True Blue Photography’s Blog

March 9, 2011

Self Esteem and Unrealistic Expectations…

I’m a 41 year old not so thin woman in the middle of Southern California – the land of the ‘perfect’ and ‘beautiful’ with pretty good to great self esteem. Not perfect but definitely up there. That wasn’t always the case but I’ve learned over time to celebrate who I am today regardless of the fact that I’d like to improve a few things. My fitness, be a healthier weight and I always have the desire to improve myself inside as well.  Sadly too many women (and men) do not have great or even good self esteem.

Glamour Magazine recently printed an article about how 97% of women are cruel to their bodies daily. Plus Size Models Unite reposted the article and expanded on it mentioning how model Filippa Hamilton feels that she was fired for not fitting into Ralph Lauren’s size 4 sample clothing. They then proceeded to photoshop her into a parody of herself for a magazine ad. This to me is not only shameless, it’s irresponsible.

How sad is it that we, as women, can be so full of self hate every day? I photograph women nearly every day of my life and am saddened by the lack of self esteem that I see in some of the beautiful women that come into my studio. I listen to the plethora of teenagers running through my home and cringe when I hear them verbalize their thoughts that they are fat, ugly or ‘insert other self depreciating comments here’.

I’m sure there are some parents that are to blame for being overly critical and even mean in not raising their children to love themselves but I really blame the media for fueling the fire for constantly shoving image after image down our collective throats of models and actresses that have been literally photoshopped into something that is completely unrealistic and unobtainable.

All women (and men) are beautiful no matter if they are extra small, medium, large, extra-large, 5xl and beyond. Confidence and good self esteem is sexy at ANY size. I tell people that all of the time because I do see so many plus sized ladies in my business and it’s the truth. I don’t think you can effectively do what I do if you don’t believe that with all of your heart.

We need to start rejecting unrealistic images in the media and know in our heads and hearts that they are nothing but smoke, mirrors and photoshop. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-photoshop. I use it every day. Usually to clean up acne and other small things in images that will be gone in a week or so. And yes, even a bit more when warranted.  I’m able to do so little photoshop work on my client’s images because I am VERY good at posing for the most flattering image of a woman with any body type. I think it’s very important for my clients to see how beautiful they are without the photoshop illusion. We can’t photoshop our own bodies while we walk down the street after all. If I could do that, I’d be a gazillionaire. LOL

So…what are we going to do about the 97% of women that are cruel to their bodies daily? We need to see the images in magazines and other media as the illusions that they are. Stop yourself from being mean or critical of others. Parents, other relatives and friends should not be telling their children and each other that they are too fat, too thin, unattractive as well as other negative things. It’s ok to tell someone that you’re concerned for their health but there is a way to get the message across without being harmful. Be sure to tell at least one person a day that they are pretty, cute, handsome or even beautiful. I think you’d be surprised to find that not only did you make someone’s day, you also contributed directly to them starting on a path of good, maybe even great self esteem. Don’t forget to remember… Confidence is sexy at ANY size!

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February 14, 2011

Love Stories at Salon Cheval…

Thayra Rothweiler, one of the stylists that works frequently in the studio also works at Salon Cheval in Whittier. She invited me to a photographic play date with the stylists there. The salon owner and stylists had decided on ‘Love Stories’ as the main theme and each of the stylists did different styling based on their individual themes. I had fun photographing styling and ideas from three different stylists.

Theme –  The Notebook

Styling by Thayra Rothweiler

Photographed in a crowded parking lot as the sun was setting.

Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash

Styling by Sheila Young

Photographed in a crowded parking lot after sunset. It was quite dark but some new led lights I picked up after convention did the trick.

Sid and Nancy

Styling by Jessica Cid Del Prado

Photographed after dark in a small loading doc with led lights.

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