Mean Girls in My 30’s | Female Boudoir Photographer in Denver
Well hello there, party people, how is your Monday going? It’s funny, as I go through my everyday life as a female boudoir photographer in Denver, I see SO MANY things that I want to tell you all about, and then I get overwhelmed, and don’t write anything. So in the spirit of DONE is better than PERFECT, let’s talk about mean girls. Yes, AGAIN. If you’re on my email list, you probably remember this story that I sent in email from years ago about Mean Girls in my 30’s. That email actually hit quite a nerve and caused some drama, which is hilarious because that’s exactly what it’s about, but I digress.
That email was originally sent in the spring of 2017, when my daughter wasn’t old enough to have any real social interactions. Now, she’s 5 and interacting more and more with people her age and older, and I’m watching the mean girl bullshit happen more and more. So we are going to REVISIT this subject, k?
Sidenote: people ask me why I share stuff like this, on my business website, as a female boudoir photographer in Denver – and the answer is simple: because what I do is not JUST ABOUT PHOTOS.
Boudoir photography is first and foremost about empowering women to remember and embrace their value, and a huge part of that is addressing the bullshit that we see around us.
Because if we listen to these voices, not only do we ignore our own inherent value, but we pass it onto others. It’s a ripple effect of negative, and it needs to stop.
First, the original story, so that I can expand on it, and you don’t feel like you’re missing out on something:
If you follow me as a female boudoir photographer in Denver on Instagram, or if you’re a part of my awesome community on Facebook, you probably know that I just got home from Las Vegas last night. It’s that time of year again, a huge photographer convention in Las Vegas, complete with parties, classes, cocktails and schmoozing.
Except there’s one thing wrong with this. I can get behind the parties, classes and cocktails – but I hate schmoozing. Not because I’m bad at it, but because I hate the stupid game. I refuse to kiss someone’s ass to move forward in the world, and that appears to be a rare trait, at least from what I can tell.
Because of this trait, I walked up to a particular booth at the Expo and was totally Mean Girl’ed. Like refused to look me in the eye, stepped AROUND me to talk to someone else, straight up Mean Girl’ed.
I’m 36 years old, and this person is in her 40’s.
Why do adult women still do this to each other? Isn’t being female hard enough at times? Why do we have to add to it, instead of supporting each other?
The expo, conferences, preschool pickup lines, carpool lanes, dance class benches, football practices… it has happened in SO many different areas of my life, even as an adult. And I’m guessing it has happened to you as well, because there are few women that are exempt from this kind of treatment once a mean girl has her sites set on you.
So why am I sharing this today?
To encourage you to hold your head high, and treat others with kindness. Don’t be a doormat, stand up for yourself, and smile and know that when you are kind to others and truly care about them, it will come back to you.
And a happy side effect? It really pisses the mean girls off when you’re successful and they’re still complaining.
I say it all the time: I am SO FORTUNATE as a female boudoir photographer in Denver to work with the most amazing women in the world. Seriously, I do. My clients email me all the time with little things they saw and reminded them of their session, or things they found and thought would be amazing. I am blessed to be surrounded by crazy awesome women.
So stay awesome. Even when the mean girls are being particularly mean. Because I know how awesome you are, and I don’t doubt it for a second.
WHEW – even now, when I think back to this happening, I was just stunned. Deep breath, take a quick break, to share a photo of a repeat client that inspires me SO much.
Why am I inspired to share this now, 3 years later?
Well first, because it was an email that was one of my MOST OPENED emails, and got quite a heated reaction, and I wanted to share it with people who may not have seen it originally.
Even more so, because of a situation that I watched at the pool, with my 5 year old daughter. Don’t worry – I will share more on this later, in the next article, because it demands an entire article to itself. After watching that situation, I want to squash this bullshit with her age group before it even gets to adulthood. And while I’m not sure how to do this, I’m not a teacher at her school, or a scout leader, or anything like that, I will do what I can: educate and inspire the moms and other women in the world who have influence over the little ones.
I have seen over and over again that the negative voices in our head come from SOMEWHERE – and all too often, it is the things that we SEE instead of the things that we hear. As adults, we can tell kids something all day long, but unless we actually SHOW them and lead by example, it will often fall on deaf ears.
Where can YOU be an example of kindness, and anti-mean girl in your own life? And before you think “I don’t have little girls around me, this doesn’t apply to me” – I want you to consider your OWN voices in your head. Do you talk to yourself with the same kindness that you would extend to your best friend? Or do you mean-girl yourself, even if it’s silent and on constant replay in your own brain?
Do you catch yourself saying you’re stupid? Fat? Ugly? ANY negative thing that you would never dream of saying to someone around you? If you have words like that for yourself, I want to invite you to think about saying them to a five year old little girl. What? You would NEVER? Then why the heck would you say them to yourself?
2020 is not the easiest year on record. But we are all just doing the best we can. I want to extend an invitation to ALL of the ladies to be kinder to yourselves. And by extension, kinder to others. If you catch yourself in behavior that you know isn’t kind, there is NOTHING wrong with learning and doing something different. It doesn’t make you a hypocrite, it makes you human, and you’re learning and growing just like the rest of us.
I wrote recently more about 10 things I will stop apologizing for on my 39th birthday – and one of those things is to love myself fiercely. This is NOT EASY, and is definitely a journey, but part of it is learning and growing. There is no shame in messing up, learning from it, and changing your behavior moving forward.
Because I truly work with the most amazing women in the world – a photo of me with some awesome ladies, shooting boudoir at a plantation workshop that I was teaching at in New Orleans, Louisiana. Yes, I’m a female boudoir photographer in Denver, but I teach and travel – and this shutdown is hurting my heart just a little bit and cramping my travel style!
YEP – I look ridiculous in this photo, it was hot and humid and I was running around like crazy. I had gained a ton of weight because of a medication that I had to take to be able to nurse my daughter for over a year with arthritis, MOON FACE is real. And really – I’m standing next to gorgeous ladies. But we can’t let those mean girl voices in our head stop us, right?
Hold your head high.
You are valuable.
You are gorgeous, right now, just as you are.
KNOW YOUR WORTH.
Don’t settle for less, EVER.
Love yourself fiercely, and if that is difficult to do, at least start moving in that direction.
Step into who you are, unapologetically and authentically.
Don’t ever let anyone dim that.
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This content was originally published here.