Last updated on November 12th, 2019 at 06:04 pm
My big dream is to show women everywhere that you should love your bodies just as they are. I want women to exude self-confidence.
In most of my written stories, I use myself as an example.
My stories are full of vulnerable thoughts. It is my hope that the sharing of my insecurities will help you see that some of your thoughts about yourself and your abilities may be unhealthily skewed and flat-out wrong.
In my photography studio, I don’t allow clients to say anything negative about themselves in my presence. I believe if you can abstain from negative self-talk for minutes or hours, you can ultimately create days of self-love.
And days can turn into healthy decisions and then years of being at a happy with your weight and your size in this world.
I know it’s difficult to block the negative body thoughts that creep into your mind. It’s what makes fighting the elusive beauty standard so difficult.
To preface my personal account, please watch this video:
Dustin Hoffman discusses how profound it was for him to be transformed into a woman for his famous role in Tootsie. He actually tears up while acknowledging the need for fighting the elusive beauty standard.
Fighting the elusive beauty standard will give women the power to think for themselves and appreciate your body for the amazing vessels they are.
The following images and self-criticisms are how I once evaluated my body.
If you say or do any of the following too, I hope my words sound entirely crazy. I hope you think, “Geez, she’s nuts! I don’t see what she’s criticizing.” When you do this to your body, you sound crazy too! If you think I’m fat please, for the sake of humanity, keep it to yourself!
All of these criticisms are honest. But after years of hating myself, I make a conscious effort not let these thoughts grow and fester. I replace these thoughts with positive affirmations. Too many women have lost too much time as they took outside criticism and wove it into their being as irrefutable truth.
But rather than use a client to illustrate this, I’m making an example of myself. I hear ridiculous things like this and more from women every day.
I’m going to end with the way I look at my body now.
Granted, I’ve worked hard to lose almost a hundred pounds. And I still struggle to see myself this way. But self-empathy is a muscle you have to work out and practice makes perfect.
I adore this picture. It shows how far I’ve come in taking care of my body. It shows the things I am proud of. I felt beautiful when the photo was taken. I feel beautiful looking at it.
I had such a hard time recognizing that this is me. I am making myself look at it every morning and affirming to myself that I am an incredible, deserving woman.
I think my insides/my spirit/the-person-I-seek-to-be are now showing up on the outside.
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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