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Her body is NOT normal.

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Her body is NOT normal.

A "Normal" Body

That's so weird. 

Have you ever really thought about what this word means? Normal.

I think when a lot of people think of the word normal, what definition they actually have attached to the word is the definition of the word true. 

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When we say things are normal like, “her body is normal” what the majority of people are thinking now, thanks to standards, media, and our obsession for perfection is…

"Her body is the reality of how we should all look. My body is not."

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In order for the woman on that magazine cover you see to encompass the reality of beauty you wish to withhold yourself to, that beauty can not be idealistic, going by the definition of reality.

So I ask you to ask yourself- are the beauty standards you hold yourself to normal? Are they true in the Universe? Are they reality?

Last definition, I promise.

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If you find yourself unrealistically aiming for perfection, get ready for your brain to hurt-

Full circle thought- All you want is to be normal, like her, but you're conforming to a standard of beauty that doesn't even exist in the realm of reality. It's idealistic. You're conforming to a "normal" that will never be. Which means, all along, YOU were already normal! YOUR body, not the one you see on the magazine cover that's fake, YOUR body was normal, and all this time you were too busy trying so god damn hard to make it normal, because that's what we all want, right?! to be "normal!?, that you became WEIRD!? Which probably scares the shit of out of you because the world tells you the last thing you want to be is weird! And now, that's exactly where you're at. 

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It is at this moment when your brain has a melt down. WHAT is NORMAL!? 
Your idea of normal needs to be shifted. What you THINK is typical and usual probably isn't. So you're aiming for something that true women aren't, which is hard to live up to. 

I honestly HATE conforming. I HATE thinking I'm expected or typical. I honestly may even go as far to say that I hate being classified as normal. It's so boring. But that should make you think...

What have you been conforming to this whole time? And what type of "normal" does it make you in all reality? 


Click here to read more of my thoughts on our bodies and how we portray our beauty

And here are my views on the beauty standards towards women

Here I talk about how pant size is just a number you should cut out of the conversation!

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my body transformation

my weight loss story

how I transformed my body in record time

We as women can be really, really hard on ourselves.
And when we’re down on ourselves our confidence crumbles.
Another thing that crumbles is the way we hold ourselves, and the way we see ourselves.

I’m here to tell you, of all things, please, do not let your confidence crumble.

I’m here to tell you to start standing up for yourself.

And here’s an amazing example why.

We had just got done rock climbing at Grand Ledge, a sport that I fell in love with 10 years ago. I HATE working out. But this isn’t working out. It’s fun, it’s an adventure, it’s a challenge, and… ok… it’s one hell of a work out, but not in a “I feel like I want to die” way!

After kicking some butt we went out to dinner on the way home.  A lot of dinner. With a beer. Oh, and dessert. A whole banana split, just for me.

When we got home I went in the bathroom to put my pjs on. I was exhausted. I took my shirt off, turned, and looked in the mirror… and then noticed… it was like my body had changed over night. 

  Why is the quality crappy? Because it was taken with my cell phone.  Why would a professional photographer try to prove a point with a cellphone?  Because we live in a world full of photoshop. I want to prove to you these images haven't been touched and they are in fact real. 

Why is the quality crappy? Because it was taken with my cell phone. 
Why would a professional photographer try to prove a point with a cellphone? 
Because we live in a world full of photoshop. I want to prove to you these images haven't been touched and they are in fact real. 

I knew right then and there things had to be different. This wasn’t me. This was not how I was used to my body looking. The image in front of me didn’t reflect how awesome I normally felt about my self.

That’s when I decided to make a change.

The image on the right shows the new me. Someone confident. Someone more aware. Someone willing to take care of their body.

So what did I do?

I stood up for myself.

No, really. Like… I stood up.
I fixed my posture.

Yeah. I’m serious. These images are actually just 2 minutes apart from each other.

I learned an amazing fun fact from Jeni Vincent Yoga about a year ago. Your body should always feel centered and your “cup” (or your hip bones) should never tilt or “spill.” Do it. Roll your shoulders back, raise your head, and finally tilt your hips so, if they were a cup, they can’t spill anything out, and watch as your body morphs in to a healthier version of you. And I’m not talking healthy as in skinny, I’m talking- your body is SO thankful that you just balanced it that it’s going to reward you with a better version and shape of you.

What you can’t see in the left image is how much my back is arching, and how much my tailbone is pointing out, due to me sitting editing hours on end. I actually stand just like this out of habit because it’s comfortable. But that’s REALLY pushing my stomach out. So guess what, that dinner, and beer, and banana split is all at the front of my body. My boobs look pathetic because my shoulders have completely fallen into my body, my chest is closed in and cut off from the world. My face looks round because my neck is nonexistent. And my face looks tired because I’m not feeling confident, which is showing through my eyes and expression.

Once I realized this, and kinda look in horror wondering if that banana split MAY have been an even WORSE idea then I already knew it was, I stood up, for myself, and took a deep breath. Instantly my body felt more energized, and I obviously looked better, not because I was thinner, but because my body just clearly looked happier. 

Being centered is a HUGE deal in life. If you’ve never taken a yoga class, I REALLY urge you to. And PLEASE do it with Jeni. She’s amazing.

These are also areas I focus on and tweak for you during a session. Learning tricks like these and posing women for years has allowed me to easily see your best angle, before you even get in them. So if you're feeling uncomfortable and unconfident in front of the camera, it's ok, I'm here to help you find that balance. Trust me, not only does it look great, it feels great! 

