jenni, 31

I am currently 8 months pregnant with my first child and seeing my body change daily in some remarkable ways. I’ve been a hairstylist for the last 11 years and for the last year a Salon District Educator for 13 salons. I’ve never been what you’d call “skinny” and I’ve always been hyper aware of this and struggled a bit with my weight here and there, never feeling quite comfortable in my own skin. I’m a pretty introverted and shy person, which I absolutely hate, and not being comfortable with myself has only amplified this.  I’ve had a few of those moments in my life when I FINALLY felt “skinny”.  But I can honestly say 75% of it was a pretty dark time for me. One of those times in particular stand out pretty vividly to me when I was younger…gaining a bit of confidence and eventually more attention.  I was only 18, and having too much to drink, waking up with no clothes on, in a fog, and very sick… I wasn’t sure exactly what had happened but vaguely began to piece things together, slowly remembering blacking in and out a few times, and realizing exactly what had taken place. This was a very hard pill for me to swallow and even hard to say allowed to this very day. This entire situation was blamed on me…by everyone that knew…”you drank too much, you’re a cheater…how could you” all of the things you can imagine. I was made out to be this horrible person for a long time, and I believed it all which led to me struggling with a lot of anxiety. My husband, 10 years later, is the first person I actually really talked to about this. It took me a lot of years to love myself and accept this and realize it wasn’t my fault, I never consented…I was raped. The wonderful person my husband is, is continuously letting me know that I AM beautiful as my “raw” self and worth it in every single way. But this situation had a major impact on my own self confidence for many years and led me to continuously be aware of not being “skinny” and try to strive to be “worth” it. Then, fast forward to my career, I am surrounded by “beauty” every single day of my job and I work with some wildly gorgeous and strong women. It’s incredibly hard to NOT compare yourself to them. That little voice in your head constantly saying “if I could just change this…then I’d be ok with how I look.

I was photographed about 1.5years ago for the first time and went balls-to-the-wall with doing a Boudoir Shoot for my husband. In the beginning, this was quite possibly the most uncomfortable thing I had ever done. But one of the best experiences I have ever had. It was such an eye opening experience to see myself in even the slightest way that my husband does.

Being photographed this time was different however. That view that I was able to get a glimpse of has faded as my body is changing daily in every aspect while being pregnant. I wanted to see my natural beauty, especially after being in the beauty industry. I wanted to see the “real” me. I want to love my body and embrace it as it’s changing to grow a miracle and become a mother. I want my children to see me as a strong and confident woman. I want my child to love their body and to stand strong. My job is to try and empower my team, I wanted to feel empowered!

I was a bit nervous about what these pictures would look like with absolutely no makeup on naturally leading to a bit of anxiety. Makeup is a huge part of my career. But I always see pictures from these shoots and am always in awe of how beautiful those women looked. I wanted to be reminded of that.

I’d be lying if I said I was completely comfortable showing up for a photoshoot with no makeup on my face. It was almost as if my brain was saying “ok your hair is done, it’s time for someone to do a makeup application.” But everyone was so genuine and relaxed that I actually forgot about makeup by the time Trish was ready for me to begin. And Trish is such a down-to-earth “real” woman, that I was completely comfortable the entire time. She has a way to make you truly feel beautiful throughout the shoot.

I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting to see when I went to my Reveal. But I can say that the pictures were breathtaking. It never even crossed my mind that the women in the “For Real” shoots aren’t actually wearing makeup, I couldn’t imagine feeling that way…but I truly did. I honestly thought “this is me…at 31 years young…loving my career…about to have my first child…with absolutely no makeup on…I’m a badass! I AM beautiful like those women, inside and out!” A woman’s body is incredible and can do some amazing things. I am worth it.

This is such a wonderful eye-opening experience. I would highly recommend it.”