I’d like to say I’m a pretty secure person. For me personal growth looks like saying goodbye to old habits and realising certain things aren’t important. If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll should by now know exactly how I feel about beauty standards. They’re bullshit. After all, there’s more than one way to be beautiful.
Despite this being my way of thinking, I do get insecure from time to time. This is for too many reasons to list. But ultimately, I think it’s normal. The most securest of people have their down days too. I just think as somebody who struggles with her mental health my down days seem to be more frequent unfortunately.
I recently started thinking about all the time I wasted growing up worrying about how I looked. Whenever I start to feel bad about my appearance, I try remind myself that it’s literally a waste of time. These things don’t matter; my wellbeing is more important for example.
Earlier this year, I was fed up of feeling this way and decided to actively do things to combat this. I dyed my hair a new and bright colour, you can read about how that helped me mentally here. In addition to that, I’ve done a couple of shoots with the lovely Kaye as well. Here’s why they’ve done wonders for my self esteem.
It’s something different
First of all, it’s something different. Trying new things is definitely a form of self care for me. I’ve never been that comfortable in front of a lens. When I worked in the film/tv industry, it was always behind the camera. It took months of encouragement to start a YouTube channel. So, the thought of having professional images taken in public pretty much terrified me. However, I made myself persevere and I’m so glad I did! I definitely felt more comfortable the second time around, which was a indication of personal growth.
It helped me embrace things I didn’t necessarily like about myself
I have never been somebody who can smile on command. If I’m not feeling it, I can’t fake it. In addition to that, I reckon I probably also have a bit of a resting bitch face too. It’s been something that I was teased about all throughout school. I was an easy target, people would pick on me because I was some weird miserable loner. The irony is I’d never get happier if they continued, but I digress. The point is it’s something I’ve been aware of and something that’s bothered me my entire life.
Having my photograph taken has helped me embrace this and even start to like my face again. I guess seeing professionally shot images showed me that it’s part of what makes me, me. It also helps having a wonderfully supportive photographer like Kaye too, which brings me to my next point.
It was a much better experience than past photoshoots
Back in May, you might have seen me tweet about a photoshoot from hell. I was feeling pretty good about myself for trying something new, but it turned out to be a disaster. It may sound dramatic, but it did kind of put me off doing something like this again. I’m not a model or particularly comfortable in front of a camera anyway, so this was a big deal to me. Shooting with Kaye was a completely different experience though. It’s really relaxed, actually fun and super empowering! You’re just chatting to a mate who captures some awesome portraits of you. She definitely helped boost my self esteem and I love working with her.
It’s reminded me that beauty really does come in all forms
Since working with Kaye, I’ve been keeping up with her work in general. Her Instagram is one of my faves and it was her shoot with Sian that actually made me book her in the first place. Not only is her feed super inspiring, it’s an active reminder that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes! It’s also pretty cool seeing photos of me on there too.
These are all things I already know, of course. But it’s nice to be reminded, isn’t it? It’s hard not to beat yourself up sometimes. Now, I always have these images as a reminder that I am beautiful in my own way.
Photography by Kaye Ford