This has to be hands down one of my most vulnerable posts to date. Not only because I'm literally half nude in these photos but also because I've never publicly expressed the purpose behind this incredibly intimate photo shoot. I arranged this shoot as a birthday present to myself with the talented Kayla MaDonna as I ventured out on a brand new chapter of self love.
For the longest I have been that girl that cares greatly about the opinions of others and as result turned into a chronic people pleaser. After countless months and years of prolonged decisions due to fear of making the "wrong" decision, my kindness being taken for weakness, and being unhappy with the results of my life I decided enough was enough.I had enough with living by the standards of those who would never walk a mile in my shoes and those who so freely lend advice and conveniently don't follow themselves. I committed to taking matters into my own hands and vowed to live life on my own terms. Creating the best version of myself with only me and God's vision in mind.
Now don't get me wrong, I could have definitely done all of this without baring it all. But being that I'm an artist I inevitably like to create art. Therefore, I wanted to create a piece that would be a constant reminder to myself of the strong, capable, and fearless woman I am. A woman that is apologetically herself and eager to face her desires and mistakes head on.
So I decided to drop my silk robe and cut 5 inches of my hair. I know super dramatic! But I wanted a physical change to go along with my mental change. I was dropping away the worlds standards of what a woman "should be" and cutting away the destructive habits I adopted along the way. So whether it be thick thighs, a slim waist, long hair, a big butt, or thigh gap I was committing that regardless Ebonne was and is enough.
So needless to say this was way more than just a vain photo shoot but rather a representation of a journey to self love mind, body, and soul . Which i'm sure we are all journeying through and are coming to the realization that there is no wrong or right way to do it. But in the spirit of sharing here are 6 steps I've used to guide myself into manifesting deeper self love .
Hair Styling: Ashlei Banks
Hair Cut: Kendrea
Makeup: Porsche Teair
Photography: Kayla MaDonna
Fur: (mine is a family heirloom) alternative faux fur coat c/o Burlington Coat factory
6 Steps to Guide You Into Manifesting Deeper Self Love
1. Realize you are already a masterpiece but you will always be a work in progress. Therefore, be gentle with yourself and embrace your lessons and mistakes. They are all needed in order to create the best version of yourself. So give yourself permission to learn, grow, and to change your mind.
2. Stop comparing! Whether it be your body, career, family, friendships, or love life. Don't do it. Value your own journey and if need be create a better version of what you already have.
3. Change the story you tell yourself about yourself. Turn any traces of a victim mentality into a victor mentality. Begin to realize that you have the power to create the life you so deeply desire but it first begins with what you speak and believe about yourself.
4. Change your conversation about yourself to other people. Eliminate "I'm trying" and "We'll see what happens" to " I'm doing" and "It will happen". Whether big steps or baby steps movement is progress. So give yourself credit!
5. Take time to pamper and celebrate yourself. Whether it be going to your favorite restaurant or carving out time to take a long relaxing bubble bath. Find a way to give back to yourself.
6. Don't be concerned about the opinions of others because quite frankly it's none of your business what anybody thinks of you. Trust your intuition and your opinion to guide YOUR own life. After all, it's YOUR life for a reason.