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I am fearfully & wonderfully made

I’m sure by this point many of you have seen the Mannequin Series by the amazingly talented Julia Busato Photography from Guelph, ON Canada. It is an gorgeous series packed full of an amazing message of body positiveness, loving who you are, being comfortable in your own skin and pure & true beauty. Julia has an amazing way of capturing the essence of anyone who is in front of her camera. Each photo shares a snapshot of some of the most stunning woman - inside and out. You should definitely check it out the series by clicking here.

Julia has been taking these photos for a few months now and I have always admired the women who have been brave enough to step in front of her camera with her mannequin bust (aka Lucy). She put out a call for more women to come and I bravely volunteered. She told me that I needed to come up with something to tell my story. My brain went blank - what is my story? I am a makeup artist, a mother, a wife, a daughter. I was lying in bed the night before and couldn’t figure out just quite what I was going to do? Who am I? I was panicking.

Ever since I had my children - more specifically my boys - I’ve had a huge problem with body image. After having my last son I just didn’t bounce back quite the way that it did when I had my daughter. I am about 15 lbs heavier than I would like to be, I have some rolls around the centre, I never had a big bust to begin with but now its even smaller, stretch marks, cellulite, my hips are much wider. I could go on and on. I just have not felt comfortable in my own skin. The biggest struggle has been when I try on clothes. I don’t feel any different than I did 10 years ago. I often gravitate towards the styles and sizes that I wore then. I put them on in the change room and immediately feel defeated. My brain seems to become obsessed with the number or letter on that tag. My head is immediately filled with negative comments - “you are a large? you are so out of shape, if you just ate better, if you took better care of yourself, you’re such a pig, there is no excuse for this, you are lazy” and that is just a few of them. I was recently trying to find a new outfit for family photos - I spend the night at the mall trying on outfits, bought nothing, left in frustration and came home and had a good cry. I know that I can’t be the only one out there who feels like this from time to time. What kind of message of body image have I been inadvertently sharing with my daughter?

After a while of tossing and turning it hit me like a ton of bricks. I had forgotten who I am. I am a child of God and I am made in his image. I have been a Christian for many years. And while it is so easy to believe so many of God’s promises, why was it so hard for be to believe that he has made me and that I am beautiful? Psalm 139:14 says I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. So, I have made a promise to myself to really and truly believe this for my life - When I am having a hard day? “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”,.When I gain a few pounds? “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”. When my body changes “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”. When I am in that change room “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”. And while I am sure that I will always have days of low confidence I can always come back to this. My value doesn’t come from what the fashion industry, beauty industry or what others think of me. It comes from my creator. Doing this photo has really made this ring true, loud and clear. Thanks so much for your beautiful work Julia and for showing women everywhere that it’s not one size fits all. xo

You can find Julia's Facebook here: Julia Busato Photography

and her Instagram here: Julia Busato Photography

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