Take control of your self-image

Originally written for The Beach Psychotherapy in Toronto

We never see ourselves the way we really are. And that could be okay if we didn’t have a tendency to turn towards negative feelings about our own image. Let’s be real, rare are the people who don’t fall into self-criticism.

Three years ago when we started Scandaleuse Photography, we didn’t know how much we would help women struggling with their self-perception. Women that can’t stand looking in the mirror and end up avoiding them at all costs. Women who think they are never good enough or who got their self-respect stolen from them. Women who feel stuck, who lack the amazing feeling of accomplishment that gives you butterflies and the motivation to keep growing and improving.

Because the relationship you have with yourself starts on the physical aspect and can impact everything else in your life.

Your femininity is a source of positive energy you need to tap into.

 
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First things first: you are not alone. At least 1 out 5 Canadian women are not happy with the way they look. That is huge. There is a certain pressure society lays out for us that implies, or rather screams at us, that the definition of beauty is to be thin and flawless. Seeing this very day, It is very difficult not to compare yourself to these standards and feel miserable if you think you don’t match them.

You are your best ally and your worst enemy. Getting in touch with yourself is essential for a positive mind growth and it starts with celebrating your own kind of beauty and femininity, your way.

That’s right, your version of being feminine. Because there isn’t just one perfect way, you can twist it and morph it making it your own.

Let us tell you a little story. When we photographed Lea, she told us she refused to see herself as attractive. She could see it through her partners’ eyes, but couldn’t believe it from her own perspective. Through her session, she finally managed to see that she was beautiful with every aspect of her body. Things she had considered “flaws” such as, “her asymmetrical breasts, soft belly, cellulite and hair”

Sometimes you need to see yourself from another pair of eyes to ditch the distorted image you have of yourself.

If you have one day in which you feel even a tiny bit good about yourself, channel it 500% and use it as a constant strength. Because while we all have moments when we feel not so good about ourselves, we also have days when, hey, we’re actually okay. It could be as simple as having a good hair day or a little success like changed that light bulb that had been burnt out for months. Take this feeling, hold it tight and nurture the hell out of it.

Take Katie as an example, a lovely woman with a physical disability. She decided to not let this get it the way and to celebrate her true self. It started slowly, one step at a time with a better diet and focusing on improving her range of motion. She put herself on a good path, wanting to make of her goals come true: showing it to the world. That’s when she called us. She said it herself “I am ready to challenge what people expect. You are not invisible, you are worthy.”

 

If this speaks to you already, join us in our next event in Toronto!

 

What about when someone stole and damaged your self-love?

 
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This is Erica’s story. Erica suffered from the hatred of a man, a family member for years. While she managed to escape, it wasn’t without consequences: this experience completely destroyed her self-esteem. She told us she didn’t have control of her own image anymore. We met completely randomly and she gathered the courage to challenge herself with a boudoir session.

It wasn’t easy. We saw her shake, hesitate and even tear up but she did it. Posing in front of the lens made her realize that the qualities she was admiring in others were also part of her.

She was able to win back what she thought was gone forever and shout out to the whole world “I will never feel ashamed to be me anymore.”

This feeling of accomplishment is a great push to keep going, you end up craving it and you’ll do anything to keep creating and experiencing it.

The truth is: once you get the courage to show yourself and vulnerable in lingerie in front of “strangers”, you’re left with an empowering feeling of “I can do anything”.  Everyone needs to challenge themselves on different levels. It makes you want to keep going, it helps you grow and become more assertive, thus more confident. You end up creating a cycle of positive vibes which will lead you to move mountains.

Treat yourself like you would treat your best friend, because after all, YOU are your best friend. If there is one thing you need to take away from this post is that you only have one body and one mind; it’s YOURS to make use out of it.

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