What's your Red Dress?

I hate the dressing room... its evil. I have had body image issues for as long as I can remember. I've heard it all; I need to love myself, embrace my curves (I know you are probably thinking 'what curves', just because you can not see them does not mean they are not there), just love the body I have. However, its easier said than done. I struggle not picking myself apart every day. I have made major progress but have miles to go. In high school I could not leave the house without doing my makeup. Nowadays I am makeup free most days. I can comfortably go out in public without makeup. Seems simple and easy, but not when you stand in front of the mirror critiquing every inch of your face. I ask myself everyday 'Why does it matter what I look like?', 'Why do I want to be known as beautiful?'. I don't know the answer. Maybe its because of the media and our society's stigmas on body image. Maybe its because I didn't make friends easily growing up. Maybe its because I always thought the only way to make friends was to be beautiful. What I do know: I have many people who love me and care about me, I don't have to wear makeup to be beautiful, I have a beautiful personality and love for others and animals.

Although I hate dressing rooms... I cant avoid them. I recently found a store that never disappoints...

Correction... almost never disappoints. 

The clothing is comfortable, cute and affordable. Every shopping trip I pick out one "adventurous" piece to try on. Something I would never even think to try on, something that doesn't speak to me on the hanger. Most times it doesn't work out, but that's okay because its meant to be fun! On my most recent trip I tried on a red dress that I was sure would look very silly... I was wrong. It was very comfortable and looked great! My body is far from perfect or ideal but this dress made me forget that and love the dressing room that day.

I bought the dress (less than $20 too!) and told Kevin we had to do something fun with it in Portland! A fun "fashion" like shoot. We found a great necklace, and two masks for the shoot. We had no idea what we were going to be able to accomplish but the only goal was to have fun and be creative. We went to Seattle the day before the shoot and came across the most amazing bouquets I had ever seen. One in particular stuck out so we bought it because it matched my dress perfectly. I was paranoid transferring the flowers from Seattle to Portland hoping they would stay alive through the night... they did!

The shoot was incredibly fun. I broke out of my comfort zone and did something I wouldn't normally be comfortable with. I got lots of stares and heard lots of comments (all good, I think), there were even people taking pictures of me and Kevin (that was slightly awkward).

Finally...

I encourage you to find your Red Dress in life. That out-of-your-box thing that makes life more interesting. That thing that allows you to have fun and get creative. That thing that wont make sense until you actually go through with it. That thing that helps you not take life so seriously. That thing that allows you to let go for a day. That thing that will make you appreciate life and everything it has to offer. I would love to hear your Red Dress story... feel free to comment below :)

Without further ado, my fun, adventurous, out-of-my-box,  red dress shoot... 

Photography by my amazing husband Kevin Deskins.