I'll never forget how Tammie came into the studio. She was happy and smiling. She was dressed simply, in a t-shirt and jeans with her hair pulled back. She seemed just like any other woman who would walk into my studio on any given day. But while we were in the dressing room choosing outfits for her to try on - I kept pulling lacy corsets and feminine things. It's what she'd told me she wanted, so that's what I pulled. She seemed a little more sassy than that, but I thought maybe she just wanted to do the pretty girly thing.
But a little while into our wardrobe consult, she pointed to a black leather lace up corset - the complete opposite of what she's said she wanted. "What about that?" She asked? I told her to go for it! Try on anything she wanted. And what happened next, with that simple permission to be herself - was life changing...
Here's her story:
It started over 30 years ago, and it started with one little comment a dad made to his daughter that changed who she was meant to be. He wasn't being ugly, or mean - he was doing something he thought was helping.
"You're too big to try out for drill team!"
It didn't matter that I knew I had more rhythm in my pinkie than half the girls did in their entire beings, the doubt was planted and it grew
Flash forward to the age of 31 to a vicious dog attack that not only changed my face, but added everything the self doubt seed needed to grow more. It didn't matter I have 8 beautiful and perfect children, or 4 amazing grandchildren - after all I saw was a woman who was aging. A woman faced with seasons that were becoming harder and harder to live through. Divorce. My young daughter having her innocence taken away.
I felt like I was going through the motions. Always being the hardest on myself.
I'm always trying to teach my daughter that no matter what, she cannot let her past define her. To teach her to not focus on all the pain, hurt and anger until it becomes all we know, and to have her be the one to teach me how to turn hurt into hope.
Then I saw Angela's model call.
I've always though, as a mom, you have to dress a certain way, or act a certain way and the crazy ass idea of having someone take boudoir photos - such personal photos - and show them to the world? HELL NO! I could never or would ever let anyone see me! Not like that! Ever!
Never say Never!
I kept thinking about my daughter, and as ugly as what happened to my daughter, she was stronger than I have ever been. She turned her hurt into hope, and here I was pissing and moaning about getting older and letting the ugliness of doubt grow. What was that going to teach her!
I am a momma. I am a GIGI. But, I am Tammie first! And Angela showed me after 42 years who that person is and has always been. She just needed someone to bring it out. It was not just the amazing day of makeup with the crazy talented bad ass Mindy Danielle (who made me cry like a baby when saw myself for the first time) and the fun at the shoot, It was seeing the me I can be!
How do you put into words when a complete stranger knows you better than you do?
After a simple play day in the closet of possibilities it made me see myself in a way I always dreamed of!
Angela with the words "YES BITCH!" makes your heart smile and making you feel comfortable comes easy to her - thats just her way. The way she wants to empower every woman that crosses her path or walks through her door.
I walked in with every negative comment in my head that I have ever heard. The gift she gave me? When I walked out, the words "YES BITCH!" replaced them all!
From all the scars from having babies, and the dog, and every hurtful word anyone has said - I can show my daughter what a strong, sexy woman looks like!
So if I can say one last thing to any momma or GIGI - whatever your season - you are amazing! You are beautiful inside and out and deserve to see yourself - the real you - for once!
Damn it, put yourself first! Take a deep breath and fucking do it! ❤️