Being a woman is an exercise in embracing self. Whether we like it or not, there are a thousand daily coercions which ply our image of ourselves. Beauty standards, feminine expectation, the opinions and actions of those around us — these are the forces which steal into our thoughts and make a home in our self-regard. But, you see, the greatest threat to our delight isn’t found in raised eyebrows, sizing charts, or despicable acts; it is found in the darkest corners of our minds. Those corners which choose worthlessness over the grace and uniquely human power of simply living well in our own skin, of embracing the tattered, beautiful mess that is self, and woman, and being. All at once.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Self-hatred, shame, feeling unworthy… these are the vampires of our existence: they have to be invited in. We permit them. Sometimes begrudgingly. But while they certainly need no invitation to make themselves comfortable, they do need room to fit through the door.
Block the threshold.
You cannot always prevent life and people from happening to you, but you do have a say in just how lovingly you carry your soul afterwards.
It is mighty and delicate. Be careful with it.
And when you cannot bear it gently, when pain and unworthiness wait by the door… know there is someone who wars quietly for you in the places you never knew to look. And their love is infinite. And their eyes are kind.
A word from photographer Coltt Vance:
“This simple boudoir shoot was focused on her and only her. I wanted to focus on her because she has been focusing on herself. Figuring out who she is as a person, celebrating herself through beautiful and soft imagery. We took inspiration from one thing: silk. She wanted to make the session flow, for it to be delicate, and for it showcase who she was.”