Self portraits- why i do them and what it does for me

Why do I photograph self portraits? Why are they on the risqué side? 

I do them for me. As a woman who loves to be strong, i’m constantly in the weight room but just like every other woman on the planet, i struggle with feeling enough. Lean enough, strong enough, muscle-popping enough. More than that, it’s am i beautiful enough? And why don’t i look like the women i look up to in that regard? 

What this does for my personal self-esteem— No i don’t have my hair and makeup done strutting around in tiny outfits, and having my skin slightly softened. I realize THAT part is not full reality. I’m sitting here in my glasses. hot mess hair and pajamas. what is reality is the lingering boost of confidence it gives me. i can look at myself in professional photos and see myself literally through a different lens. That if i were to see the woman i’m looking at and it was someone else.. what positivity would i say to her? So as i take these photographs, i learn to love things about myself i was struggling with. things that even when i see these SAME features in someone else.. i see them as gorgeous but rip them apart when they’re on me. It allows me to see a beautiful woman and feel comfortable being thicker. not being as lean and accepting my body shape. Because what i would say to this woman if it wasn’t me is that she’s beautiful. and i would mean it. 

It goes deeper than the outside. It heals my heart piece by piece. Brokenness that happened in my past relationships, words i heard, and even words i told myself that were WRONG. i can see passed my outer shell and know i’m working on my heart and soul which is much more important. I have struggles and sins like everyone else.. but working on being a better woman. and part of being a better woman I think is acceptance.. telling myself positive things, because i gladly give compliments and speak kindness to others and their strengths so i need to learn to talk to myself the same way so i’m being lifted up and not drug down. So that when i have confidence in myself, I feel important enough to do things for me. So that i can give my all and encourage and love others. But i truly think you have to love yourself before you can give that love to other people and serve. 

I also do it for you. no not the sexy photographs themselves. but i write often about how important being present in photographs are, and how you should print, and be proud. I do it because i tell you how important it is..which means it’s important for me too. It’s important to walk in my room and see a photograph i printed and even on days i don’t feel confident, i see it sometimes subconsciously and know i’m enough. Days where my brain tells me i’m overweight or not lean enough, i see a glimpse and try to tell myself encouraging words. Those are important for you too. reminders of the moments of confidence to spill that feeling back into your heart. 

why are they risqué?— women feel empowered in different ways. some feel it when they’re conservative and covered. Others feel it when they show off what they’re mama gave ‘em. we need to be accepting of both. For me, I’ve been a part of different experiences that led me to feel sexy and confident when i show just a little. even in the gym ;) cause let’s face it, i’m the one looking at myself in there the most. i want to feel a little bada** lifting weights. feminine while i’m making those last rep faces and grunting. 

I do them because i can be totally fabulous and a work in progress all in one. 

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Keep Shining

-Shanna Star