DOES BEAUTY MATTER? 22 things you need to hear about your body and what you think of it...

As a beauty guru this is a pretty strange question to be asking but hear me out

One of my favorite things about being in my forties is my ability to care less and less what others think and start accepting myself for who I am (essentially---how many fucks do I give anymore..? If you're asking...not many!) I’m more comfortable than ever saying no to the things I don’t want, while embracing and making more time for the things I do want.

Along with becoming more confident in who I am as a person, I’ve also been working on improving my relationship with my body. A good friend of mine posted a not-so flattering picture of her mom tummy and went on to remind all that were viewing that our bodies don't define us, don't dictate our value and are the least interesting things about us. She is also a beauty guru that makes a living off of her online boutique and beauty business. I found this to be very honest and brave of her to show herself less than perfect, nay---vulnerable! As many people may likely view her to be (perfect). Because---in reality, we ALL show our best selves, our best angles, our best pics on our best days to look our BEST online. We curate our lives and our selves. But when we don't show our not so great days, our not so great angles--we forget to show others (or sometimes even mislead others) that we are in fact--NOT perfect. And that is an important message.

Society has programmed us to dislike the very vehicles that get us through the day and allow us to do the amazing things we love. And to be honest? It is not okay. We all have a responsibility to show our true selves (good and bad) to keep this world from everyone always feeling like they aren't (insert whatever word applies here) enough. We look in the mirror and we always see something we don't like about ourselves. Why do we do this? One reason is because we have been told what is beautiful and if each checkbox isn't checked, we must not be. When in reality, we all have our strengths and weaknesses (personally and physically). If we learn to just ACCEPT ourselves for all that we are, we can begin to start healing from all the times we have been unkind to ourselves by saying negative things about ourselves. I'm not gonna tell you that you have to love your body...I think that is one downfall of the body positivity movement...we are practically being shamed if we DON'T love our bodies now and that is a pretty hard pill to swallow when we have been told for so long that we shouldn't . It's going to take time to reprogram our brains and our children's brains and so on before we can all be Lizzo (and I have to wonder if she has her weak moments as well---we all do!). But if we can truly just learn to accept ourselves for who we are and find inner peace with our inner and outer beauty, we can learn to focus on the things that truly matter--our relationships, our connection to the earth, the impacts we can make, being still (this is a hard one for me!) and enjoying the moments the universe is offering us.

In my opinion, every body is beautiful. Yet, self doubt is all too common.

“Does this make me look fat?” is just another everyday question for some.

I don’t have the secret to body confidence, and I obviously have my moments of insecurity just like anyone else. I However, I really do hope that the below quotes help give you some peace of mind and start to provoke thought on your relationship with your own body. In an attempt to not just talk the talk, I'm going to walk the walk and show you my body, unedited (other than covering my lady parts) to show you I, too, am perfectly imperfect and am working on accepting the very same thing I am asking you to. We are ALL built so different. Is one wrong? Ugly? No. We truly are all beautiful AND imperfect and the sooner we can come to believe that and accept that, the sooner we can move on and enjoy our lives without the self hate. Our bodies have stories to tell. And those stories are our journey...and our journey is something we should cherish. So...this is like jumping off the diving board for the first time. I hope it gets more comfortable (although I promise, I won't be posting myself naked regularly) as I plan to stop hiding behind crops, edits and sucking in and just learning to love me for me. Imperfections and all. With that being kind back please...I know where I gain weight--in my tummy...not my favorite area. But it truly is the least most interesting thing about me and once you see it, we can all move on, right?

I know I am not the only one that gains this way---it is called an "apple" body type ...the part that hurts the most is when I am mistaken for preggo. I'm gonna say it again. My body is the LEAST most interesting thing about me. Let's all get through this together and STOP HIDING. Because that hiding is what causes all of us to feel shame if we don't look like all the shapes that boldly post their bodies, those shapes that we have come to believe are the only beautiful shapes....the only way to change this is to smile and be happy and proud of who we are and stop telling ourselves that our insecurites are more important than our strengths, our character, our hearts, our value. As a photographer, trust me. I hear it all the time. Can you Photoshop me skinny? Can you hide me behind the kids? And the worst of all? "I don't want to be in the photos with the kids until I 'lose the weight' ". Ladies---your children love and value and accept you as you are and I promise---when you are gone one day, they will CHERISH those photos and they won't give one single shit about the weight. Stop letting your insecurities put on us by society dictate how we live our lives. We ALL have value and we are ALL loved by someone...most importantly, we should be loved by ourselves. So look in that mirror and say "You are one Gorgeous Fucking Babe and SMILE and say "Fuck Off" to any of those negative thoughts you were about to throw in after that. No "But's, No "If only this one part was (fill in the blank here)....Just YOU ARE A GORGEOUS FUCKING BABE. Got it? Imperfections and all. You are imperfectly PERFECT or is it PERFECTLY imperfect?! Who cares! We ALL are ---let's give ourselves some grace and start embracing the moments and smacking ourselves every time we try to talk bad about ourselves....K?

Who's with me on this???

I know some of you might be thinking---How does all this translate to the fact that I work in the beauty industry? You're talking about inner beauty, but you SELL outer beauty!

It works that I believe whatever makes a women feel confident and beautiful, she should do. It works like when we feel beautiful (inside and out), we blossom like a butterfly...I'm here to help you find that inner and outer beauty...and some grace and acceptance along the way.

With all that said, I wanted to share with you 22 of the most awesome BODY POSITIVITY QUOTES YOU NEED TO HEAR RIGHT NOW below.

P.S. I designed the graphics below as IG posts, fb posts and phone backgrounds so feel free to download and use them on your own device and share or Pin to your Body Positivity / Self Love Pinterest Boards! Let's all promote body ACCEPTANCE. Boldly.

What is the most interesting thing about you? Comment below! Do you have a Body Positivity Comment you love? Share it below! (You have to log in at the bottom through your Google or Facebook before you can comment. That's only so the internet trolls cannot be too anonymous) ;) I look forward to getting to know more about you guys!