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Friday, 3 July 2015

BODY CONFIDENCE: GETTING NAKED ON THE INTERNET A YEAR ON.

Today is my birthday. The day I turn 26.

And this time last year my life completely changed.

I got naked, had a photo shoot and shared the images on the internet.

In the hope that maybe I could shake the self-doubt I'd carried for years. I explained how I’d struggled with body confidence my whole adult life, that getting fully naked in front of anyone, especially a man, was absolutely never going to happen. That I battled to keep weight on, not for lack of trying - and constantly felt self-conscious because of it. That I felt ugly and ashamed of my body. That I was bullied when I was younger, called anorexic and bulimic – why did people think it was okay to ask me things like: ‘are you a boy?’ ‘where are your boobs?’. And that finally, that photo shoot? Was the start of a new, much happier chapter of my life.

Sharing the photos on here was the final part of the process and I was totally overwhelmed with how incredibly supportive every single person was. Sharing something so personal with anyone, let alone the internet is seriously scary – and the fact that not one person said anything negative made me so happy. For one reason only - it meant people agreed with what I was trying to say:

We only get one body and we’ve simply got to love it. No matter our personal qualms with it.

I received floods of emails with thank-you's and a few readers went on to do their own shoots with Alex too, which is seriously amazing.

Doing another shoot with Alex a year later seemed like the best way to celebrate how far I’ve come with feeling comfortable in my own skin. I wanted to document the process and prove to myself that the original photos weren’t a temporary fix, they’ve totally changed how I feel about my body in a permanent way and I wanted to see if that showed in the images.
Change your body confidence with Alexandra Cameron Photography. A lesson in feeling comfortable in the skin you're in.
Change your body confidence with Alexandra Cameron Photography. A lesson in feeling comfortable in the skin you're in.
Change your body confidence with Alexandra Cameron Photography. A lesson in feeling comfortable in the skin you're in.
Change your body confidence with Alexandra Cameron Photography. A lesson in feeling comfortable in the skin you're in.
Change your body confidence with Alexandra Cameron Photography. A lesson in feeling comfortable in the skin you're in.
Change your body confidence with Alexandra Cameron Photography. A lesson in feeling comfortable in the skin you're in.
Change your body confidence with Alexandra Cameron Photography. A lesson in feeling comfortable in the skin you're in.
Change your body confidence with Alexandra Cameron Photography. A lesson in feeling comfortable in the skin you're in.
Change your body confidence with Alexandra Cameron Photography. A lesson in feeling comfortable in the skin you're in.
Change your body confidence with Alexandra Cameron Photography. A lesson in feeling comfortable in the skin you're in.
Change your body confidence with Alexandra Cameron Photography. A lesson in feeling comfortable in the skin you're in.
WHAT I'M WEARING: Levi's Shirt Similar, Calvin Klein Briefs, Agent Provocateur Set in the SALE: Agent Provocateur Bra, Agent Provocateur Knickers, Agent Provocateur Suspender Belt. Stockings Similar

I remember doing the first shoot and thinking the entire time ‘HOW DO I EVEN MOVE MY BODY?’ But back then, the point was that I was doing it to accept myself, feel comfortable and now I have, now I do, I feel like I could take on anything.

It’s not about being obviously sexy. It’s about being able to put on your favourite set of lingerie and feel wonderful, because when you feel good it shows. It’s forgetting that your boobs aren’t more than a handful, that your tummy has that pouch that droops when you sit on your side. That your birthmark can sometimes look like you've wiped your bum in the worst way and have poo on your leg (that's not the case, btw).

It's remembering that we are what we feel.

And that means we can be whatever we want to be.

We don’t have to be perfect - whatever that is. Heck, doing this doesn’t mean I now think I’m the hottest piece of ass that ever lived. I still wish things were a little different. But the difference is I’m now at peace with those hang ups. I feel comfortable. In control.

Happy.

Like I can be sexy, maybe? And that maybe other people could look at me and think that too.

And that?

Is the best feeling in the world.

When I look at both sets of photographs I can see the emotions I felt playing on my face.

The first (see here) are vulnerable, scared to shit, but in the best possible way. Because I realise I’m actually doing it, I’m really getting naked and I’m not feeling horrific about it. A weird mixture of adrenalin, anxiety, pride and happiness.

