I Feel Pretty | Body Positivity | Self Love | RJS Field Trip

***Potential Spoiler Alerts***

The RJS Babe Club went on a field trip! We headed over to the Fox Berkshire theatre on Sunday afternoon to catch a showing of Amy Schumers new flick “I Feel Pretty.”

 

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This is a must see for every woman, despite their body type. Heralded as a film for curvy women, it actually touches on a well rounded idea of how women in general perceive themselves. 

As a boudoir photographer, I have worked with a myriad of women of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds. From size 0 to size 24. There is a common theme. All women have issues with their bodies. Our thin clients come in often as equally insecure as our curvy clients. So something tells me that the pervasiveness of this kind of self-loathing doesn’t have anything to do with how our bodies actually look. 

 

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Within the first 10 minutes of the movie, there is a haunting scene that made my eyes well up with tears. After seeing the initial introduction to Renee’s (Amy Schumer) life and the seemingly hot mess it was (classic Amy Schumer, yet still 100% relatable), we see Renee come home from work, stand in front of the mirror, and begin undressing. Removing her top revealed a taupe t-shirt bra (that looked a lot like the nursing bra I’ve worn for 2 years, can I get an Amen?), and as her skirt came down it showed one of those terrible pieces of shape wear- sucking everything in and redistributing the extra curves in places they weren’t meant to be. 

If you were paying attention, and looked at her eyes, as the camera focused on her gaze in the mirror…. I briefly saw my younger self, with a heartbreaking amount of disappointment, staring at a body I couldn’t learn to love, and struggled to change. That teeny moment in the movie carried the emotional precedent of the rest of the film. 

 

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My body hasn’t changed much since those days- where I stood in front of the mirror and cried over the body looking back at me that I didn’t recognize. But everything about my mindset changed. My journey to self love and self acceptance has been a long one. Until a friend of mine dropped a truth bomb on me that I’ve never forgotten. “You can’t take care of something you don’t love. So, how can we ever hope to change and reach weight-loss goals and feel good when we say terrible things to ourselves?”

Forgiveness. Seeking joy. Cultivating healthy relationships with strong women. Self talk. Reading and listening to inspirational women and their journeys to living the life they wanted. 

 

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After all, living an incredible life actually has very little to do with what we look like. We’re the only ones who think our appearances are worthy of obsessing over- no one else would put that first on the list of “10 most interesting facts about you.” They’ll talk about how kind and generous you are, and how funny you are and light up a room with your laugh, and how impactful your passions are on the lives of others. How great you are as a mom, wife, sister, daughter. 

 

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We are taught to place so much of our self worth on our exterior beauty. Women who would be considered “model material” actually suffer as a result of this. Their intellect is downplayed and they have assumptions foisted on them because others believe that life must be easier as a pretty person. Those things can be so isolating. Curvy girls are given messages of being not good enough. Plus size? For real? Like… since when is there Size and Plus Size. A size 20 is a size… just like a size 4 is a size. You see what I’m saying? For what reason does this distinction truly need to be made? 

Personally, I feel I’m in a position to think about this particular thing a little harder than others might need to. I am Limbo Sized. I fall right between Regular Size and Plus Size. Shopping can be a nightmare in my size range. So, the differences between the two, how they are designed and how they are displayed in stores, are a normal part of my clothing shopping experience.

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When Renee has her life changing moment… I cried. Like, tears rolling down my face. This is what I want for all women. A moment when they look in the mirror and believe that they are undeniably beautiful. The fact that Schumer’s character had not, in fact, changed was the movie’s way of reinforcing their overarching message that you are beautiful exactly as you are. The things she was able to achieve in the movie was all done because her MIND had changed. You do not need to fall off a Spin Class bike to experience this. It’s a choice. Choose to be a badass. 

 

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6 years ago I cancelled a coffee date with a hair and makeup artist I wanted to work with. You want to know why? I felt like I was too fat. That she wouldn’t think I was cool because I was a fat mom. I felt so bad about myself. About the fact that I passed up an opportunity to meet another creative. About what could have come of a friendship with her. 

 

Today I run a successful boudoir studio and by the time we have our 1 Year Studio Birthday in June (you all better come!!) I’ll have photographed 200 women since I decided to specialize in boudoir in early 2017- but guess what? I am no thinner than I was 6 years ago. 

So, next time you try to hold yourself back from ANYTHING because of the size of your jeans- stop yourself. Check yourself out in the mirror. And tell your sexy ass that you’ve got this. 

I’m not going to spoil the rest of the movie- but I did want to share my thoughts on these issues that resonate with my entire soul. It’s part of the message we want to spread in the studio- and I absolutely love Amy Shumers take on self love and body positivity. Take your best girlfriends. Go see it. Then TALK. Talk about how these things impacted you. And remind each other how amazing and gorgeous y’all are. 

Love you babes,

Rachel

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Rachel is a boudoir photographer living in the suburbs of Berks County with her fiancé and two boys. On weekends they love to visit the farms of Lancaster County for produce and flowers. Another shopping trip they love to make is into Lancaster City for the farmers market in downtown Lancaster. Iron Hill Brewery is their favorite restaurant to visit when in town. They love craft beer and good food. When they aren’t traveling to nearby counties, they are catching the local entertainment of West Reading for live music, wine crawls, and community events. They also have a puppy who looks like Petey from The Little Rascals. 
Kylie, our Hair & Makeup Artist, lives with her husband and two Australian Shepherds in Schuylkill County. When she isn’t in the studio, you can find her touring the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail, as well as trying out the local breweries like Hijynx and Fegley’s. An avid music fan, Kylie also enjoys attending Musikfest in Bethlehem each year. In her down time, she also likes to hike with her husband and pups, kayak, read, and do a little retail therapy at the Lehigh Valley Mall and the Promenade Shops in Saucon Valley.