Last updated on April 28th, 2014 at 01:09 am
The journey to a career where I heal with photography started with my own insecurities. Even after losing a substantial amount of weight, I still work to accept my body and the progress I’ve made. I hope that reading this will help you face your body fears.
I was lamenting the idea of a bikini to a guy friend.
He thinks I’m gorgeous so I figured he was a good source. “I want to wear a bikini,” I said, “But I have a soft tummy and stretch marks.” He was quiet for a moment. Then he asked, “Are those things going to go away?” I just stared. (In my head I went over surgical and personal training options.) But in reality, he was right. They aren’t going anywhere and I either make peace with them or make peace with a one piece.
So I found a bikini, which wasn’t easy.
I have small ribs and big boobs and had to order a custom suit from my AMAZING bra company. FYI busty gals: an underwire bikini top in your measurements is a HUGE self-esteem boost!
Face your body fears. Come to terms with your body.
I feel so peaceful with my body now. I felt gutsy one morning and posted a selfie in a sports bra and tennis skirt. The response was incredible.
After my trip, I saw my friend Feisty Cupcake post a photo to Delicious Dolls Magazine’s Facebook call for Derrière Tuesday. And in what might have been insanity, I shared my own painting that… shall we say “highlighted” my own bum. In less than a day it’s gotten over 300 likes, over 14 shares, and I’m simultaneously terrified and tickled. But I DID IT.
I’ll be honest. This work, the work of accepting yourself, is not EASY. But nothing worth having comes easily. Start with baby steps. When someone compliments you don’t defer it. Don’t wave it away. Accept it. Try for one second to believe it’s true. Try to KNOW that others can see what we can’t. It doesn’t mean that what they see isn’t real. It might mean that what you see as wrong isn’t actually real. That’s a mind eff!
Iman Woods is an American artist who specializes in pin-up photography. Through a unique and therapeutic process, she’s spent over a decade in perfecting, Iman helps women undo the damage from a negative self-image and unrealistic beauty industry expectations. She helps women embrace their own style of beauty and see themselves in a new light. You can find her on her website, ImanWoods[dot]com.
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