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Category Archives for "Confidence"

Radical Inaction

I'm inadvertently taking part in radical inaction

radical
adjective
(especially of change or action) relating to or affecting the fundamental nature of something; far-reaching or thorough.
"a radical overhaul of the existing regulatory framework"

inaction
noun
lack of action where some is expected or appropriate

You may not think of yourself as radical - I certainly don't - but there are things I don't do that seem to be radical - to the point where I sometimes do them, just to not be making a statement.
I am inadvertently taking part in radical inaction, just by thinking 'I don't see the point in doing that'.

Take shaving your body hair

No, really take it! Or waxing, sugaring (I don't know what that is, but I'll bet it hurts), lasering, whatever.

I used to shave my legs and armpits - of course I did. I didn't grow up as some kind of monster. I just became one.

In the same way I don't really get the sitcom 'Miranda', I don't get removing body hair. I just know that it's very popular and you're a bit odd if you don't like it.

My radical inaction on this is not radical on my part. It's just a 'but I don't understand the point?'
However, nor do I want my inaction (radical or otherwise) to be seized upon as some kind of statement. So sometimes I will shave my legs (literally, as far up as I think they might be seen. 3/4 length trousers = only a third of leg needs to be done).
I am doing this solely to fit in and not be commented on - not because I buy into any real reason for it. Effectively, I am being an (oddly sheared) sheep.

Or take anything to do with looking younger

Again, I just don't get it.
What real effect will wrinkles have on my life? That other people think I'm old? And this is bothersome to me how? Maybe I just am, you know, old. (You're always old to someone!).

radical inaction

Are you taking part in radical inaction?

You may be taking part in radical inaction, as a woman, if you

- don't dye greying hair

- don't have long hair
(there's an article here that suggests it you don't do either of these, you're extremely radical!)

- don't have a skincare regime to stop wrinkles/other signs of ageing

- don't diet/worry about your weight (beyond health reasons)

- don't remove every bit of hair from your body, except for your head (for which you can get a shampoo to try to make sure you keep every hair) - see this article for how radical and feminist this is

- not having children, by choice

(Feel free to add your own thoughts to this list, because there will be many things I have missed out).

You may think you're just being yourself

But when 'being yourself' corresponds with stepping outside of society's norms, you may be taking part in radical inaction, simply by not fitting in.

(Fun fact - on a phone-in show discussing Greta Thunberg, one man triumphantly declared her 'not being interested in make-up' as proof that she's not a 'normal teenage girl'. Now, I don't think that GT necessarily is a normal teenage girl, I think she's extraordinary, but still!).

There is an absurdity to radical inaction

In that I feel it's quite likely that women often aren't intending to be radical, statement making feminists by taking part in it. They're just wanting to quietly go about their lives, not doing some of the stuff that's often taken for granted.

Are you taking part?

Much love,
Anna
xx

self love brings beauty

Self Love Brings Beauty

If there's a message we can get on board with, then surely it's 'Self Love Brings Beauty'?

So when our original 'knicker lady', Vee, showed me these knickers - an awesome collaboration between body positive activist Felicity Hayward and lingerie brand, Playful Promises - I thought, "hmmm, maybe when she comes along for her shoot, we could be photographed in them together".

self love brings beauty knickers

Then I thought "Why stop there?"

If there's an opportunity for body positivity, we have to take it!

So, I put a shout out across our Facebook page and our 'Fall in Love With You' Facebook group, in the hopes I might get a couple more people to come along.
Secretly thinking 'how awesome would it be, to get every size represented, from an 8 to a 26?'

As always, we are nothing without our tribe. We got messages! Our clients, friends of clients and women in the group were happy to take part. (I mean, it's perfectly possible they didn't know exactly what they were taking part in - I may have been a bit vague).

An extra thank you to the women who had never been to us before

It's one thing for a client to step forward - they know us.
I have to say an extra, heartfelt, thank you to the women who had no clue who we are, and agreed to come along anyway (especially the client who I persuaded to stay on after her shoot!).

Of course I was in there myself

A chance to wear knickers saying 'Self Love Brings Beauty'? I'm not missing that - with apologies to my friends and family who may have thought they'd seen enough of me in underwear. Sorry, you were wrong!

And here we all are

self love brings beauty

In the end, we had women sizes 8 to 24 come along. Let's be honest, bums are always, always awesome and these women are no exception.

Please don't underestimate the bravery it takes to get down to your knickers, in a room full of strangers, and have your photo taken!

Thank you, everyone.

Self Love Brings Beauty - it really, really does!

