Consider this my blog without a blog page. My page to tell you all about the raison d'etre of XOXO Alice. My WHY. I'll update with new thoughts and goodies from time to time, so be sure to check in occasionally.
Long post ahead, and a lot more personal than usual.
TW: pregnancy loss, chronic pain
Last week I was able to spend quality time with some of my favorite women. We spent 4 amazing days together for our Galentines gathering, and spent one of those days being in and taking photographs. I faced some fears and got vulnerable, and decided to practice what I preach... I got in front of the camera!
My full time job (and one of my life's passions) is helping women feel amazing through photography. Photography has been my full time job for nearly 15 years, and I've focused on photographing beauty and boudoir for women for the last 8 of those years. And yet, in that time, I've only had my boudoir portraits done twice! I have clients who come to see me once a year and are on their 5th and 6th sessions, and yet I've only put myself in their shoes 2 times! Clearly, I was overdue.
I'm at my heaviest weight. I haven't talked about it much here, but I've hard an incredibly hard two years personally with my health. I was diagnosed with a chronic pain disease called Trigeminal Neuralgia, I had to have foot surgery, and I suffered two losses/miscarriages. That is A LOT to deal with in two short years, and it left me feeling incredibly unsexy. I was focused on just making it through each day, and my feelings about my body and my sex appeal went to the very bottom of the list. I made it through and am starting to see the other side of things with the support of my INCREDIBLE husband, family and friends.
When your body becomes nothing but repeated pain and loss for two years, it is so easy to get lost in all of that. I don't fault myself for it. I did my best. But 2019 is going to be better, because it has to be. So, I made a decision last month. A new start to 2019. A way to say fuck you to this painful Trigeminal Neuralgia disease, and to learn to love my body again. I invited some of my best photographer friends to spend the weekend before Valentine's Day together. To talk, to laugh, to cry, to drink bourbon and play Miss PacMan, and to take some sexy photographs. And yeah... it was the best idea I've had in a year. What an incredible, rejuvenating, soul fulfilling time we had together.
The first image is a few of us together laughing it up and looking like sexy beasts, and the second image is one my ridiculously talented boudoir photographer friend Jackie took of me. I have a lot more favorites I'm looking forward to sharing, but didn't want to wait another minute before sharing a bit of my story and these images I love.
I would like to chat a bit about 'body positivity' and the body positivity movement. I think there is a general misconception that only 'curvy/plus-sized' women are allowed to belong to and identify with that movement. And although that may be where things started, the movement has grown to encompass so much more.
In my job, I have the honor of getting to know so many different women. These women come from all walks of life, have different skin tones, body shapes, ages, and sizes. And at the end of the day, nearly every woman who comes into my studio is dealing with some level of insecurity. They tell me their stories, their experiences with how others treat and view their bodies, and how that affect their own self-image.
Sometimes (all too often) women who are thin are teased or ridiculed for being 'too thin'. "Eat a sandwich" "Grow an ass" "Anorexic much?" and on and on are some of the hateful things they have to hear again and again. And you know what? It pisses me off! It brings out the same levels of frustration and anger that I get when people tell a bigger woman "Hey fat ass" "Look at the tub of lard" "Please go starve yourself" etc etc.
Guess what? It is never ok to comment on or critique another woman's body. You don't know her life, you don't know her health, and you don't get to assume she is in poor health or that she has some kind of disorder. A woman's body is her business, and hers alone. That is it. End of story. Full stop. If a woman has concerns about her body, she will talk to her doctor, not some random asshole shouting at her from the sidewalk while she is just trying to take a walk.
A* is the last of my 4K Giveaway clients to come in (I gave away 8 sessions in total), and her story really spoke to me. She has dealt with the bullies who think they know something about her, her health and her body. They made her fell less than... less sexy, less womanly, less worthy. And they were full of crap. This woman is GORGEOUS. And hot, and sexy, and beautiful. She is really stunning, from her piercing eyes, to her curves and down her long legs to the tips of her toes. It was my absolute honor to be able to use my camera and skills to show her exactly how beautiful she really is. And that those haters are just dead wrong. No one gets to decide how a woman should feel about her own body except that woman herself.
Ladies, love yourselves. Don't let society tell you that you are 'too'. Too fat, too thin, too short, too tall, too pale, too dark, too whatever. The only thing you is your gorgeous, worthy self.
I’m making a commitment to represent every woman. The bodies we see in the media are traditionally thin, white and young. I specialize in photographing women, and it’s a personal passion to show women who don’t fit the ‘thin, white, young’ mold they they are just as worthy of sexy photographs as any other woman. Do you not identify with any of those words? Or you do with one or two but definitely not all three?
Please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can tell you a little bit more about what I do for women in my studio.
Help me in my pursuit to make my website a showcase of diverse bodies. Help me show the world that all women are beautiful, even and especially when they don’t fit into the little boxes society tells them to. I have some specials available just for you.