A photoshoot with friends, what a delight. The chemistry between the two ladies made the shoot so much fun, and resulted in some fabulous photos.
I sat down with one of the ladies after the shoot to talk about her body image journey.
Do you have any insecurities about your body?
Yes, definitely. I really don’t like the tops of my thighs, especially the cellulite at the back. I would never wear skimpy shorts, or very short skirts because of it. If I did, I’d feel self-conscious.
I also don’t like my breasts. They’ve always been small, however, breastfeeding my children has left me with rivet nipples, which makes me like them even less.
I was always very sporty and athletic in my youth and was much happier with my body. Age, career and children caught up with me and I suddenly became less active and much less confident. I put on a small amount of weight, but most noticeable for me was the loss in muscle tone that I once had.
I’m now pretty active again, compared to the average person, however, it’s much harder to keep in shape being 20 years older and I can’t get that picture of my younger self back again.
I’m naturally very self critical and a bit of a perfectionist in all aspects of my life and that doesn’t help my perception of my body or how I feel about it.
Do you feel pressure from society to fit a certain beauty ideal?
Absolutely! There’s so many photoshopped/filtered pictures of beautiful women all over the media that you can’t help but compare yourself. However, I think the largest pressure comes from inside my own head.
If you could write a note to your younger self today, what advice would you give her?
I would advise my younger self to be more confident, stand up straight and not care what other people say. I hated being tall and would stoop to try and blend in. I wish I’d loved myself a bit more.
What do you like most about yourself?
I now like the fact I’m tall. I like my eyes/eyebrows and shoulders (random, I know).
Would you like to share a memory, or story about your body?
The only memory that sprang to mind when I read the question was something that happened when I was at school.
I was out clothes shopping with my mum and I was approached by a model talent spotter. The news got around my class at school and one of the boys said to me, ‘it’s only because you’re tall’. I had such low social confidence, I pretty much agreed with him. Something that should have made me feel great, ended up making me feel really shit.
Have you ever taken part in a nude photoshoot before?
No. Never, ever considered it.
What were your feelings before the photoshoot?
I think my overriding emotion was excitement. I had seen the FB post advertising the photoshoot and noticed that a friend of mine had already replied to it. I instantly knew I wanted to join the movement.
I’ve known my friend ffor a little over 18 months and she was one of the first and strongest friendships I made in the area. If you believe in fate, I think meeting her was. I find her truly inspiring. She’s real. Unlike many, she doesn’t hide the truth on social media and her honesty is like a breath of fresh air. I love the self development and wellness journey she is on and knew that sharing this experience with her would make it positive.
Of course, there were some nerves on the day, but once we got over that we had such a great time. We laughed a lot and truly loved it.
Are you comfortable with nudity, or did it take a lot of courage for you?
I’m pretty comfortable with nudity. We’re pretty free as a family around the house and I wouldn’t get nervous getting naked in front of a doctor, etc.
I guess getting naked in the great outdoors, with people you’ve never been naked in front of before made it a little more nerve wracking. Although, knowing I wouldn’t be judged, made the nerves less.
How does it feel to see yourself nude in these photos?
I feel incredible and so happy with the photos.
My friend and I were together when the photos started coming through that evening and we were so full of excitement, joy and happiness. It gave us such a buzz!
Normally, when you have your photos taken there might be one you like, a few you don’t mind and lots that you hate. Saffron managed to take an array of such fabulous shots. We liked all of them! We both looked so good and truly couldn’t stop smiling.
I love my body so much more and feel far more confident. When looking in a mirror, I now look for the parts of my body I like and have stopped being so critical about the bits I don’t. I listen to my husband when he compliments me and I hold my head a bit higher.
How do you feel about the experience overall?
The whole experience has been amazing. I would say it’s the best I’ve felt about my body and myself since my wedding day. Sharing the experience with my friend made it all the more special and it’s something I’ll never forget.
I’ve already recommended the experience to another friend. I would love her to feel as good about herself as I do now.
Interviewee wishes to remain anonymous