I truly believe that beauty is something that shines from the inside out, and not the other way around. I love doing the work that I do, because it gives women the opportunity to be present in their bodies. It allows them to indulge in their sensuality, and to express their beauty, and femininity.
It is every woman’s prerogative to express her inner Goddess…
I’m often disheartened by the way our culture treats ‘full figured’ women. Relegating them to frumpy clothes, under representing them in the media, dismissing their right to be sensual beings and making them the butt of our jokes. (We’ve all seen the foul humored greeting cards and chain emails)
I often start off my pin-up classes talking about how the original pin-up Goddesses were represented in the ancient cave paintings. These were images of gorgeous fertile, full bellied, pendulous breasted beauties, the pinnacle of worship at one time in our history.
The renaissance also saw the celebration of what has become known as the “Rubenesque” figure. But those paintings again, were simply a celebration of a full figured sensual female form… another earlier type of pin-up!
The denigration of full figured women at this time in our history does not serve us as human beings. It simply feeds the beast of insecurity that we all feel as women… We all need to make healthy choices in our lives… and making the choice to accept and love our bodies, as we are today, reveling in the joy of being alive and embracing our sensual nature regardless of our shape, size, or age, is probably one of the healthiest choices we can begin to make as women.
The Goddess of the Month for this month is Becky. A full figured Goddess, Becky embodies the joie de vie that I hope that every women gets to experience when she participates in one of my shoots. Becky’s joy clearly emanates from her portrait and there is no denying that she is an absolutely gorgeous woman.
My whole life I have been a “plus size” woman. In my early 20’s my weight went up and down as I tried to fit into society’s standards and “be beautiful”. I was the girl that was buddies with all the guys and never the girlfriend…and I remember thinking “What’s wrong with me, why can‘t they like me for who I am?”
I remember the summer I turned 23, I had finally gotten to the point that I really didn’t care how any one saw me, I was just going to be me and that was good enough. And if they didn‘t like it, well tough. I was sick and tired of trying to be something I was not. Battling to lose more and more weight, when I liked the way I looked. That was the summer that I started to accept myself, every last curve and pound.
That was also the summer that I caught the eye of a tall hunk of blond sweetness that I now call my husband. And in the weeks after I met him, I remember thinking, “he likes me just the way I am“. Even now all these years later, he gets who I am and loves me just the way I am. I am blessed.
So, fast forward about 11 years. I was taking a class at a local dance fit studio. When I was handed a flyer for a “Pin-Up Class”. Even accepting who I was and what I looked like, I didn’t picture myself as the curvy, leggy, gorgeous woman I thought of when we think pin ups! I pictured myself more as … jean wearing tough lady with strong arms… that is how I pictured myself. I was raised to be self sufficient, hard working and tough. I am a farm girl, born and raised. I drive a pick up and know more about farming then fashion. I think you are getting the picture.
I don’t know if I would ever have gone to that class, if it was not for the fact that I wanted something special for Valentine’s Day for my husband. I had some real reservations about doing the shoot. So, I found myself checking out the website that was listed on the bottom of the flyer. What I read on that website gave me the push to do the class. The photographer, our own lovely and talented Charise Isis, talked about photographing women of “different shapes, sizes, colors and backgrounds”. I could do this I thought.
But no matter how much I have accept my curves and sizes over the years, that class was the most empowering thing I have ever done for myself.
I felt like a star and the photos, well I didn't know I could look like that. I was that curvy, leggy, sexy pin up girl…so what if my legs are shorter then some….put on a pair of heels and a bustier and I will show you curvy & leggy. The gorgeous part, well that is how I felt on the inside seeing myself looking so fine and because of that it showed in those photos.
There is that old saying “Beauty is only skin deep”, I think beauty is about your soul. It is about the person you are and the person you want to be. It is accepting yourself in what ever outer package your soul is in.