Twenty seven year old Alyson scheduled her session with me before massive change blew into her life. She was not a mother, she wrote in an email, but enjoyed my photography and wanted to celebrate her body that she has been loving more and more as she grew wiser, older.
Alyson and her partner of 5 years were no longer together, she had lost her job, and yet amazingly she still kept her appointment with me. Her wisdom told her to celebrate herself, especially at this time. “I would love classy nudes, but not boudoir sexy,” she said. I became giddy as she showed me samples of work she really liked, because I liked it too. Then we got to work shooting.
I asked Alyson which part of her body she wholeheartedly struggles to love and one of her happiest moments in her life and she wrote:
“I struggle to whole heartedly love my hips and thighs. I constantly find myself wishing they were less round, a little longer, a little less ripply, etc. In a culture that worships the ‘thigh gap’ and where the largest size pants in many stores stop short at my knees – my body often feels lost in the shuffle.
The happiest times of my life thus far have been defined by times when I have been very in love; be it with another person, or a passion, or something within myself.
Thinking about happiness initially, my thoughts flooded to my five year relationship that has just ended. I felt that loving him encompassed all of the happiest times of my life, and potentially the only time that had really mattered. How quickly I had forgotten all of the other beautiful things this life had brought to me over the years that I had fallen fall head over heels in love with.
Dance, music, friendship, bravery, and family – the happiness in my life has been determined by the times that I have given myself over to the feeling these most meaningful things bring to me. “