My bright shining mother. Her name is Starla, so if that wasn’t a clue to her life from birth, i don’t know what is. She’s a warrior, not the kind you’re thinking of. she’s not always the same strong that i am. She not only taught me self confidence and self love, but she taught me something she didn’t even always have. I’m outwardly strong, quick to be courageous with my words, always willing to speak out when i need and a little feisty. (I give credit to my wonderful grandmother) But what i see from her now and hope to gain more of is the inwardly strong. The kind you don’t see sometimes for years in a person. the womanly classic emotional strength. the kind that carries others’ burdens with poise and freely gives to those in need. Listening and enjoying the deepest stories from ones that come to her. Taking care of herself but caring for others’ hearts truly and passionately. The empathy that heals souls and encourages women without saying a word. motivating just by being herself completely. part of this comes with practice, wisdom, experience. It’s something i have found so beautiful about women not in their 20’s and 30’s (except my mom is 39 right mom?) that i hope to achieve. some of this only can come from the purest of hearts that so many don’t understand about her. Her joy, happiness, constant service and beauty that shines. Her emotional strength. such a unique kind of feminine strength we often mistake for weakness, and not until our hearts are softened or opened do we find that strength more beautiful than words can describe. one of most feminine strong hearts i’ve come across, and if you know her, you’d have to agree.
I recently had a friend who sent a photograph of herself from years before, joking about how she hasn’t changed, and i found myself immediately talking about beauty of women who aren’t AS young. something i’ve recently learned and come to believe whole heartedly. I used to think beauty and strength was just for younger women, i didn’t want to get older or ever get a wrinkle (don’t worry, as soon as i spoke those words, it got me… i already have wrinkles by my eyes and i love them.) But i see these wonderful women, especially my mother and her mother too when she was with us. There is something so extraordinary and beautiful and sexy about a woman who’s not in her 20’s and 30’s. It draws us in, they come into their own and without trying have that sex appeal. It’s not making duck faces or trying to be sexy, it’s something they have. my step-dad spoke about this a few times to me, saying he believes my grandmother become more beautiful as she aged and when he said that, i started paying attention much more closely to this. The women my mom surrounds herself with have every ounce of this. (I often tell her i’m stealing her friends and I'm not joking! I adore them) Then listening to a photographer i am obsessed with, Sue Bryce, she spoke the same. There’s just this poise and sexiness that younger women try to get but women above 30 naturally walk around with. And what a privilege to be able to get older, wiser, more confident, and obtain a beauty that’s not necessarily outwardly but it’s something we have naturally. sign me up for natural confidence and sexiness.
I’m starting to change my perspective on beauty. Don’t get me wrong, young women (and yes i realize i’m only 29) are beautiful souls too. i just think we’re much too quick to push aside women who exude their beauty in a completely different way.
For myself, as a younger woman, i think part is that perception we want to give off. Young, vibrant, things are still in the same place (ehhh for the most part… i swear gravity starts dragging us down at 25) have you looked in a woman’s magazine lately? If not, don’t. it was one of the FIRST things i got rid of when i was trying to build my self confidence, those are a killer. But those magazines hardly have any woman over the age of 25. and what a shame. learning from women who over 40 have this unexplainable way about them. i watch Sue Bryce (anddd maybe it’s party she has an accent) it’ just the way she holds her self, the way she speaks. she’s absolutely lovely.
I’m writing this to give credit to my mom. She’s one of my best friends and not only gives her full attention and heart when it’s needed, but she helps surround me with women who instill confidence and encouragement. It has made me so thankful for the women i have in my life too. I also just have felt moved to share the beauty of a woman who isn’t in her 30’s. I speak about beauty often, and many of my clients tend to be younger, but i would adore to photograph women who are over that age. I'm also writing this because we need to be opened to not on the beauty of a woman who's not AS young, but what she brings to the table and her feminine heart. Don't get me wrong, I know women always have insecurities and want to look lean and worry what they look like in a photograph.
It’s strange in an incredible way how these conversations and subjects come my way. a few short conversations with people i adore, and then it makes sense why i’ve been reading what I have and all the random notes I sketched. I was going to save this for mother’s day. but i couldn’t. I was stuck with the right words and subjects for weeks, and now i feel inspired again and it’s coming together for the time being.
When I was much younger, about the age of 14, I looked over at my mom as we watched movies. She would be crying most of the time. I would laugh and immediately think it was weak. how wrong I was, and of course the thing I made fun of her for has become something I do constantly. I have loved getting a little older and having those vulnerable moments with friends and loved ones, and now I understand when she told me that it would happen to me too, it's a woman's heart.
To the women near and far in distance in my life, you help shape me. I don’t forget the small gestures you’ve done or the big laughs and cries we’ve had. In the quiet moments or loud singing moments, i’m thankful for you. I'm thankful I can cry with you too, because it seems to be happening more. And if anyone would like to join, I'm definitely crying right now. #shamelesslyfeminine #teamfeminineheart
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