And remember- tell yourself you are strong and beautiful, and then stand up for yourself, with great confidence.


 

Want to see more flattering tricks? Check out my blog on how to slim your face for photos in just a few easy steps. 

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embracing your inner skinny girl

It's the holidays. EVERYONE wants to take your photo, they want a family photo, they want the WHOLE family in the photo. You can't get out of it. And you don't want to be in front of the camera because you never look good, right?
I'm not assuming this about you, it's just what I'm told by you over, and over, and over again. 
"I look bad, I look old, I have 3 chins, I'm too fat."
Lies. 
I'm sorry, but even the littlest of girls have an inner fat girl. Even the youngest among us have creases and skin that moves. We're human. That's how bodies work. I'm pretty petite and I'll tell you what, catch me when I'm not looking and I can sprout jowls, 2 chins, and all kinds of neck rolls. 
Don't believe me? Let me show you. 

And while you look at all my imperfections see how I teach YOU how to avoid it all!

You don't need awesome light, and you don't need to lose 20 pounds. You just need to be aware of your body! Every session I do I spend time to make sure every pose my beautiful ladies get into flatters them, because I'm not relying on photoshop to turn them in to someone they aren't. I just need to help them move their body in a way that says, "I'm confident, I look good, watch me work."
The following photos were taken with my cell phone in my bathroom. Nothing fancy. 
They were NOT edited (only background stuff was removed.) The quality is below average because I want to show you what REAL life looks like, and what SIMPLE tricks can be done to make a HUGE difference in real life without a professional posing you. I have my girls tell me all the time when looking at their final photos- "Oh my gosh- photoshop does wonders!" No... NO! This is YOUR body, just like it is EVERY DAY, just being demanded by me to look it's best for you.
Now it's your turn to demand it.

 When we're comfortable we tend to sink in to our own bodies. Our shoulders curl in, our chins drop, and our necks relax. Yay for several chins and a sleepy looking face.  Now- roll your shoulders back, make your neck tall, and pop that chin out. You look more vibrant, younger, and better posture will give you better confidence. Try it!

When we're comfortable we tend to sink in to our own bodies. Our shoulders curl in, our chins drop, and our necks relax. Yay for several chins and a sleepy looking face. 
Now- roll your shoulders back, make your neck tall, and pop that chin out. You look more vibrant, younger, and better posture will give you better confidence. Try it!

 Oh- you're comfortable? Good for you and YAY for neck rolls! Now- elongate the neck and stick your chin down. Good. Instant slimming. 

Oh- you're comfortable? Good for you and YAY for neck rolls!
Now- elongate the neck and stick your chin down. Good. Instant slimming. 

 Hey, what's down there? Are you reading, are you just sitting? Are you comfortable? Good, because everyone else is wondering- Jesus, with those jowls did you fall asleep and not wake up for 10 years!? Make that neck long and pop that chin! Instant facelift! Hold your head high- literally and figuratively! It looks good on you!

Hey, what's down there? Are you reading, are you just sitting? Are you comfortable? Good, because everyone else is wondering- Jesus, with those jowls did you fall asleep and not wake up for 10 years!? Make that neck long and pop that chin! Instant facelift! Hold your head high- literally and figuratively! It looks good on you!

Know your body, be confident, and hold your head high. 


Want to see more tips and tricks on how to slim down your whole body? Check out my body transformation story and how I changed my appearance almost instantly!

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Cut the tags out- knowing your self worth as a woman and not a number

A couple days ago I stumbled across this post on my facebook newsfeed, which I quickly shared to my personal page. 

 Found on facebook- original source unknown

Found on facebook- original source unknown

I paired it with my thoughts that were similar to "this is really stupid for a lot of reasons." Mostly because I felt as though this chart was completely unrealistic on every level. 

I got A LOT of feedback. 

Things like-

"And what the hell were they thinking when they added ZERO as a size? Are we supposed to aim for invisibility?!"

" ...Even at a size 12 I never had the flat tummy that this image shows. But, I also know my worth and it has nothing to do with my pants size nor the number on the scale. ...I've struggled with my body image for years until I realized I was more than just a body. I'm witty, well read, an amazing cook/baker and driven woman which is something a number on a label or scale is never going to say."

and lastly-

"Cut the tags out..."

And then it hit me.  We, as a society, as women, as individuals need to cut the tags out. 


So I ask you- When you're no longer a number, what are you?
I want you ALL to answer that question in the comments below for me. 
Because you owe it to yourself to know, to maybe brag a little, be proud, and most importantly, let other women know you're living outside the number society has pinned on you, and they can too. 

Who are you when you cut the tags out?


I'll start...

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When I cut the tags out I'm left with being an artist. I frequently live my life dirty. Paint, dirt, dust, grease, sawdust...  I'm an explorer, a writer, a builder, and a damn hard worker. I will keep up with the boys. I will drink beer with the boys. I will shop with the girls but I refuse to get my nails done because they will end up destroyed at soon as I get home. I have a farmer's tan and yes I own a baby tractor. My closet consists mostly of super cheap clothes because I don't understand name brands. My hairdresser informed me that my husband and I have the same haircut, and I'm ok with that, because my hubby is super hot, so maybe that makes me super hot too. I have no clue how to be sexy, it makes me uncomfortable and giggly. I'm confident because my mom taught me to be proud of who I am and urged me to be different. And that had nothing to do with tags. Cut them out. 

And as I said before in The Revolution about societies standards on women ...

Fuck your beauty standards

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Port Huron, Michigan Photographer specializing in the beauty of women- ajbc photography

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