Today's feature is a special one. It is one to help us all learn to love and accept ourselves as-is and to count our blessings that we have our health, our bodies to allow us to live this life, and all that makes our lives worth living. This beautiful woman went through open heart surgery when she was a young girl, and has bore this scar for almost her entire life. When we reviewed these images, we didn't even notice it at first, as she has such a radiant soul that shines through, showing that she is confident in herself, and that any physical feature comes second.
The photographer, Caty Gene, gave us some truly beautiful insight on this session, and we feel so inspired to continue to find the beauty in our own lives, every day!
"Women are inherently feminine and delicate. We have a softness and warmth about us that draws others in. But we are also strong, seductive and mysterious. As a boudoir photographer, I believe I have an opportunity to showcase these juxtaposing qualities. And I could think of no better way to do this than to place a stunning woman, clad in soft vintage lace, among the harsh environment of an abandoned industrial pier. Norfolk, VA has a long history of industrial shipping. To this day, the shipyards employ a large portion of the local population. So when I stumbled upon this abandoned pier, it was like finding a relic of a forgotten era. The way that nature is slowly reclaiming the crumbling architecture only adds to my intrigue of the landscape. I had been dying, for months, to shoot a boudoir session here so when my close friend mentioned wanting to do a session of her own, I slipped her into some stunning lingerie and threw her in the middle of this site before she could change her mind.
"I've found it is so critical to choose appropriate attire, not only for your client, but for the setting they will be shot in. When helping this woman come up with a wardrobe, I fell head over heals for the plunging neckline of this black one piece. Everything about it screamed risky and sexy, yet refined and tasteful. Of course, that type of neckline is revealing to the most unabashed of women, let alone one whose chest is divided by an 8” long scar. And yet there was never a moment of hesitation when I presented this option to her. She immediately jumped at it, embracing every part of herself. I'd love to say I chose this piece intentionally, choosing to highlight this prominent facet of her. But if I'm being honest, I never even noticed her scar during the shoot, nor after in post processing. It wasn't until someone commented on Facebook, asking what it was from, that I realized we had made it front and center. And I suppose that's the truest testament I can think of as to how this woman owns her body, scar and all. It has, I'm sure, shaped the person she is today in one way or another. But it does not define her. Nor is she ashamed of it. It is simply a part of who she is today. And that person is someone, I think we could all agree, we'd like to find a little of in ourselves."
As if that wasn't inspiring enough, here is what the stunning model has to say about her experience during the session, and throughout her life.
"As we all know, lingerie is often quite revealing. The pieces I wore, the black piece in particular, showcased the 8 inch scar down the center of my chest in a way not even I had ever seen. This brings me to another point – scars are sexy and intriguing some people say – however when you’re the one wearing the scar it doesn’t always feel that way. As an almost 8 year old, who had corrective open heart surgery to repair holes in my heart, this was an annoyance and something I tried to hide for many years. No bikinis or v-neck tops for me as a teenager; the only reason being that I wasn’t comfortable being different – the other kids didn’t understand, and even if they did, I felt like they didn’t. That alone was enough to make me want my scar to just go away. I should have been grateful that I was healthy and my prognosis was to live a long and healthy life with no long term side effects and no limitations. As I got older, this mentality did change and I came to love my scar and can’t imagine my life without it. It’s a part of me and I do believe my surgery and my scar have contributed to the very person I have become. I often forget it’s there until someone else notices and asks a question. I welcome the questions as it gives me a chance to be reminded that I was given a chance that not everyone gets – to live and enjoy life. My family told me I was as good as new and could do anything and everything I wanted. No limits existed besides the ones I created. Having that mentality instilled early on was key to me being able to enjoy every aspect of the life I have."
Count your blessings today. It is by no accident that you are on this Earth.