Although the movement of enlightenment is growing, many young women battle these issues everyday. If you have personally had doubts about yourself because of your body type, body image, or just have the anxiety of dealing with how people look at you everyday then you know what I am talking about and this post is for you.
I myself have dealt with this since I was a child being awkwardly tall for most of my adolescence and pretty chubby as well, it follows you through your teens and even as the young adult that I am. It gets exhausting! You feel as though you cant accomplish the things that you wish to accomplish because you aren’t pretty enough, skinny enough, or overall good enough. I am here to tell you, fuck em! WHO CARES.
That is truly the attitude that you have to have, and believe it or not the less you care the more benefits you reap. Aren’t you tired of feeling inadequate because of what a stranger might say about you or think? Ask yourself, why do you care about other people’s opinions anyways…are they paying your bills? Girl wear that crop top!
So this weekend, I challenged myself (and this is an ongoing challenge for me personally) to put myself out there and try to break down this shell that I have kept myself comfortable, yet unsatisfied, in for so long. I posted a few amateur selfies of mine on a local photography group on Facebook to see if any photographers would be willing to work with me as a fresh baby beginner and host a photo shoot. Believe it or not, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive!
9 times out of 10, if you are willing to take the first step and put yourself out to the world, THERE WILL BE POSITIVE FEEDBACK. People love individuals that aren’t afraid to be vulnerable. After all, nothing great happens within your comfort zone.
I got a great response, some said they loved my look or my hair type, could envision certain concepts and would love to shoot with me, but that little voice in the back of my head was still feeding into my insecurities. Even after some photographers would send me ideas for potential shoots, all I would see was the skinny girl that was in the picture they had sent and reply something along the lines of “I love the concept, but I don’t think my body type would ultimately be able to give you the type of shots that you are looking for.”
One photographer, which shall stay nameless for this moment because I still haven’t had the opportunity to work with him yet, responded back with a few igniting Facebook messages that were initially off-putting, but only because I automatically got on the defensive side, but then I quickly realized he was completely right and I had to thank him for the advice. His messages went something like this:
“Look up Robyn Lawley…just one of many plus size models who are making good money. She is a couple of inches taller, but her measurements are very similar to yours. She weighs 180 lbs, size 14 dress and her measurements are 40-32-42. If I thought I was going to be disappointed with you Maxine…I would have never contacted you to begin with…sexy is a state of mind and can be seen in your eyes and the way you hold yourself…then it is my job to capture the images..that is why modeling is no easy job and most women can not do it because it comes from within.”
It was an eye-opener. The only person that was going to hold myself back was me. I totally had a That’s-so-Raven moment where I got a quick memory flashback of my mom always telling me that I was my worst enemy, and I think that is the case with a lot of women, not just the youth.
Today was my first official photo shoot and although I haven’t got the files to download just yet, I am totally excited about the outcome just because I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and put myself out there. I tried something new and I can honestly say that I put my best foot forward. When the shoot was all said and done and I hopped in the car to drive home, I felt a wash of relief and weightlessness. Those shackles of insecurity, self doubt, and second-guessing are slowly starting to break one by one and I am excited to see where I can push myself to go next.
I can’t wait to share the images with you guys as soon as I am able to get my hands on them and give you all a little more insight on my first experience in front of the camera!