Spring IS coming!

It feels as though we're going backwards in seasons here in Chicago! It's been SO gloomy, rainy, cold and just plain gross out for what seems like weeks. So when I had a boudoir session this past weekend and the sun decided to shine for the afternoon AND my client had fresh spring flowers, my heart exploded! 

Super Bowl 51, Lady Gaga, Beauty and Being You

Confession: I did not watch the Super Bowl this past weekend. I did, however, watch Lady Gaga's halftime performance and loved it! She's the epitome of a strong, successful, beautiful woman who doesn't give a damn what others think of her! She's so inspiring to me in so many ways and I think she's an exquisite role model. So when I started seeing all of these headlines about her body being a topic in negative ways, I was quite upset. I mean, she OWNED that performance and looked fantastic! And people were saying she was "fat" and shouldn't have been wearing an outfit that showed her stomach like that... Please! I could understand expressing opinions of her performance, music, etc since we all don't like the same things, but to attack based on appearance alone? What message does that send? Think about every woman in the world who doesn't look like Lady Gaga, and how that makes everyone else feel. Think about the message it's sending to young children. That it's ok to verbally attack someone for no reason. It is so sad that there are so many bullies in this world that are so full of hate and anger within themselves that they need to tear others down to feel better.

It saddens me to think we live in a world where young girls, and women of all ages for that matter, are taught to believe something is wrong with us if we're not physically perfect. My heart aches at the thought of my nieces, and all young girls, growing up having to constantly compare themselves to society's version of perfection and how damaging this can be to self-esteem. It's setting them up for failure so early on, at a prime time when their sense of self is developing and being shaped.

We are all unique, and we all have different bodies. No one is perfect and it's something that needs to be celebrated, not criticized. THIS is why I do boudoir beauty sessions. To help you see yourself the way I see you: beautiful, just as you are. To show you that the way you have been taught by society to see yourself is not accurate. It's not just about pretty pictures of you, it's about a sense of empowerment and owning yourself, so-called flaws and all. We all benefit from each other when we let our light shine and recognize our own value. Celebrate you!

Imagine if we all focused on lifting each other up instead of tearing one another apart. We are all beautiful in our own ways. Let's re-define "society's" definition of beautiful and start accepting EVERYONE exactly as they are.

Be you, exactly as you are, just like ^Lynnea^ does every day! This girl is gorgeous on the outside, but her inner beauty is equally stunning. Killer personality, talented, loyal, musical dancing queen with an infectious smile, killer eyes and a giant heart full of love. She welcomed me into her tribe with open arms and I am eternally grateful to know such an incredible human being. Thanks for working with me, Lady!

We can all learn from Lady Gaga and Lynnea: that it's better to be authentic than to dim your inner light to conform to a sense of "normal." Be your weird self, my darlings!

XOXO, Courtney

Beautiful You

Boudoir Galore! I had so much fun with these wonderful women and had to share a few of my favorite detail images!