Self-Esteem is a complex subject, especially for women. In a society where virtually every form of media is telling us we need to change our looks and ourselves to become some preconceived idea of perfect, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy sense of self. For those that have been the victims of domestic abuse, the struggle is exponentially harder. Whether your abuse has been emotional, sexual, physical, or some horrifying combination therein, finding the confidence to get out can be crippling. The abuse tears you down into a shell of your former self and that damage can last well after the relationship is over. Once you have made that brave and terrifying step into the light, getting back to any sense of who you used to be can seem impossible. Support from friends, family, and trained professionals is crucial but the real strength must come from within. Finding the things that make you feel confident in yourself is paramount. Whether it's the joy of being an amazing mom, supporting others in your community, taking up yoga, creating art, or even silly little things like rocking a new outfit or a new pair of shoes; every tiny bit of self-care is a boost in confidence and a step back to your best self.
When I host boudoir days, the focus is on my clients. Yes, the photos are often gifts for their significant others but the real gift is that moment when a woman sees herself in the mirror and I see that little smile and glint in her eyes. That "Damn, I look good!" moment. When the photos come back and I hear the confidence come from these women, it is truly uplifting. Those comments of "I didn't think I could look so sexy!" and "I look FIERCE! Thank you!" are what these days are all about. We have a great group of professional women who come together to lift up other women. We are here for each other. We vent, we laugh, we primp and pamper and photograph. By the end of the day, every one of us is better for it. I wish that everyone could experience this sense of community and empowerment.
I know the sessions come at a cost, as we are all business women, supporting ourselves and our children with our creative careers, but in the end, it is not really about the money. It's about supporting each other in any way we can. This is why we will be gifting a complete boudoir session, including full hair and makeup and a relaxing massage, to a local domestic abuse survivor. In the grand scheme of life, it is a small gesture but I hope it will have a big impact and not only help her move onward and upward for herself and her children but also raise awareness of this all too frequent issue in our society. In the US alone, one in four women will become a victim of violent domestic abuse in her lifetime. If you include psychological and sexual abuse, the statistics are even more startling at nearly half of us having experienced some form of abuse from someone who was supposed to love us. Every 9 seconds another woman has her life and her confidence in herself changed forever.
I for one will be doing everything in my power to bring that confidence back.
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