If you know me, you will know that I’m a fairly confident person. When it comes to my womanhood, however, I know there was a time where I embraced it much more than I do now.
In the last couple of years I have noticed that while I try to get a grip on my job, my plans for the future, and my life in general, the idea of being sensible began to cast a shadow over my womanhood. Though I have always been encouraging towards other women with what they wish to do with their lives and their bodies, I was unknowingly beginning to cover myself up.
What I want for my womanhood
I have always been surrounded by a wonderful group of friends who share the same values as me when it comes to womanhood. Your body is your own, no one can or should tell you what you can or cannot do with it, no one can decide whether your sexual actions are taboo or otherwise, and you should do whatever you like as long as you’re never intentionally hurting anyone in the process (we also have to remember that people are only human and make mistakes so it would be foolish to shame someone for hurting another unintentionally). So why do I not apply this to my own womanhood?
Don’t get me wrong, if you don’t WANT to do something sexually, there is no reason to argue otherwise, that is your personal stance on your own womanhood. If you want to wear clothes that cover you head to toe, then that’s perfectly okay. If you don’t want to talk to friends about your sex life, that’s okay too. For me, however, I’m one of those people who wish to wear more “risque” clothes and has honest conversations about what goes on in the bedroom, but sometimes I find myself being blocked by my conscience, and I find it to be a knock to my womanhood.
You can’t judge a book by its cover
Though you may have seen photos and other posts on my social media accounts that suggest I’m extremely confident with my womanhood, knowing me on a more personal level would perhaps suggest that I tend to put up a shield without intending to do so. I’ll put an outfit on that I think looks fabulous, then in an hour, I’m in a public place, worrying about the fact that I look “too slutty” or that I appear to be trying too hard.
I will say, however, that pole is something where I don’t even have to think about my womanhood. When in training, I don’t see myself as either being too sexual or too prudish, my body is simply mine and I’m working hard to be proud of it. But despite having a sanctuary where my womanhood doesn’t feel sheltered, I want to bring that out of the studio and into my everyday life.
Baby steps to rediscover my womanhood
So what changes have I chosen to make? Many of you may have heard of Katherine Elizabeth if you are based in Manchester. Though she is a dear friend of mine, she is also an incredible photographer with a knack for making anyone feel comfortable in front of the camera. As part of the plan to rediscover my womanhood, we came up with the idea of a simple photo shoot to help rebuild my confidence.
If I were to go to any other photographer, I fear we would have been there for hours trying to get the right selection of images. We had too many to choose from by the time we were done, and we were surprised that the shooting time took as little as it did. We managed to narrow down the images to a selection of around thirty. I had to ask her to surprise me with the final few as I was so overwhelmed with how happy I was with the photos!
Seeing things clearly
I don’t remember the last time I looked at a photo of myself and thought “Wow, I am hot!” It’s just not the norm to think that way, we’re supposedly not allowed to fully embrace our womanhood. We are told that we should love ourselves more, but the second we start to embrace how we look, our sexiness, our “duck faces” and “smizes”, we are suddenly vain and full of ourselves.
Since the photo shoot, I have felt more confident in my womanhood. I won’t say that I am where I aim to be just yet, but it’s a start and a big one at that. I’m taking more selfies, being more adventurous with my makeup and wardrobe choices, and caring less about what others may think.
What do you want for your womanhood?
As I said, this is journey is my own. I can’t determine what your idea of womanhood is, nor anyone else’s, but if you feel that something is missing then I encourage you to look for it. It’s not up to the rest of the world to decide what we do with our bodies or our life, so it’s important to look in the mirror from time to time and tell yourself that you are amazing, wonderful, spectacular and that no one else can determine otherwise.
However you view your womanhood, it is always going to be yours and it’s up to you to own it!
Though I have said it a so many times in these last few weeks, I am beyond grateful to Katherine Elizabeth for taking the time to do this shoot with me and put a reminder in my brain to love my womanhood for what it is and how I want to carry it with me. You may see some changes in my social media now, but I don’t think my journey to loving my womanhood is complete just yet.