Much Love,
Anna
xx

Want More Confidence? Make Decisions

AKA Confident People Don't Dither

If you happen to either be very indecisive, or a total, out and out people-pleaser, chances are you don't make quick decisions. There can be too many options and you want to think them all through, you want everyone to be happy, you want the right decision.

All Decisions Are Not Created Equal

Of course there are some things in life that take deep consideration. I'm not advocating choosing which house to buy on a whim! But every day, there are lots of decisions that really, will have very little overall impact.

  • What to have for dinner
  • What to watch on tv
  • What film to go and see
  • Which top to wear

There may be other people's preferences, but there's no right or wrong answer. So start making these decisions quickly. Assume all of the options have equal merit and just choose.

We Keep Our Minds Busy Sweating the Small Stuff

We know we do. 

If we attach great weight to small decisions, then the weight we attach to big ones is overwhelming. We don't have the headspace left to consider them, when there are just so many things to think about.

If you don't get caught up in pleasing everyone, what's the worst that can happen? You see a terrible film? Someone doesn't have their favourite meal that day? These things don't matter.

Quick Decisions Give the Appearance of Confidence

And not just to other people, but to ourselves too.
They're a very easy way to help you feel more confident. No overthinking, you just cracked on, made a decision, moved on.
You'll appear more confident. And, over time, you will feel more confident, because you are repeatedly trusting yourself.

Much love,
Anna
xx

Talking to Yourself

"Talk to Yourself Like You Would To Someone You Love"

This is one of my absolute favourite quotes, from the fabulous Brené  Brown.

It's also really, really hard to do. Plus, we sometimes fall into a pattern of familiarity with people we love that means, well, we don't always let them know that we love them.

How about then, we at least try to talk to ourselves with respect?

When we respect our own opinions, our health, our bodies, we're showing that we believe in ourselves - and this is at the root of confidence.

When we don't have faith in our decisions, and waver, second guess, or start to lose track of ourselves, our confidence levels fall.

Body confidence is not separate from any other kind of confidence - build your confidence in one area and it will ripple through your life.

Build your body confidence, and you will gain more general confidence
Build your overall confidence, and you will gain more body confidence

Respecting your opinions doesn't mean you somehow think you're always right. Don't people who do think they're always right just annoy the hell out of you?
It just means that you place trust in your own decisions. If something doesn't work out, well, we're all on a constant learning curve, that's how we grow and change our minds over time.

Equally, respecting your body doesn't mean considering it to be 'perfect'. It simply means that you make decisions based on what you know to be good for your health, good for your body, good for you.

Establish a pattern of respect for yourself, and your confidence will grow

There are so many ways to do this, and it will vary for everyone.

If, for example, you start sentences with "I'm probably wrong...", catch yourself, stop yourself, remove the preamble and just say what you think.

If you never choose what film to see, or what restaurant to go to, because you are more concerned at pleasing other people than yourself, put your opinion forward. Yes, compromise is a wonderful thing, but not if you're always the one doing the compromising. 

If you feel like you don't 'deserve' nice clothes, well-fitting lingerie, or to be able to wear a bikini - show yourself that you are absolutely as deserving as the next person.

Act right now how you think you would act if you had more confidence

Because that's all anyone else is doing.

Can you face your face?

So, to most people this is a ridiculous question - you're quite happy with your face, thanks!  However lots of people, women in particular, absolutely hate looking at themselves.

In the average week I will hear several times, as women flick through images "nothing like this - too much face".  Now, sometimes this will be because they want something that shows more than just their face. But a lot of the time it's because they specifically don't want an image of their face.  Not close up. No way.

"I won't like it", they tell me.
"I hate my face".
There may be actual wincing.

What, you may ask, is wrong with their faces then?  Just who do I have sitting in front of me?  The answer is that nothing is wrong.  I'm always a little taken aback, especially when people clarify with "well, obviously nothing too facey" as if I should be totally in on the reasoning.

Except, the thing is...I kind of am. Or at least, I should be. I don't love my face. I have been told more than once that I look like my dad.  I mean, there was nothing wrong with my dad, but, you know, he was a man, and I'm not. And I really do have his face.

And so we go from not liking our faces, to avoiding looking at our faces, to not liking photos (because we're confronted with our faces) to avoiding photos.

It's an issue. For starters, we could probably do with stopping being so disappointed in ourselves.  Are we surrounded by super models? Only in magazines, and on social media -why should those carry so much weight with us?

Do we recoil from the faces of our friends, families, work colleagues? I know I don't!

We need to be less hard on ourselves and, crucially,  stop trying to avoid looking at ourselves because, guess what? You look normal! I look normal! This is what normal people look like, and no one else is bothered by us so we shouldn't be either!

Much love
Anna
xx

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