WHAT KINDS OF THINGS WOULD YOU SAY TO YOUR FORMER SELF?
As you might imagine, being a boudoir photographer means I have a front-seat view of how hard women are on themselves and their bodies. It’s something that I’ve become even more keenly in tune with within the years that I have been doing boudoir…literally, no one is harder on you than YOU.
I get it. I’m not here to tell you that I spend all my time strutting my stuff singing Lizzo tunes…I have my days. But being behind the lens, photographing so many women with the same insecurities I have had, has given me a unique perspective on how we treat ourselves.
If I could talk to my younger self, there are so many things that I would want to say. But if I had to narrow it down to just a few things, these would be the most important things I want to communicate.
CELEBRATE WHERE YOU ARE
Have you ever looked at a photo of yourself from years ago and thought, “I had no idea how cute I was.” We are so much harder on ourselves than anyone else is. We see every little “imperfection,” magnifying it a million times in our minds.
So, first and foremost, I would tell my younger self to celebrate where she’s at. Every stage of life has its own beauty. So take a deep breath and remind yourself that you are exactly where you’re supposed to be. You’re doing just fine.
CELEBRATE THE ROAD NOT TAKEN (AND THE ONE YOU DID)
We can all point to times in our lives when something we did or said changed the course of our lives. Maybe it was saying no to the second date with the guy who had more red flags than Daytona 500, or maybe it was deciding to go to art school when your parents wanted you to be a doctor.
In hindsight, it’s easy to see how those choices led us to where we are today. But at the time, they were just choices. We had no idea what the future held. Some of them were good..some might not have been the best ideas. But, most of the time, a choice has some good outcomes…focus on that and see how you can reframe the narrative.
CELEBRATE WHAT YOUR BODY HAS GIVEN YOU
The human body is a fantastic thing. It’s strong, resilient, and capable of much more than we give it credit.
So often, we focus on what our bodies can’t do or how they don’t look like the air-brushed models in magazines. But if we take a step back, we can see how incredible our bodies really are.
Think about everything your body has helped you through- breakups, job losses, deaths, babies, moves…the list goes on and on. It’s been with you through everything, and it’s still here. So cut it some slack and show it some love.
STOP GIVING A DAMN ABOUT WHAT OTHERS THINK
This is probably the most important thing I could tell my younger self. We spend way too much time worrying about what others think of us. And guess what? Most of the time, they’re not even thinking about us. If you’re living your life according to someone else’s standards, you’re not really living.
What you think matters. What your friends and family think matters. But what random strangers on the street think? Not so much. So stop sweating the small stuff and make yourself happy first and foremost.
GIVE YOURSELF SOME GRACE
We are all human, and we all make mistakes. We’re going to screw up. We’re going to have bad days. And that’s OK. How you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep going matters.
So be gentle with yourself. Be patient. And most importantly, be kind. You deserve it.
Ready to celebrate yourself? I know I am..let’s chat.
ARE YOU READY FOR AN EXPERIENCE YOU'LL NEVER FORGET?
The 5th House Boudoir’s Dhiana Skrmetti is an intimate portrait photographer located in Gulfport, Mississippi– fifteen minutes west of Biloxi, one hour east of Mobile, AL, and an hour and a half away from New Orleans, LA. Her true mission in life is to help women feel empowered and let them see what we all see: a gorgeous powerhouse woman with a stardust soul.