Embrace All Bodies

These Wings were Built to Fly

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Wings and boudoir. What comes to mind when you think of wings….and boudoir? If you had asked me two years ago I would have said something like “oh those gorgeous fairy wings that are strapped to the backs of the Vicky Secret Angels that float down the runway!” You all know the kind I’m talking about, they are etherial and dainty and not worth a damn in regards to actually flying. Ya, those. The equivalent of a penguin wing. Cute, pretty but completely useless for actually getting off the ground. Today, we are going to chat about wings….but I don’t want to talk about the wings that keep a woman helplessly tied down, I want to talk about the wings that actually help women fly.

When I started this boudoir journey in November of 2017 I had no idea what I was doing. Let’s be honest, who decides to jump into crock infested water with no boat and no paddle? I was a completely green boudoir photographer who didn’t know the first thing about posing, lighting, what makes a woman feel good or where to start. What I DID know was that I was yearning to leave an industry that played into the stereotypical bullshit of what makes a woman pretty. Thin face, flat tummy, big boobs, fake and photoshopped. I would leave a wedding I just shot and ache for the mother of the bride who spent the entire day bashing her appearance. I wanted to hug her and say “sis, your baby girl is getting married today. Put that worry and weight down for a minute and just enjoy the day.” Instead I would get in my truck and hurt. Women wanted me to transform them into something they were not and I just knew something had to change…..so I jumped into that crock infested canyon with faith and hope.

Growing up, women are not taught to jump, let alone fly. We are taught to make smart, calculated decisions. Go to school, get good grades, sneak under the radar, don’t be too big, too messy, too aggressive and the whole time remember to be pretty. Smile so people don’t think you are cold, but don’t smile too big because they may assume something. Fit into the pretty box that society built for you, but for goodness sakes don’t customize that box. Our wings were clipped the day we were born and it has hindered our ability to trust those wings when it comes time to actually fly. It has kept us below that shroud of what society expects and has created a toxic stink that says women will never be good enough just they way they are. I’m here to say fuck that noise. Your wings may be clipped sis, but they aren’t broken. We have wings the size of that dragon on Game of Thrones (nope I don’t watch the show, but those wings looked enormous). Which means we have been told a lie our entire lives. Not only can you jump, but babe we can FLY! Our wings may be clipped but do you really think a dragon that goes around burning cities to the ground is going to notice a little chip in her wing? Nope, she sure as shit isn’t, so channel that inner dragon and spread them wings. It’s time.

Why does this matter to me right now? Here is why. In the last two years I have jumped several times with no regard for the hard landing. I spread my clipped wings on hope and faith that they were going to catch me and guess what…..they did. I have learned to pursue my passion in such a big way that I will absolutely move heaven and earth to help women stretch their big giant dragon wings out and fly. If that means turning away from traditional photography to pursue body positive boudoir, then so be it. If that means presenting women with authentic images in a world that is fake and photoshopped, then so be it. If that means moving to Denver and then back in less than a 6 month period, then so be it. I continue to spread my wings and jump, learning on the way down that I can do anything. Someone has to show the women of our generation just how powerful their wings are so I will make this choice 10 times out of 10 with zero regret. If I can jump and make it work, then so can you…I promise.

If this thought is scary to you, then good. Jumping from anything without the promise of a safety net will make anyones butt clench, but what is your alternative? Stay in a life that is not meant for you? Hide your body so people can’t judge you? Cover up to protect people’s emotions? Keep quiet so no one can judge your opinion? What does that leave you with? Nothing but a sad reality, covered in the slim that society continues to throw our way to keep our wings wet. You are a dragon sis and it’s time for you to start exploring all the tall buildings and mountains and obstacles that you can throw your beautiful self off of just to watch your wings catch you. I jumped into the scary crock infested waters and didn’t get eaten because my wings were there to support me, clipped and all. Whatever your scary canyon is, jump. If that’s sitting for a boudoir session for the first time, asking for a promotion, speaking up rather than staying quite or pursuing another huge dream, just do it!! I am here to soar right along with you and we both know how scary a pissed off woman with wet wings and a chip on her shoulder is. Hang up those fairy wings and strap on your big nasty dragon wings. It’s our time ladies, so let’s spread our wings and conquer the world.

