What would the world look like if we stopped searching for validation in how beautiful we thought we were compared to other women? Let me tell you a little story about how I came to the realization that comparing myself to others was taking away from the beauty I already had within myself and needed to appreciate.
These photos were taken on a Saturday morning. I had an appointment with my photographer to shoot at 11 a.m., but I totally forgot, and somehow forgot to sync my calendar to my phone. I had just finished my morning coffee at 10:30 when I got a text from my photographer saying, “Hey, I am here a little early! Should I come up?” I scrambled. I was naked in a robe, hair messy from the day before, my teeth weren’t even brushed, and don’t even think for a second that I had a drop of makeup on. By the time my photographer had made her way up to my apartment, I managed to throw some water on my hair and brush my teeth, and then I answered the door with foundation dots all over my face that needed to be blended. “I totally forgot we were shooting today!” I blurted to her. I’ve never gotten ready so fast for a blog shoot in my life….because, well, time is money, honey! Typically, I would allow myself an hour and a half to do my hair, a full face of make up, and plan out the looks I wanted to shoot. But I had less than 20 minutes to pull everything together. I traded my go-to smokey eye and complex contouring routine for a swipe of bronzer on my cheeks and my eyelids, threw on this Adriana Lace Bralette and panty set in Mulberry from Parfait Lingerie, and we got to shooting.
When I got the photos from my photographer this week, I flipped. I never would have thought that the photos would be good if I didn’t have my mastered make up routine, perfectly curled hair, or freshly shaved skin. I texted my photographer in disbelief, “Is this really me?” She quickly responded, “It’s all you!”
I never felt more beautiful in my life than I did the second I looked at these photos. I then realized that the contouring, shaving, and tousled curls didn’t make or break me. I was myself. I adapted quickly to a situation, turned on my confidence, and Natalie shined through—regardless of the circumstances. But in that moment of snapping photos and rushing to get some makeup on, I felt sloppy, unprepared, and unworthy. When I saw these photos, I tried to think back to what I did for the rest of the day…because I looked HOT! And now, instead of beating myself up when I look in the mirror or when I am running late for something, I try to live in the moment, appreciate myself, and call myself radiant and beautiful. When I do that, I glow. And you absolutely can, too. Step out of chaos and doubts and step into your radiance! Appreciate your whole self in this moment.
P.S. I’m not denying that this sexy and supportive, wire free bralette and panty set turned my confidence level up a couple of notches! When you look good, you feel good!