How do we empower women? Living life as a woman in the 2000’s can be fun, exuberant, exciting, tiring, trivial, difficult and sometimes downright crazy! Word. It is not just the 2000’s, 1900’s were the same. Women in general have had a difficult time making a path since the dawn of time. Women used to either be beautiful or ugly. Beautiful girls were shuffled off to do things that beautiful women do and the ugly girls were the smart ones, had jobs, etc. And no I am not stereotyping or profiling. That is just the way it was. Bullying was there in the old days too. The beauties were bullied for being too cute, no brains, sluts, etc. while the uglies were bullied for not wearing makeup, not having the hourglass figures, being a nerd, etc. Do you know what drives this shit? Feelings, inequality, hatred, love, fear, anger, and jealousy. Many of these bullying fits are initiated by another female who has feelings as described.

How can women expect things to change if we do nothing? Doing nothing causes a cycle of current events. If you want change, you cannot expect someone to make it happen, except for you. You are the one piece of the puzzle that is needed to propel forward. I do not care if you have money, are poor, under educated, over educated, gorgeous without makeup, fat, skinny, big curves, no curves, straight hair, curly hair… the list goes on. We ALL have insecurities from past issues. Everyone has them. It is okay. Everyone has anxiety about something. It is okay. You just have to find mechanisms to cope that are effective in meeting your goal.

Speaking of goal. My goal is empower as many women as I can through the power of my words and photography. I never felt empowered except for a few situations. Look growing up is different for everyone and I am no different. You shouldn’t judge. People look at me now and think privileged, lucky, easy living, etc. That is far from where I started. I was the 4th child of a car salesman who was 10 years younger than my youngest brother. So pretty much everyone was grown and gone by the time I knew what the eff was going on. My parents were not expecting me and that is okay. We were poor. My dad worked nonstop and my mom worked jobs too, like being a butcher, sales lady at a shop while I was growing up. I spent most of my time dancing, singing, playing make believe, getting in trouble with my neighborhood friends. Mom and pop split and my mom moved 2 hours away to be able to afford a place to stay. I had to stay with my dad. The story goes on. I do not mean to bore. Mom died when I was fifteen and my whole world shifted. I had no compass, my dad withdrew, my stepmom did the same and my siblings all lived in other places far from me. I was a kid making my way. Nothing and I mean nothing was handed to me. I worked at the grocery store, at a pizza parlor, sales associate at a mall store and waitressed. All the while growing up with my own children. Debt, credit, groceries, food stamps, school, working two jobs, president of the PTC, while going to school to be a nurse.

Okay… so you get the point. I worked my ass off, had bad relationships, had kiddo’s as a late teen, had so much debt from all of it I could barely breathe. Then one day I made a decision. I decided that I couldn’t love others if I didn’t love myself fully. I decided I would choose a goal and I would stay on it. Also realize that other things in life do not stop while we are choosing and working towards goals. Kids need help, parents get sick, work happens, babysitting dues go up, shifts at work go down… you know what I mean. I had different women in my life help me and lifted me up. They had faith in me, told me I was beautiful, told me I could do it and told me to keep trying.

The point is that you have to stick with it. Your goals. Nobody holds you back except for you. I used to blame my childhood on everything and everyone else who was doing well was just because they had better lives growing up or better parents, or more money, and so on. That wasn’t true at all. Others will always have more or less, etc. That does not define you. What defines you is you.

I want all women to see themselves as Strong, Smart and Beautiful. When women help other women it is such an empowering movement. When I branched off into photography and then specialized in Boudoir, I met some amazing women. Women who wanted to help me. Women who could see my potential. Do not get me wrong, there were still others who said things to me like why are you doing this photography crap if you already have an administrative career?…. Don’t you have enough?…. How do you have the time?…. Why do you even need to do that?…

I chose not to listen to the others after second guessing my callings. It is okay if I want to have 10 businesses. I actually love Nursing and love Photography, both for different reasons that help to fill my soul in different ways. I will say it again, you can do it and it is okay. You choose. You be you. You be kind. You lift others up instead of knocking them down. We have no need to knock others down.

You be strong.

You be smart.

You be beautiful.

Let others remember you for the impact that you had on their lives.

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