The second: guys I felt so strong. Those nerves were still there, because ‘HELLO it’s been a year since I got naked on a camera and that’s still a huge deal’, but as soon as Alex started snapping away I felt myself melt in to the mattress with a sense of calm. I wasn’t worried, it felt fluid and liberating and exciting.

I’ve tried to explain to everyone I know what a huge difference this experience made to my life last year but it doesn’t matter what you say – you can’t really know until you try it yourself. But I do think these photos are a great way to show that my confidence just keeps growing, that it gave me the balls to walk away from toxic things in my life, start fresh with people who really care about me, to feel comfortable getting naked, to see myself in a different way, to not feel self-conscious when I’m getting changed in front of my girls or having sex at times that aren’t just pitch black under the covers. And it’s not all about the nakedness either, it’s how it’s adjusted my mind-set, made me feel more capable. I've made new friends, found myself in a new relationship with someone seriously incredible, quit my job to go travelling and then try my hand at blogging full-time - and a big part of that new found confidence is down to that shoot. It's given me self-belief and determination to not let myself or anyone else change my mind.

So here we are, then. A year on.

And I feel as great now as I did on July 3rd last year, reading all your kind comments.

Conclusion: 

What I’ve got is alright. I can live with my body.

And more than that, I can be happy with it.

Thank you Alex, for being such a wonderful friend and turning my life around - I love you.

And thank you to you, your lovely face reading this - because you are always so amazing, whether you realise it or not.

So, if you want to experience just how truly wonderful this journey is, and witness Alex's talents first hand, you can find all her details here. And if you tell her I sent you, you'll get a lovely 10% off your first shoot (cause she's kind like that).

A thing to remember: WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL.
(yeah even you ;-))

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27 comments:

Ally In Blunderland said...

So much love for you - you beautiful lady ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Also... DAYUM GURL YOU FINE.
Okay, I'm done.

Ally
Xx
www.allyinblunderland.co.uk

Jessie-Ann Lewis said...

You look insane - absolutely beautiful :) This is so inspiring too.. It's really important to love your body and to be proud of the person you are. A very happy birthday to you! You really deserve it. I absolutely adore your blog xxx

Jessie | allthingsbeautiful-x

Whichit said...

This is so inspiring! I never saw your last photos but wow you look incredible! What a brave thing to do, your photography is amazing too, really managed to capture your true beauty!

Hot!MeSS Giveaway HERE

Mary Lucas said...

love, love, love these posts. Fair play to you for being brave and inspiring everyone to be more comfortable with themselves. You are just lovely x

Izzy said...

So beautiful! The pictures from last year are just gorgeous but I can definitely see now that you look so much more confident and comfortable with your body. Love this <3

The Quirky Queer

Holly Rose said...

I found this post really interesting! I think it's great that you went and did all this, I think you were so brave to do so! Good for you xxx
Holly x

http://the-twins-wardrobe.blogspot.com/

Rachel Marie said...

What an amazing thing to do - you look incredible! I have been suffering with major body confidence issues at the moment and I found this post so inspiring to read. Thank you x
Rachel Coco

Kristy said...

Wow wow wow serious girl crush going on here! What an incredible read and such beautiful photos so well done. Oh and happy birthday Megs you deserve to be happy. X

Jane said...

Hi Megan, happy birthday! You are a very beautiful girl and I think there is no need to prove it to yourself or to anyone else. These are beautiful pictures, but putting them on internet is such a bad bad bad idea. Confidence always comes from within, from setting and reaching your goals, also from someone who truly loves and fully accepts you. What I see that you did not build any confidence over this year if you need to prove it to the world again and get another dose of external approval. Confident people don't care what others think or say of them. You know how to spot the least confident people on facebook, right? Those, who change their profile pictures every few days to get likes. It is a cry for reassurance that they are fine, looks so needy. Maybe you can make yourself a birthday gift and remove them from public access? I mean it well.

Mimmi said...

You're such an inspiration. Doing this, and sharing it with people, encouraging people to be more confident, is seriously awesome. Plus you look amazing! So glad to hear that you feel that things have improved over the last year. You go!

xx Mimmi, Muted Mornings

viento90 said...

Gosh, you are so beautiful! Thank you for share beauty of your soul and mind in your words and for beauty of your body in photos. Happy birthday!

Holly said...

