie as she showed me how our headshot session photos were turning out. I immediately put it down to her amazing photography skills (seriously, she is INCREDIBLE), the right angle, perfect lighting.
I’m 22 and still shocked when I don’t think I look disgusting in a photo. I’m even more surprised when I think I may even look a little… *whispers* hot. Can I say that? Let’s just say it’s amazing what a few hours in front of a camera can do for your confidence.
My relationship with my body has, like many women I suspect, been fraught with emotion. I can’t remember when I first started looking at my body the way I thought others might. But by the time I did, I already hated it. I was putting on weight, getting taller and feeling like a weed sticking out of a perfectly manicured flowerbed. I lost 25 kilos, but it didn’t make me feel more confident. Sure, I could wear nicer clothes and liked my body more, but I didn’t love it. I didn’t think I looked hot or that I could pull off the trends I wanted to. There’s no quick fix to self-love and it’s taken me years to understand that.
For the first time since I realised the female body was viewed in a certain way, I feel comfortable in myself. It just felt like a waste of energy to be constantly looking at myself negatively. Sure, there’s more things I could do to achieve my ‘perfect’ body, but I don’t know if it would ever be enough. And I don’t want to spend my whole life chasing something unachievable.
I won’t lie: there’s a few other steps I’ve taken to start loving how I look. I fell in love with a strong brow, defining a feature of my face I’ve always viewed as a natural asset. I’ve built a wardrobe I love thanks to a good income. But I think these things, and my decision to quit the negativity, was a natural part of growing up. Of course, the process wasn’t that smooth. It’s only when I look back I realise how far I’ve come and how much more relaxed I am with my not-so-perfect body.
Anyway, back to that little photo shoot…
In need of new professional headshots and looking for some photos for another blog post, I set out one weekend for two different shoots. Luckily, I was joined by my best friends on both occasions and I’ve no doubt being with people you feel comfortable with helps your own confidence tenfold. It was awkward at first. I felt like I was making all the wrong moves. What are you even meant to do? Working with a professional photographer who is also a close friend helped immensely and she made the whole process fun and effortless. By our second location I was at ease and pulling silly faces.
But I was still blown away with the photos. What I saw on screen just did not match up with what I saw in the mirror. Is this how other people see me? It’s something I’m still mulling over. If you’re ever feeling a little down or doubting your own beauty though, get out there with a good friend and a camera. There really is nothing like a little photoshoot (with good lighting) to make you feel like a total babe.
I’m still learning this whole self-love thing, so tell me: what are your favourite ways to boost your confidence?