Last updated on January 22nd, 2015 at 11:39 pm
The beautiful thing about dreams is they’re not set in stone.
Dreams are ethereal wisps of the potential future. You can stare at them. You can pull at them. You can bring them into reality, changing them as your desires change. An endless world of possibility awaits a dreamer.
My dream for over a decade has been to show women how beautiful they are. I wanted to prove we are our harshest critics. I believed self-esteem was a transient state we either worked for or against. Taking the idea that self-esteem could be changed, I embarked on a journey that has brought me a life of passion and change.
I consider myself the Pinup Feminista.
My career into pinup art began with the goal of showing women of all ages, stages and sizes how stunning they are. What better way to show women how gorgeous they are? Bringing out their inner pinup girl was my way of saying, “Holy CRAP, can’t you see how GORGEOUS you are?!” (And I honestly I have said that many times, meaning every word.)
My goal was to turn the original intent of pinup on it’s head and heal women who hate their bodies with my therapeutic photography sessions.
Instead of creating an artistic ideal to please men, I turn modern women into a bombshell with a very feminist purpose. I tell my clients,
“Do this for YOU. Not for him. Not five pounds from now. Longer hair and more confidence won’t change the amazing experience you will have.”
And the fun byproduct of this is men notice a confident woman.
These dreams have fueled me for a decade. But with all of my life changes, I can see my dream and focus shifting.
One of the ways you build a successful business is by researching and understanding your ideal clientele. After this many years in the pin up art game, I’ve narrowed my ideal woman down.
If a girl is fairly confident and KNOWS in her bones that she is beautiful – she is not my ideal client. This was a really hard lesson to learn and accept. Business law says you choose the clients who can afford you. And I love working with ALL women.
But over the years I have realized a truth about my dream: my heart sings and my soul is nourished when I work with a woman who doesn’t believe she is beautiful. These are the women who struggle to be everything to everyone and find it hard to believe they’re pretty.
My heart seeks the woman who has an inner beauty that has been dulled over time by the insecurities whispered to her by our busy world.
I come to life as I nurture the intrinsic inner spark and fan it into a flame that shines from her heart and out of her eyes.
I found a way to PROVE I was helping create change. I conducted a survey of 30 past clients about how they felt before during and after my process. It measured their self-esteem at each stage.
The survey showed their self-esteem had improved by 46%. The women who were already confident in their self-image saw a 10%-30% improvement. The women who really needed to experience our process saw as much as 90% improvement. This shows me where my focus NEEDS to be.
I will always be the go to girl for pinup, especially sophisticated pinup art. But I can feel my heart expanding to include the other things that fuel me. This is the moment when your dreams change …
I’m excited, giddy and nervous to announce:
I’m going to expand my business and make a new niche for Photo Therapy.
I’m working with therapists to address body dimorphic disorder. I’m setting up programs to help kids and adults undergoing chemo to process and adjust their self-esteem. (If you run a program and would be interested please contact me.) I want to be able to take the time to do self-esteem seminars and reach the elementary school aged kids.
We can confirm their beauty before they’ve learned to hate themselves. I think we can undo bullying. And hopefully, address young suicide.
I’d like to teach other photographers how to work with people and lift their clients up without relying solely on retouching.
While in North Carolina a few weeks ago, I met an entrepreneur. He was at the beginning of his journey with an amazing project. I’m always fascinated to meet another entrepreneur and hear about their passions. We are a club of sorts. We make something where there was nothing and it’s the hardest job with tremendous rewards for the successful ones.
But it’s terribly difficult to navigate the rough waters of our economy. I remember the lonely early days. We got to talking and I found myself giving him advice about anything and everything.
And my spark lit.
I’ve done this for a few businesses and am excited to expand my business to include business coaching. More on that in an upcoming blog!
I’ve been talking about doing all of this for years but was so busy with pinup I didn’t have time to give it the attention it deserved.
Pinup will continue to be a huge part of my life, business and repertoire, but I want to do more than pinup. I want to create CHANGE. I thought that pinup was a way to do that. I think I can do better!
In addition to vintage art, I’m excited to go where my heart and creativity take me. As long as I’m affirming the beauty in others I can’t go wrong.
I want every woman to look in the mirror and feel as much joy as a child does.
If we are born with an appreciation for our reflections, then it proves my theory that the world teases and taunts us into believing we are not. That also means we can get that feeling back.
I hope you’ll dream with me, of a world where all women see themselves as perfect and beautiful.
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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