I have been friends with Babe K for years. She was one of the very first models to ever work with me as a makeup artist, and if it wasn’t for her dragging me to photo shoots, I would have never met a lot of photographers, seen the amazing work they created, and wanted to try it myself. We go way back, and I consider it an honor that she still sticks by me and let’s me not only put makeup on her, but photograph her, too.
As friends, we get pretty real with each other when we’re working together. Actually, when you’re shooting boudoir, it’s impossible not to get real. We’ve worked on some sexy sets before with me as her makeup artist, and as we chatted, Babe K would sometimes make comments about parts of her body she wasn’t totally comfortable with. That’s a normal thing women do. We all have insecurities, but just look at Babe K. My gut reaction was always “what on earth do you have to be insecure about?!”
I consider myself to be fat or at least chubby. No worries – I’m cool with it now. I’ve got big ole thighs, a super soft tummy that protrudes out and wiggly, jiggly arms. I’m much larger than Babe K, and in the past when she would confide her insecurities, I would always think “well jeez, if she thinks that looks bad, I must look like a whale to her.” I could never understand how someone as tall, lean and strong as her could have any self-doubts.
And that was wrong of me.
Skinny women have insecurities, and it is not our place to tell someone (no matter how beautiful we think they are) that something is wrong with them for feeling that way. Obviously, I don’t want anyone to feel bad about themselves, but I also understand that we are all works-in-progress on our own self-love journey. Society pins women against one another. We are always comparing ourselves to other women, and that’s when the jealousy kicks in. That’s when the outrage kicks in. We think “if I looked like that, I would love myself. How dare you be insecure. You don’t know what it’s like to really have low self-esteem because you don’t look like me.” No matter your shape, size, age, etc., we need to nip that kind of reaction in the bud. Everyone struggles with their own issues for their own reasons, and it is never our place to degrade someone for having those feelings.
Instead, we need to react in love. Women should support women. We need to lift each other up. If you cannot handle the fact that beautiful women have insecurities, ask yourself why. My shock and anger wasn’t actually towards Babe K. It was towards me. I wanted to look like her and I hated myself because I didn’t. Since I started my body positive journey, thin women with insecurities do not make me feel worse about myself. Instead, I want to encourage and love the women who are struggling.
During our most recent shoot, Babe K made little quips about her body, but I never scolded her in anger for feeling that way. Most comments were in jest, but I think there’s always a smidge of honesty when we make jokes about ourselves. Instead, I told her how beautiful and strong she was to me. I told her there was nothing wrong with her body. I complimented her. What she does with that is up to her, but most women leave the studio feeling far better about their bodies. The same theory applies no matter where we are. If you’re on the beach or you’re shopping with a friend and they start to self-degrade, tell them they are worthy of self-love. Tell them they are amazing. Give them your love and support.
Fat babes need love. Skinny babes need love, and every size and shape in between needs your support. Your kind words might be exactly what they need to start loving themselves. They might need to hear how amazing they are before they start believing it.
BONUS BOUDOIR IMAGES! Sometimes the blooper photos become my favorite photos.