Walking down the street, locking eyes with a passerby, we smile and maybe they don’t smile back— we judge. Someone acts out and we don’t understand why— we judge. Life has a funny way of dealing it’s cards. You can see a person, even know them, yet have no idea the deck they’ve been dealt. Maybe their corners are folded and ripped; maybe they were left out and have coffee stains on the crowns of their kings and queens. We all have a story. What if we lived in a world where we understood without knowing. What if we didn’t have to know, yet still recognized that people carry past pains that can affect their present, and whatever that was, we intrinsically understood that they are enough. I think we do. I think we all understand, yet sometimes forget, and that’s okay. “Life is a cycle of remembering and forgetting.” Let’s push ourselves to remember, though. Let’s accept people as they are, for where they are on their journeys; let’s wipe clean each other’s stains and reveal the crowns that were always there; and mostly importantly, let’s not forget to do this for ourselves as well.

It is scary to think about feeling trapped, in danger, at the hands of someone sick. Isabel saw that hell, but never lost faith that her strength would carry her through. Now, she has found good love and lives a happy life with a beautiful baby girl. That is what can be on the other side. Her story is a reminder that no matter what we’re going through, there is a light at the end of the tunnel; we just have to wait for the night to end. Boudoir sessions, for a lot of people, can be a reclaiming of the power that was stolen from them when they felt powerless. It can be a reclaiming of sexuality, independence, confidence, what have you, and the experience can be deeply significant. That is why our scar sessions mean so much— so much healing can take place when we are exposed, with nothing to hide behind. It is important to let ourselves be seen, emotionally or physically. We are all beautiful and are born with something to offer the world. We can take our disadvantageous pasts and grow from them as advantages. Our challenges can become our allies, and we can overcome. Here is Isabel’s story:

“I have been through two assaults (sexual) in my life, some know of one, but only 3 know of the second assault. Most know I got pregnant at 17 years of age. What people do not know if what really happened- how I really ended up pregnant. I’m not perfect. I have done some things that I am NOT proud of, but one thing I did do was always use protection. I never said the truth about the pregnancy because I felt like I deserved this and who’s gonna believe me. I kept remembering the first time and how that man got away with it. I knew this time would be different because I was talking to this guy. I met him on MySpace, made the mistake of giving him my number and giving him pick me up at the place I was staying at (I was living with my BFF at the time), so he would show up randomly. If I missed his call because I was working or doing homework, he would blow my phone up, like 15 missed calls and 10 texts from him wondering what I was doing and who I was with. Red flags from the start but I was not in my right mind. I ignored the signs. I took him with me on a camping trip with some friends. Camping didn’t work out, so we just got a hotel room and started to drink and have a good time. Well this guy wasn’t liking the fact that I drank, so he was being controlling, killed the mood for all of us. He just ended up laying down and calling it a night. I didn’t want to be around this guy anymore,  let alone have sex with him. He tried to kiss me. I said, “no, my friends are in the room.” He slapped me and squeezed my arm. I froze again and before I knew it, he was done.  I was screaming inside, but I couldn’t move. He said, “see, I’m happy. You do it when I want, you understand?” I realized I was very wet once he had finished. I knew instantly that he came in me. I felt off. Like I said before, I always used protection; hell, I carried around a condom in my purse. I was running the streets at that age of 17, trying to finish high school. There was no way I was ready for a baby. I called it off with this guy after the trip. He threatened me, but I didn’t want anything to do with him. I ignored it. I started to notice my body changing, and I knew that I was pregnant. I never told anyone, just moved back in with my mom and tried to hide it for as long as I could. My mom was the one who realized. She bought me a test. It was positive. I felt like I died inside. My mom wanted to know what happened. I told her that I was irresponsible , that this person is the father. She got his number and let him know the situation. He now knew where to call and that I was pregnant. I had to talk to him on the phone everyday! The things he would tell me were just horrible, so much that I started having bad nightmares. He would say he was watching me at night, I’m going to live with him, and how he comes home with a whole bunch of money is not my business and if I ask questions I’d learn a lesson, so all of this he was saying to me. The fact I had to hear his voice everyday made me sick. The nightmares were very bad, so bad that I ended up punching through the window during a nightmare. No one still had any idea what was going on with me. After about two months of darkness and chaos, I had a miscarriage. I can’t say enough how grateful I was. I wasn’t ready to be a mom so young, especially not with a psychopath. My mom called and let him know what happened and that was the last time I EVER HEARD HIS GROSS VOICE! I got a dumb tattoo that just made me remember all the bad things I went through, so I got a beautiful coverup. I moved back to North San Juan with my gma and gpa, ended up getting a job at Mother Truckers. This is where I met the love of my life. He was the first man to treat me right. We are going on 7 years total and 2 years married. We have a beautiful baby girl named Lucy. She is our superhero. She battles cystic fibrosis. My daughter has shown me a love I never knew was possible.”
In her own writing, we decided to let her finish this blog!…

Scan6isabel testi copyboudoir-makeup.jpgMUA: AIMEE FORESTbella-rosaauburn-boudoirbeauty I wanted to share my story and be apart of a movement where women build each other up. I loved the idea of sharing my story in a different way and this is something that showed my strength and beauty. I wanted to show other women that you do not have to be a victim to know one. We are all beautiful in our own ways.”boudoir-whitefishboudoir-photographerboudoir-sacramento“I have always been “thick” so I have dealt with bullying and going what I went through as a teenager me feel like I was nothing like I wasn’t beautiful. This shoot has gave me my confidence back and some I feel freaking fearless as well as sexy. CA-boudoirdestination-boudoirlingerie-photographerI look in the mirror and see myself in a whole different way than I did before. I see a whole woman not a broken girl <3″lingeriepublished-boudoirI would tell anybody who was contemplating a shoot to not let this opportunity pass… she would leave feeling like a whole new women more confident, sexy, & on top of the world!”scar-projectSF-boudoir

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