This is Amber and she is the first amazing woman from our new series about the thoughts and feelings women go through during their pin up experience. We want you to know that you are not alone. These brave women are sharing their inner thoughts and hope we inspire you to accept yourself. Even if its only for moments at a time. My questions are followed by Amber's answers in italics.
BEFORE YOUR PHOTO SHOOT
Before you met me, what did you see when you looked at yourself in the mirror?
A short, chubby, slightly damaged exterior, thirty something mom of two who needed a "pick me up".
What life experiences affected how you saw yourself?
Having children, battling breast cancer and just the everyday rigmarole of a busy life.
What did you like when you saw your reflection or photos of yourself?
I liked my eyes, my long nose, my dimples.
What parts of your body were you self-conscious about/worried about/insecure about?
My arms, legs, skin, my extra weight and some of my smiles/facial expressions, teeth.
How did the things you disliked affect your self-esteem?
It affected my sex life with the man I had been with for years, it affected an occasional night out with friends, it affected how I shopped for clothes, my diet was up and down, I was never able to take compliments well about those things I disliked. I would always shoot compliments down when they would say something positive in regards to those things. I would get angry at myself and get emotional.
On a scale of 1-10 (10 being awesome) where did your self-esteem fall?
Please describe if any of this affected other aspects of your life?
I took the negative thoughts about myself and put them on others as in a way of trying to make myself feel better. I look back wince at that petty, catty, jealous, ridiculousness. It's embarrassing.
What made you want to work with me?
Your Write To Empower project.
Were you nervous? If so, what were you worried about?
Yes, quite nervous. I was worried about unleashing a part of me that has probably always been there waiting to just step out.
DURING YOUR PHOTO SHOOT
How did you feel when you met me?
I was excited. I was put at ease right away by your tone of voice, your smile and your endearing nature.
How did you feel while choosing outfits your getting your hair and makeup done?
The outfit choosing made me really nervous and a little shy. I mean, I enjoy wearing little to no clothing, BUT, in the privacy of my own home. I loved getting my hair and makeup done.
What thoughts went through your mind the first time you saw your reflection as a pin up?
This is is exactly what came out of my mouth, "HAHAHAHAHAHA! Holy S***!".
The first time you saw a photo of yourself in the back of the camera?
I giggled. Shook my head in disbelief.
Did you feel a change come over yourself during the photo shoot?
I let myself go and giggled while wearing my underwear, in front of other people. That's huge for me.
AFTER YOUR PHOTO SHOOT
How did you feel when you left the studio?
I felt happy, free and beautiful.
Did anyone else comment on a change in you?
No, not really, but, my family and friends loved the pictures.
Was it wonderful or difficult seeing yourself at your premiere?
Both. I cried a lot. I was really hard on myself for too long.
After your premiere on a scale of 1-10 (ten being awesome) where was your self esteem?
How has the experience of doing pin up photos impacted your life in a lasting way?
The experience was freeing and allowed me to take that "RAWR" I've always had on the inside and bring it to the surface.
What do you see when you look in the mirror today?
A short, silly, sexy, chubby, full of life thirty something mother of two who smiles a little more at herself when she looks in the mirror.
What was your favorite image?
I liked the Fairy Print. My favorite part of it was my facial expression and my legs. It feels like a part of me was liberated when I look at the picture. A sense of confidence shines through.
On a scale of 1-10 (10 being awesome) where is your self-esteem today?
At this very moment, a solid 8.
What advice would you give someone who is questioning their beauty and self-worth?
My advice would be to stop wasting your time on questioning and just live your beauty and self worth out loud. Be proud of whatever it is that makes you the person you are.