Embrace all bodies, especially the one you are in.

Love

Katelyn



Embrace All Bodies | The International Women's Day Battle

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Guess what day it is babes?!?! Yep, International Women's Day! March 8th, the day of all days. The mack daddy of nationally recognized days. It’s filled with hope, love and encouragement. A 24 hour window where women stand up and support other women, pushing aside any trace of competition or jealousy. Today, there is a place at the table for us, a seat, a dinner plate. We are seen as equals and I can’t even begin to describe how bad ass that is. So why does it feel so shallow? Fleeting and hard to grasp like sand through your fingers. I think it’s because it’s an unsustainable high, the kind you get from too much sugar that inevitably leaves you hungry and hollow.

So today, I would like to unpack this feeling of hollowness because I know I can’t be the only person who feels this way. We live in a world of sneaky inequality. Hidden in the shadows cast from the mountains of progress that have been made thus far for women. We have pushed and worked so tirelessly for equality that some days, like today, we feel on top of the world….until we turn and see that our mountain of progress still pales in comparison to the peaks that our male counter parts have been navigating forever. No shame towards the men in my life, but for once, I would love to know what the air tastes like up there.

As one of my most favorite authors, Brené Brown says “courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” Well, here I am world, standing in all my bra burning glory shouting from the rooftops that we still have work to do. On this international day of celebration I will stand in my courage and be seen for all the women who can’t stand one second longer. I will be the voice shouting above the noise for the women who no longer have a voice. I will be the body in the arena that keeps battling for the women who can no longer hold their sword. I will fight and keep fighting until we are seen as equals because it’s time to change the narrative. We deserve those peaks just as much as anyone else in this world and it’s time to keep climbing. Standing in our courage is scary but the alternative to standing and letting our voice be heard is silence, and that terrifies me even more.

We should not live in a world where women need a holiday to celebrate their accomplishments. An international day dedicated to the girl in the back who won the conciliation prize, a pity award for doing our best. Women are doing bad ass things in this world and should be celebrated every damn day. Not just on this glorious day of joy and hope. We should live in a world where this high is sustainable, something that can push us upwards towards greatness and equality, not just be a sugar rush of hope that dissipates and leaves us feeling hollow and alone.

So today, I will enjoy the rush and let this tidal wave of joy wash over me and cleanse my soul. I will embrace all the amazing stories of women doing amazing things, but I will also fight like hell to sustain this high and make sure the women in my world know how special they are 365 days a year. Not just March 8th, but every single day they walk this earth. I will shout and battle and stand my ground because the women I surround myself with deserve that. They deserve to know just how special they are and how worthy they are of equality. Not just today, but every day. Embrace all bodies, all women and all accomplishments. And sis, never ever let your crown fall as you navigate the rocky terrain to the peaks of equality ahead. You are loved, you are worthy and you are enough.

Cheers,

Katelyn


Here are just a few of the many women I chose to battle for. Thanks for being a part of my world.






















Embrace All Bodies | Raleigh, Durham Boudoir

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Body Positive Boudoir

Raleigh, Durham North Carolina

Have you ever done something that is so exciting it’s actually scary? The kind of thing that makes your palms sweat with fear, or anticipation, or both. When you get in your car to head towards the event and you actually consider turning the thing around and heading home. Well….for most women that is what the beginning of a boudoir session looks like, and let me tell you sis, you aren’t alone.

For the majority of the gorgeous women that sit for me, the thought of making the call to even LOOK into boudoir is a huge step. You are making a decision to get naked with a totally random stranger, and I don’t mean the kind of randomness that happens at 3am in college at a bar. You are going to sit in front of a camera and bare your soul to someone, who for the most part, you have just met. If that statement doesn’t scare the crap out of you then you may actually be a robot. Boudoir is terrifying, but like I tell all the women I work with, that fear is what helps us create magic. When you mix a healthy dose of fear, with a sprinkle of body love and some bad ass vibes you get absolute perfection.

