Accepting My So Called "Flaws".
This past spring one of my besties came out to Southern Cali and we road tripped through places like Palm Springs, Joshua Tree, Santa Monica and Malibu just to name a few. She's one of my favorite people to travel with she's super easy to get along with, spontaneous like me, we can go 10 days or more without getting sick of each other, it's great! Another bonus is we're both photographers! We grew up so to speak in the industry together, we met at a networking event one day and I went up to her and said "I think we're supposed to be friends", from that day one that was it! That was over 8 years ago.
A lot has happened since then, divorces, moves across opposite ends of the country, both of us starting over in our businesses but with distance and time between us, it never affects our friendship. Whenever we get back together it's like we've never been apart. I love her deeply and I can't imagine my life without her. Friends like Rachel are what makes life so beautiful.
So one of the things we love doing as photographers do is to shoot one another and up until this trip I had never allowed for myself to be photographed in this way before not even by my bestie. So this trip and allowing her to photograph me "full bodied" was a big deal for me. There was a time I would have
A. Never allowed myself to be photographed
B. Would have been fully clothed and...
C. Would have cropped out the "stuff" I don't like which typically consisted of photos only from the waist up.
Well, here it is all my so called flaws right out there for me and the rest of the world to see. The best part... I love what I see, even the so called "flaws".
My cellulite tells the story of my journey... the one where I learned to love my body after sexual trauma. My stretch marks are reminders of the courage it took for me to get here and the extra weight that I still carry, a sign my body is still protecting me and that there is more love to be given and more healing to be had.
Yes, these images are an after of my self-love journey. Typically you see before and afters as a transformation of "losing the weight" but this was a transformation of my heart. Transforming my hatred for my body and instead, learning to love it, all of it. Thank you, my dear dear friend, for capturing these images for me, when I look at them all I see is love. Love for myself and love for my body, she's been with me, protecting me this whole time. I just couldn't see it before.
xo- laurie marie
Images provided by: Rachel Buckley