Usually I’m not one to open up and pour my emotions out to anyone. I’m the girl who keeps things locked away and says I’m fine or changes the subject, but today I’m going to step out of my comfort zone for The Body Love Project. Participating in this project has taught to me accept myself for who I am, accepting myself for what I look like and not comparing myself to others anymore (which isn’t an easy thing to do for most of us!).
Honestly, having glossy magazines that put perfect models and public figure or celebrities as we know them on the cover doesn’t help with confidence when you’re a teen growing up. Especially, when your not the girl who wore the tight jeans or mini skirt in high school like the other girls or had a large group of friends or ran with the popular crowd in high school. For some people it comes easy, but for me it's taken me a long time to build my confidence and be OK with who I am. When I look back at my high school days, and reflect upon who I was then, to who I am now - I realize just how far I've grown as a person. I feel more comfortable with being a little different than most, and I think that's one of the biggest challenges in our society  -  just being okay with ourselves and not having to change to fit a certain criteria.

I may never be the party kinda girl who is loud and dances in the middle of the room, but I can confidently say I'm no longer the girl who would be too shy to talk to people. I'm more open, more accepting of who I am as an individual and no longer aspire to being the perfect girl you see in glossy magazines. I am Maria, shyly confident - if that's even a thing! Being apart of the Body Love Love Project has been the best decision I've made; it's another step in the right direction in loving myself, accepting who I am, what I look like (and my obsession for the color pink, which you can see in these photos!). 

The photo-shoot with Sarah was amazing, and most importantly I felt so comfortable. Sarah made me feel like the belle of the ball; the backdrop at Fitzroy Gardens was gorgeous, and I had such a great time. I was pushed out of my comfort zone which felt great and I also felt like a beautiful star throughout the whole photo-shoot.

The Body Love Project is a great initiative that is helping women love themselves more. I truly hope this project goes far in its reach because I can only imagine how many more woman, men, teens and children it can help. I encourage everyone who is reading to stop comparing yourself to others, to love your imperfections - accept who you are and who you’ve become. Thank you Sarah for making The Body Love Project, it was a pleasure to be part of it!

This is what the Body Love Project is all about. Photographing authentic women, sharing their journey, and inspiring others. This project aims to celebrate women and their beauty. We are not a number on a scale, a dress size, and our beauty isn't even based on a reflection in the mirror. We are worth far more than this. We are even more powerful when we share the strengths of our bodies, and especially when we raise each other higher.

Thank you so much Maria for getting involved with the Body Love Project, and for sharing your incredible journey! 

If you would like to be apart of the Body Love Project, please read the project details, and you can even book a session with me - just head over to "Book Your Photoshoot" in my main menu.

Sarah x