Laura S.
Laura, 30

“I want all women to get to a place where they can realize they deserve to be kind to themselves, regardless of their story or history. I share my story to help others see what’s possible, but you don’t need a traumatic story or transformation to say ‘treat yo’self’! 🙂 

I’m a veterinarian from the west side of Michigan working with animals of all sizes. In the last 15 years, I had senior pictures and a few years ago was convinced to have boudoir photos taken. The boudoir photos were life altering a way that allowed me to feel sexy when I hadn’t before. It also felt fun and dolled-up, which was super exciting. 

The idea of being photographed face on with no make-up was very unnerving. As much as I love my freckles I’m also very self conscious of the shape of my face (I know, that’s silly) and the age that I look. As a young professional, I have to convince people everyday that I’m old enough to be respected (which is hard when you look like you’re maybe just out of a high school). While I don’t wear make-up regularly (because… I’m lazy), but I am constantly hyper aware of the way I look. 

I was super comfortable with both Trish and Michelle. They made it nice and fun (I was a tad cold though, haha.). When I viewed the photos, at first I was amazed, then the critical voice picked up and made me judge every little part of every photo. After I quieted that voice a little bit I was able to see how amazing the photos are and that is actually me!

What other women should know:
I am an adult survivor of childhood rape. At 12 years old I was raped by a father of a peer, and he told me that if I told anyone what “I had done” that nobody would ever love me. I turned that situation internal and spent the next 13 years being silent and hating every single thing about myself. Although I was able to succeed academically I actively worked to avoid dealing with any of my truths via any way I could and spent those years absolutely hating myself. I blamed myself, and my body. I fought any part of sensuality; I didn’t want to be seen. It wasn’t until I had a full breakdown at 25 that I even tried to heal. I ended up needing months of residential/full time mental health care for anorexia/PTSD/depression, and after 5 years of hard work I can now say I live life in recovery from those things. However living life in recovery doesn’t mean I don’t love my body or my looks, so that’s where this photo shoot was more challenging. It’s just me in the raw, and it’s not just about looking at myself in a physical aspect it’s also about looking at myself and accepting the full history of who I am and what got me here. I hope to get to a place where that is easier and these photos definitely help me see that beauty.”