So.... what does body confidence mean to you?

To me, it means falling in love with your body all over again.

For too long, women have succumbed to all societal pressures or what a woman's should be. How we should dress. What the "perfect" shape is. What the "perfect" measurements are. How we should do our makeup. Acceptable colours to dye our hair. Plus many more things that I know could probably take up many lines and many hours of our lives!

Problem is, as much as we blame men for this.... it's also our own fault. How many times have you overheard a conversation where women are 'secretly' tearing down other women? I know I've been in this situation a lot of times. I think we all can admit to being right bitches when we are teenagers too. We grow up with these expectations of what we should look like and how we should act... and some of us never grow out of that. Luckily enough, there is a modern movement aimed at breaking these mental barriers.

The Body Positive Movement is created to try to normalize all kinds of bodies... not just the ones promoting clothes and products in magazines and social media. There is some debate online whether or not it's actually positive promoting obesity, which I can kinda understand and agree with. But what I want to do is this... help people feel more comfortable in their own skins. Which I view as a different direction to "promoting obesity".

I grew up in a household where my Mother constantly picked at everything. How she looked, how she dressed, how we looked, how we dressed. More often than not, she would actually refuse to leave the house when she "felt fat". This is why I'm behind the Body Positive Movement. Growing up in a negative environment like that is extremely damaging. My sister and I have always picked at ourselves and our bodies. Through my own "self-love" journey, I am coming to terms with the fact that I do actually look good and that as long as I'm healthy, the rest doesn't matter. I look back and wish my mother had been more encouraging about loving ourselves. Being healthy is the goal, and it almost always starts with your mindset and opinions.

It shouldn't be up to other people to put a label on you and your body. And the BMI is a complete crock of shit in my opinion. Only you can say if you're healthy or not. You can be physically healthy and overweight.

Yeah, I said that. The BMI is complete bullshit. I'm 5ft3, 55kgs at the time of writing this. I'm a size 8 or small, which a lot of people would view as tiny. But according to the BMI, I'm actually close to obese. Currently I'm the biggest I have ever been, but my shape is average. If I'm nearing obesity now, why should I be almost skeletal to be the "perfect" weight? I used to get sick a lot back when I was 49-51 kgs. And ya know what? I feel so much better and so much healthier since I put weight on.

There's so many causes of obesity that aren't actually through over eating...

Contraception and other medications

Genetic reasons can also cause lack of weight loss or easy weight gain.

High levels of Insulin

Leptin (another hormone linked to weight loss) isn't working correctly.

So if you're working really hard on your physical health and things just aren't working out, it might be time to get a few checks by the Doc. It could be that your hormones are a bit all over the show. As with over eating, a lot of us do this because of stress and mental illness. Living with depression, I know exactly what it's like to turn to food for comfort.

But I'm not writing this article to target physical healthiness. I'm writing it to promote Mental Health through the body Positive Movement. The above paragraphs are aimed to educate.

"The mind and body are not separate.

What affects one, affects the other"

Be scared and do it anyway.

Boudoir is just a small step.

It's overcoming the mental barriers that you have put up. The mental barriers that prevent you from seeing how you actually look. And yeah, as much as we all know that the way we see ourselves isn't actually true, we still tell ourselves that what OTHERS see is incorrect.

If you're worried about being "too big" for Boudoir... there's no such thing. If you are looking to do one and concerned about your size, I can tell you right now that you WILL LOOK HOT! My aim as the photographer is to pose you in a way that will not only be comfortable, but allow you to see your body at it's absolute best. And curves are effing sexy!

This brings me to why I love Boudoir portraits. It presents an opportunity for the subject to see the photos and how they ACTUALLY look. Coz damn girl, you can look smoking!

You just need to believe it.