As I mentioned in my latest post (which you can read here), I had made a New Year's resolution to be comfortable in my own skin. And that resolution has shown up a little on here with my No Make-Up post, but I decided to actually sit down and tell y'all what it has meant to me and a little bit about why I made it.
I am obviously not the skinniest gal or the prettiest or the most athletic. I would never be voted most popular or prom queen. I have never been any of that. And now I am okay with that. There was a time, once (not) long ago, that I did want to be one of those girls. I wanted to have the designer clothes or be in with the newest styles, but there was no way my mother and I could afford it. At the time, it was hard for me to accept that. Thankfully, I was brought to my knees in awe and humiliation. Senior year of high school I was blessed to have been welcomed into a loving and caring church family. My first really solid one. Sure, there were a couple of people who could afford the nice items and there were some who were like my situation, yet for one no one was treated differently. My senior year was my prom year, and as it got closer, I was told that I had to rely on my dad to buy my prom dress, which only meant one thing.
I would be searching in cheap shops and such or raiding older aunts closets.
Then something amazing happened, an older (not by much) woman and her mom offered me the best gift I could receive at that time. They wanted to buy my prom dress for my birthday. I can honestly tell you that I shed tears when they told me that. People who hadn't even known me a year were offering to buy my prom dress for me!
So the week before prom (because you know me and procrastination are like a solid pair), them, my mom and I went out early to hunt for that perfect dress. And boy, did it take some time. I had started slipping into the mindset that we were never going to find my dress, and I was near tears because prom is like THE event in every young teenage girls life! But then, it was spotted. A beautiful, sky blue one-shoulder floor length prom dress. To this day, I can't even recall who spotted it, but even when I look at it now, I still get so excited and humbled. From there, it was just a matter of trying it on, getting the fittings and paying for it. They surprised me though. I just thought I was getting the dress, but instead we continued our shopping adventure and they proceeded to purchase shoes, a purse and one other item for me. And on that prom night, with my hair styled, my make-up done and my nails on, I actually felt beautiful.
Anyway, the point of this long drawn out story is all pointing back to one person: God.
How you may ask?
Simple. At the end of that lengthy blast from the past, I tell y'all that I felt beautiful when it reality, I didn't need the fancy dress, the make-up, the high heels or the purse to be beautiful.
In the Bible, Psalm 139:14 it says "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
Say that with me now. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Now for everyone out there who doesn't quite get that verse, it is telling you that God created each of us so uniquely, and each of us is beautiful. (Yeah, yeah I know that sounds cliche, but it's true!)
We are literally created in God's image and last time I checked, this is the same God who created beautiful landscapes and wide open spaces. He doesn't make junk.
Back to my 2015 New Year's Resolution though. I had struggled a lot with my body image the past couple of years, but then again what teenage girl doesn't/didn't? I wasn't the perfect weight, I didn't have abs or my thighs weren't toned, my acne started acting up. I was at the point that I struggled everyday, each morning as I got ready for class or work. I needed to be seen as pretty. I couldn't wear tank tops because my arm fat would show. Or skirts because my thighs weren't toned and pretty. I have horrible double chin when I actually laugh and I can't sit straight so I am always hunched over.
Then a couple of pretty neat things happened. I stopped. I prayed. And I listened.
Something as simple yet powerful.
Now, after everything, I gladly sport a tank top or skirt. Or a strapless maxi. Because I was made in God's image. I am exactly how he wants me to be.
I type this all out to you because I want y'all to understand, whether you're struggling with your own image, you have a younger sister who is coming towards that age, or a niece or a friend, whoever it is. Being comfortable in your own skin and being yourself is perfectly acceptable. Sure today's society doesn't quite enjoy when girls don't wear tons of make-up or skimpy clothes, but I am part of a new generation. One that is changing the world a little at a time.
Let that be your daily reminder.
Until next time,
June 21st, 2015.
Otherwise, an unimportant date. It's just a day of the month.... Wrong! Saturday, June 21st, 2015 is when we are officially in the summer solstice. (Shout-out to my geography class for teaching me that. Have some edutainment kids). The summer solstice is basically when the sun hits the northernmost point of the equator.
And yes, I know summer actually starts earlier when students get out of school, but I'm hoping that with this date coming up very soon and passing, it'll give a sign to the weather to stop being so bipolar and give us some good old-fashioned sunshine. I figured to give more good juju, I would put on some summer outfits and rock it.
Fun fact: It was actually lightly sprinkling when we started then it opened up to glorious sun. A sign perhaps?
For most of the past summers, on my off days, or when I don't have to be in uniform, I would proudly sport work-out shorts and tanks just because I didn't feel like actually getting dressed. One of my New Year's resolutions this past year (Ha. Surprise! I actually do make resolutions... Cliche I know.), was to actually put effort into how I looked or how other people saw me. Add that with being comfortable in my own skin (something I struggle immensely with), and I definitely handed myself a tough task.
So this summer, I vowed to actually look... cute? No... Presentable is a nice word. I wanted to look nice, be comfortable in my body but still be able to stand the heat.
Which is where these two outfits come in. Yes, I realize heels aren't the most presentable shoes in summer, but they are so cute and comfy.
One of my favorite moments on this particular shoot, we went to a new spot where the monthly art walk is usually held and walked down different streets and I got to actually take in the beauty that was once downtown Corpus.
My advice for you (besides the obvious wear what makes you happy!), take time and go actually explore your city. We never would have found some of these spots if we hadn't gotten bored with the typical photo spots.
Until next time my lovelies,
Cardigan: Good Catch Fringe Cardigan (sold-out)
Tank: Old Navy's Stretch Cami
Skirt: Red/Black High-Waisted Bubble Skirt (similar)
Heels: DexFlex Comfort (similar)
Sunglasses: Subsidy Wayfarers
Shirt: Pink by Victoria Secret
Shoes: Montego Bay Club Gladiator Sandals (similar)
Shorts: Celebrity Pink Lace-Trimmed Shorts
All the photo credit goes towards my beautiful best friend, Felicia DeMartino, who puts up with me waking her up early on her off days so we can go shoot:)
"If it scares you, it might be a good thing..."