IN HER WORDS :: Ashlyn | Austin Boudoir Photography
This write up is long overdue. Over the summer, I was lucky enough to do a shoot with Elizabeth. It was my third time doing a shoot with her and every time seems to be more amazing. I never knew I could love myself this much. There is something so empowering about shooting with her. Especially, since I’ve been plus sized my whole life.
After my shoot I felt invincible. I felt rebellious. I felt…SEXY! There is nothing more empowering than giving society’s beauty standards a middle finger and feeling beautiful in your own skin. Then, once I received the photos…I fell in love with myself all over again. I have never felt so beautiful.
During this shoot Elizabeth asked me about my tattoos. She specifically took notice to the tattoos I have on my wrists and their significance, so I thought I would share…
The story of 12:03 and 12:04
About 15 years ago, my mother and I moved to the Bay Area in California. I was 15 at the time and had been in more schools than I care to count. Up until that point we had moved all over the state never staying in one place for too long. My mom had gotten a dream job that seemed like it was finally the break we needed to settle down. We moved into an old apartment with an oven from, what must have been, the 70s. The clock on the oven was broken and stuck at 12:03. After multiple attempts to take apart the clock and fix it, we admitted defeat and left it alone. Almost immediately after, we joked about it and any time someone would ask what time it was, we would respond 12:03. Well, the clock didn’t end up being the only broken thing in our lives during this time. What we thought was going to be a start to a wonderful new chapter in our lives turned into something out of a cheesy and poorly written soap opera. One bad thing after another happened and we just couldn’t catch a break. The worst of it was when my mom ended up getting really sick and losing her great job, forcing me to drop out of college and having to get a second job. This also happened to coincide with being heart broken over the first boy I had ever been in “love” with. It all was overwhelming for me at 19. Yet, the entire time, the clock was broken and we always managed to giggle when someone would ask what time it was.
Four years of a real life soap opera had gone by and we were definitely not optimistic. Then, suddenly, something seemed to shift. It was the first week of December and it started to feel like someone had kicked over the right domino and everything started oddly falling into place. My mom was feeling better and was offered a new job. I had gotten an opportunity to be a freelance makeup artist for the job that I had gotten after dropping out of college. Which was my first step in pursuing my new career as a professional makeup artist. I also met an incredible man who showered me with love and showed me how I deserved to be treated. It happened within the span of about a week. That week, on December 4th, I walked into the kitchen, and the clock said 12:04. No one had changed it, and it didn’t move again. Four very long and frustrating years had gone by and with that one number, our luck finally changed.
I got tattoos of 12:03 and 12:04 to remind myself that things always change. Time always moves forward no matter how bleak things may seem.
I never would have imagined when I was 15 that I could ever love myself this much. At 19 I would never have been comfortable enough in my own body to celebrate my curves as well as my flaws. But time has moved forward and I have changed.
Thank you Elizabeth for being such a huge part of my journey to self love and confidence.