I am Beautiful

…. I am Beautiful. I am Enough…

Cindy Meisch Photography Memphis area Photographer striving to make everyone feel Beautiful. www.cindypic.com

Cindy Meisch Photography Memphis area Photographer striving to make everyone feel Beautiful. www.cindypic.com

What is Beautiful to You?

An article went viral on Facebook about a Boudoir Photographer that was claiming that she received a letter from a clients husband after his wife’s photoshoot.  (If you care read it here)  I admit I read it and nodded my head. I even shared it on FB.  And then I started thinking about EVERY woman I have taken a photo of. 2 women contacted me this week for headshots and said “I need a headshot and I just want to warn you I don’t photograph well.”  As women we pick out a hundred flaws and a million excuses not to be photographed. Even a picture we once loved we no longer do because one person said something negative about it.

Why can’t we let everyone know they are beautiful in their own skin? I remember being in 8th grade and lying on my bed with a hanger or pliers trying to stuff my size 2 body into a size zero jeans and thinking I was fat. As a teen I should have been learning about how important nutrition, exercise and validating that I was enough for me. That being a teen means your body is going to change and to focus on seeing beauty inside yourself.  Dear God I hope I am teaching my daughter that!

Fast forward to 2002 and the start of infertility treatments that included 3 IVF’s.  Me, the person that felt like I was put on this earth to be a Mother was having trouble getting pregnant.  Hormones, comforting myself with food, successfully having 2 babies from IVF and 2 rounds of severe post partum depression and from 2002 when I maybe weighed 130 pounds to 2010 weighing over 200 pounds and those jeans in that image of me in the brown shirt are a size 22.

I am Beautiful… I am Enough

In 2011 many things had changed in my life. Yes, I had taken some hands on workshops with some of the best photographers in the business prior to 2011 but I still didn’t want to be personally photographed. Then I heard of this amazing photographer Sue Bryce. She is a Glamour Photographer and not only did she inspire my photography she inspired me personally. Working through my self worth as well as my photography.  Sue photographs so many women that after their session these women are tearing up because they feel so beautiful. I wanted that! Not only for myself but for every single woman, girl, person that stepped in front of my camera!  I feel like I am more than capable of making that happen as women thank me after seeing their portraits! I have a client I have photographed for the last 4 years and every time she sends me a card, emails and tells me when she sees me “Thank you for making me feel and look so beautiful!”

Owning my own Beauty

In 2011 was also the year I was diagnosed with Lupus… still on my pity train with a unsupportive doc I made Lupus my scapegoat to my weight problem.  2013 I switched doctors, I let my secret out and joined a local Lupus support group. I decided to change for me. So the last picture is me now. Exposed. I changed what I ate. Ended some toxic relationships. And now have a best friend who is amazing (Priscilla I love you more)  Earlier this month (and rumors almost a year ago) Selena Gomez confirmed she too has Lupus. When I saw her latest album cover I thought it was beautiful. I wanted to recreate it for me. It didn’t matter if anyone else would see it. Yes, I absolutely smoothed out my stretch marks and softened my laugh lines.  I do respect peoples wishes I will only go as far with Photoshop as you want me too. After all it was a photo session for me not a candid phone picture. It was ironic that shortly after this website questioned the viral article I mentioned above.

As women do we like it or care if our significant other or anyone thinks we are beautiful? We are women… I think it is the way we are wired. I recently went on a Photo walk with my friend Lana who also owns Sue’s online course. A new cycle of classes and participating in the weekly challenges was starting and we vowed this time we were going to do it. I have lost over 100 pounds I wear a size 2 and I feel beautiful. I did my hair and make up and grabbed my shutter remote to capture these images. Not having enough courage to expose myself to someone else.  So almost 4 days went by and I had these images. I called my best friend and said “hey, I am going to text you this pic. Can you make sure you’re alone when you open it and then call me back” When she called me back she was crying for me.  I guess I still needed the validation.

Yes I am Beautiful for me and that is enough.



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