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The pure feminine energy that burst through me was so freeing......

Updated: Feb 29

“That skirt looks fine but where is the rest of it?”

“Did you gain a little around the middle? Maybe it’s all that food you eat.”


“You are pretty for a thicker girl.”

“If you got your teeth fixed and lost weight you could do more with your life.”


Yes, those are all REAL things I have heard in my life. The nights I have spent with these words in my head wondering what I could do better. The hardest part is these weren’t said by strangers. I have always found that those words said by those closest to you hurt the most. Those words alone have stopped me from doing so many things. The sad part? These are things that were said to me starting when I was 5 years old. How can a 5-year-old digest why someone they love says such hateful words to them? They can’t. Unfortunately, these comments snowballed into an unhealthy body image.


Growing up as a thicker girl I have always noticed my friends were smaller. When it was time to go to the beach or to a friend’s house to swim, I wouldn’t show. It wasn’t because I didn’t want a day with my friends in the sun. I was because I was ashamed that my body looked that way. When I was 10 years old, I was invited to a sleepover with a couple of girls I wanted to be friends with so badly. I showed up and immediately regretted it. Somehow it turned into hazing and making the “fat” girl do it. To this day I hate wearing white tank tops, since I was told I looked like biscuits. I decided not to be friends with those girls because frankly, they sucked.


In August of 2022, I sat and looked in my mirror for a while. Contemplating my next move. All those voices were in my head. Those girls still laughing at me. All my visual failures to lose weight from my previous pregnancies. How could I do it…. Would I do it…. I mean me. I did. I decided to do something that honestly terrified me. Being on the Wildfire VIP Facebook group I have seen so many beautiful and empowering women post their amazing images from their boudoir photoshoots. I watched these women who were from all walks of life get into this beautiful and vulnerable state. These women share their stories. It was amazing, how beautifully boudoir photography captured each person's unique qualities. I decided I wanted this. I deserved this. I booked my first boudoir photoshoot!


In September, I decided I was going to attend the Purge Halloween group session. For weeks I planned and for weeks I kept fighting the urge to back out. I was scared I wouldn’t know how to pose, I wouldn’t look good in my clothes, and I wouldn’t like my body in my photos. It was a leap like I had never taken before. After a failed marriage, new marriage, and two kids that’s a big deal. This was something the younger me would have never done. So, I decided that day was all about self-care. I did my hair and my makeup which took me a while although I was going to be wearing a mask. I tried my outfit on over and over until it was time to leave. An hour car ride gives a person a lot of time to think and anticipate. Want to know something? I was anxious for ABSOLUTELY nothing!! All these amazing women were of all shapes and sizes. We didn’t know each other yet we all cheered each other on as Erika did her thing. It was so empowering! I left and a weight was lifted. I needed more of this feeling!



The images were amazing! I felt like a complete badass and wanted to get in the studio again as soon as I could. But wait it got even better….


My one-on-one boudoir photoshoot was different on so many levels. This was the first time where it was all about me. ME… it didn’t feel real. Being a mother, a full-time student, and running a household my days are filled with whatever the other person needs. Never just me. Upon arrival, I had my own VIP sign, and we began to talk makeup. The first time I have ever had professional makeup. Lindsey SLAYED it! I got to sit while I got my own personal glam. It was stunning! It was ME! It was beautiful!



The client closet has so many amazing options which I spent a while choosing. My advice? Wings are ALWAYS an amazing choice. Yes, you can pull them off!

Erika made me feel so comfortable. Not in the typical sense. We sat before we started, and she spoke about the studio being a safe space. In all senses of the word. She made me think about myself in a different light. In ways, I don’t think I have ever. How I was as a person has many different sides. I met a lot of my different sides and some I never knew I had.


The bed set for me just did something different. Yes, I was in lingerie. Yes, I was posing for pictures. The feeling though. The EMPOWERMENT.


Seeing my images brought me back to that feeling. The look in my eyes I had never seen before. This beautiful woman in these gorgeous images was me. That woman in these images was that little girl who was told early on she had to cover up. That woman has those same freckles that others told me to hide. The teeth I was told to get fixed. And the same heart that is beating in my chest. I am no longer that girl, I am that power goddess in these photos.


You know what? I want every single person to feel how I feel when I look at my images. We are all more than others’ opinions. We are all worthy.

You are worthy too.


-Harley


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