Oh Meg, you are honestly such a wonderful and inspiring lady and I admire you so much for doing this - you look absolutely incredible and its so nice to hear someone feel happy and confident in themselves :) I really needed to read this as I've been feeling so rubbish about my weight for a while now, and its been getting me down so much. It sounds like you've got some very exciting times ahead and I hope 26 is a really wonderful year for you <3
Love Holly x

www.thehollydays4.blogspot.co.uk

* Helen * said...

Happy birthday!! And you should feel beautiful, because you are - these pictures are gorgeous!! <3

I have a new post up on the blog, would love to know your thoughts:

* Electric Sunrise - Fashion and Lifestyle Blog *

x

Tessa said...

These photos are absolutely beautiful, as is the sentiment behind them! What you've created is incredible, and it's so wonderful that you are comfortable enough to share them with the internet. I can only hope I will be able to accept my body in such a way one day. Love the pieces you're wearing too!

Tessa at Bramble & Thorn

Emyii Rankin said...

Wow! You are so brave and these pictures are stunning! Like, good on you, invisible high five right now haha =] You are so pretty in and out.

emyii90.blogspot.co.uk

Emily said...

The photos are stunning, and you look beautiful. I wish I had the confidence to do the same one day, and I'm hoping I will.

Emily // Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

xx

Lucy said...

You look absolutely incredible, the shots are beautiful and I think you have a lovely figure. I've always wanted to do a naked shoot, I feel it would be liberating and something to look back on and say "yeah, I had the balls to do that!" Well done, I would be proud if I was you too, facing your fears like that. Go girl!

Lucy x- Yellowicing

Holly Olivia said...

You look amazing in these photos! Body confidence is such an important issue, I am so glad you've come to accept yourself more. I've had experience with low body confidence for years (as have most people), so I know how difficult it can be.

Holly x

bisoushollyolivia.blogspot.co.uk

ZeebLikesIt said...

I can't believe this was a year ago! Your photoshoot has been such an inspiration to me and I'm really glad you did this post as I really needed this reminder to be grateful for my body and keep learning to love myself more and more. Thank you for sharing this.

Nicky | Zeeb Likes It

Lucy-J said...

You are quite honestly, absolutely stunning.
Even though I don't know you, I am SO proud of you for both this shoot and the first one and the mountains you overcame to get where you are.
And may I just add, DAMN GURL YOUR BODY IS KILLER! Actual envy right now in the best way <3
LJLV | UK Personal Style

Megan Lillie said...

You are SUCH an incredible lady - inside and out. I just wanna squeeze ya.

Megan xo
Thumbelina Lillie | UK Beauty & Fashion Blog

Emily Barnes said...

Wow you look incredible, I felt emotional reading this.
I hope one day I can be as confident as you, to be honest I think I would like to do something like this because they capture you in a way you've never seen yourself.
Both sets of photos are amazing! You are beautiful inside and out.

Emily xx

www.erbarnes.blogspot.co.uk

Tasha Meline said...

The happiest birthday to you and it sounds like it truly has been emotionally. I am so glad you are loving yourself as there is so much to love, just look at these photos! It is just like you said in your post a year ago - one word: envy. You are stunning and your confidence is so bright in these photos.

Gorgeous! x

Ayden Millar said...

I have just stumbled across your blog recently, and I had to comment on this post to say 1. You look absolutely amazing! and 2. I totally know how you feel. I did a couple of photoshoots with my photographer friend Ashley for Suicide Girls, and even though I am never going to pursue a career in modelling, it was such a liberating and positive experience that I will never ever regret. I'll treasure those pictures when I'm old and wrinkly! At first I was nervous about sharing them online, but then I realised I was finally comfortable in my own skin and that I had absolutely nothing to be ashamed about. I could ramble on about this sort of stuff all day, along with the negatives of how other peoples opinions can creep into it and try to put you down. But I just want to leave it at this, and say again that you look absolutely beautiful :) xx

Ashleigh Roy said...

You look beautiful and amazing! Those photos are incredible and it makes me want to go do the same and have a photoshoot with Alex to try reduce those self conscious feelings too. You've done amazing and to come this far a year on is very inspiring! xx

Tanya Golubeva said...

Lovely post!!!! Great photos.
Check my blog
What makes you beautiful

Ashleigh S said...

Incredible! You're an inspiration :)
Ashleigh | Mermaid on the Move

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