We all have those days when we look in the mirror and don’t like what we see. Maybe our hair is a mess, or we have a breakout. Whatever it is, it can really bring our whole day down. But for some of us, that feeling never goes away. We constantly see ourselves as flawed, no matter how much others tell us we’re beautiful.
That’s why I’m so proud to share photos of Miss T, who, despite battling Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), has just completed her SECOND boudoir session with me. She shares a little bit of what it was like for her before the session.
“I was incredibly anxious before my session – I had lots of talks with my therapist about it to prepare! My fear was I wouldn’t see what other people told me they saw. My body isn’t where I want it to be, but I’m not sure it will ever be. I was hypercritical of every single detail.“
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a mental disorder that causes us to fixate on our perceived flaws. We might spend hours in front of the mirror, picking at our skin or obsessively trying to style our hair. Or we might avoid mirrors altogether because we can’t stand to see ourselves.
BDD can make everyday activities, like going to work or school, very difficult. We might miss days or even weeks of school or work because we’re too anxious to leave the house. Or we might show up, but we’re so focused on our perceived flaws that we can’t concentrate on anything else.
Miss T talks about why she felt compelled to do a boudoir session, and I think these words are so courageous:
“I wanted to see if I could see myself the way other people did rather than through my own distorted lens.”
During the session, we worked within her comfort zone and tailored the experience as much as possible to make her feel supported.
“Shayna’s encouragement during the shoot was invaluable. She would take a picture and have such a wonderful, heartfelt reaction to it and would show you the image right away, which really helped make you feel you were making something beautiful.”
As women, we question our worth, which is something many of us do every day. With Miss T’s BDD, that’s amplified a million times over. But she’s fighting back and determined to see herself the way others do – as the beautiful, strong woman she is.
“As I left the studio, I felt beautiful. I kept taking selfies of myself and felt absolutely amazing – almost like a supermodel! “
During Miss T’s ordering session, she did struggle with her BDD perceptions when seeing the final images. But she faced it head-on, and we worked through choosing the photos that made her feel amazing.
“Honestly, there were a handful of pictures that were so incredible I felt like they could be in a magazine. The lighting and positioning were perfection! I felt so beautiful. “
I’m so incredibly proud and honored to be Miss T’s boudoir photographer. Her bravery, honesty, and vulnerability in sharing these photos and her story testify to what an amazing person she is.
If you’re struggling with BDD, please know that you are not alone. Reach out to a friend, family member, therapist, or any other support system you have. And if you’d like to discuss the possibility of a boudoir session to see yourself differently, I’d love to talk to you more.