We recently celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary, and y’all, I suck at gifts for my husband. I basically gift lingerie for nearly everything because, I mean, I know he likes it, and it takes zero brain power for me to come up with a gift.
Meanwhile, he is SUCH a thoughtful gift-giver, that it honestly puts me to shame.
NOT THIS YEAR BOY!
I went all out (literally) for our gift this year because it is a landmark anniversary. I booked a boudoir photography session (link NSFW) for myself and will give him the gift of ME!
And while I know this means “I win” the best gift award this year, I had NO idea how much this session would positively impact my self-image.
My particular session started out with hair and makeup. The artist understood my vision of wanting to look like an idealized version of myself, without heavy makeup, and I wanted my hair to look the same. She was amazing. We laughed and giggled and she was incredibly complimentary of my skin and just generally made me feel pretty. I needed that bit of morale boost because I was nervous about the photoshoot.
My photographer helped me choose outfits (and non-outfits) for the shoot, and we got started. She had mood music going, and was so kind and made everything so easy! The shoot was MUCH more physically demanding that I thought it would be, and I was sore the next day from making my booty pop for an hour. And all those physical demands really do make you question just how sexy you looked while remembering to elongate your neck and point your toes and pop your tush and lengthen your torso.
Then she sent me my sneak peeks.
I didn’t realize they were me. Not because the makeup changed my face, or the lighting was so earth-shatteringly amazing that my mom-pooch vanished (although posing and lighting really are your bffs), but because I didn’t see myself in this way. I rarely identify myself as sexy or looking beautiful. I’ll get ready for a date and think “I look good” but not like “I’d do me”, ya know? This changed that. And then I realized what the true value of this session was to me:
I got to see myself as my husband sees me.
How many of us roll our eyes when our husbands tell us we’re beautiful standing over a pot of mac n cheese? How many of us shirk off their advances because we are sweaty from working in the yard and feel significantly less than beautiful? How many of us laugh off their eyebrow raise when they walk in on us in the shower? So much of that is because we are in our heads and hyper-critical of our bodies. We think they can’t possibly find us THAT attractive because of stretch marks/extra pounds/wrinkles/melasma/gray hair/new moles/saggy skin. But THEY DO!