So my advice for all those women who think it’s just too scary to try, it’s not. That fear is really just excitement for what the universe has in store. Change is something people run from, but it’s time for that change. It’s time to take the first step towards body love, to start embracing all the bad-assness that you are. Embrace those bone chilling moments of excitement and fear and know that just on the other side of those emotions is a whole world filled with bodies of all shapes and sized loving themselves for who they are. In all their imperfect perfection. Join the crowd, embrace the suck and ride that scary train into body love town. I promise it will be worth it =)

Embrace all bodies, especially yours!

Love,

Katelyn

Wearing Failure Like a Crown - Body Love Addition - Raleigh, Durham

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For all those who haven’t met me yet, my name is Katelyn and I am a body positive boudoir photographer in Denver, Colorado. About two months ago I made a decision to uproot my life and relocate to this beautiful city on a few days notice with no real business plan and nothing but a small u-hual, my dog and a fire to succeed. Today, some 60 days after signing my lease on my adorable condo, someone posted a video on facebook about the possibility of failure……ohhhh the irony. So today, I want to debunk the myth that failure is a curse and help open people’s eyes to why failure is such a magical thing. Not just in life or business, but in the pursuit of happiness. So hold onto your britches babes, because this theory may actually knock your bra off.

Failure….that dreaded word no one wants to be associated with for fear of being the black sheep, the outcast, the damned, the broken. Most commonly used when you have elegantly fallen on your face, or in my case, not so gracefully slipped on a piece of ice and hit every step on the way down. To fail means a lack of success or an omission of expected or required action. Failure then, for all intents and purposes, is a negative word. A slur to be hurled like fire, intended to cut deep and cause substantial harm. I am here to tell you that it’s time to change the narrative and wear your failure like the crown it is. Full of hope, potential and growth. So straighten that crown sis, hold your head up high and hear me when I say failure is something to celebrate!

Let’s take it all the way back to the days of diapers and learning how to walk. When a baby first starts to pull themself up, they look like a giraffe who just learned about their legs. It is ugly, messy and usually a little scary. Pretty soon, they learn to take assisted steps holding onto anything they can. Even with assistance a baby falls a hundred times over, but never ever gives up. They want to walk so bad they endure bumps, bruises and scrapes to succeed. Their will to win the walking game is so intense, they look past all the obstacles to take their first shaky steps. Once those pudgy little legs succeed with steps they push on to walk, then run, then skip and play. At no point do they look around and say, na, this failing thing just isn’t for me. Not today Susan, I am just going to sit here and look cute. Nope, a baby pushes themselves to the edge, completely unafraid and unaware of the word failure, because to them, it’s not an option.

At some point in our development this lack of fear starts to dissipate. We become hesitant, afraid and nervous to try new things. It may be upbringing, environment or first hand experience, but it’s as if we were burned by the flame and now too afraid to jump into the fire. For most people, that means not trying new things because it is easier to remain stagnant than it is to fail. The net spreads wide and thick with all the reasons why we shouldn’t do something because we may fail and frankly, I am just not here for that mentality. My favorite athlete of all time, Michael Jordan, once said “I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.“ Y’all! Think about failing at something more than once and getting up again, let alone 9,000 times.

To me, when I fail, it is a testament to the fact that I am in the arena trying. I am failing forward and learning what not to do at every step of the way. My “failure” is my success forward. When I fail, it means I had the guts to at least try. As the amazing Brené Brown puts it “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming.” Is it scary to stand in our vulnerability and stare failure in the face? Hell yes, but what is the alternative? Live a life of unfulfilled dreams, stagnant in a journey you hate or body you despise? You can miss me with that mess because I would rather fail miserably in a fire of glory than never have tried at all.

You may be wondering why failure is something I am talking about on a boudoir website and I will make this very simple and to the point. When a woman takes the first step in the direction of loving her body it is vulnerable and scary. It is a path marred with bumps and bruises and hard times. She will fail miserably some days and succeed gloriously others. We are conditioned from birth to hate the body we are in and it is easy to stay in that space. It takes vulnerability and bravery to face the unknown but I am asking that, just like that baby learning to walk, face it with a determination so big that nothing will stop you. Take 9,000 missed shots but never stop trying to love the being you are. Strive valiantly and come up short a millions times, but wipe that blood and sweat off your face and keep fighting. Why? Because you are worth it. Because you deserve it and it’s about damn time.

Fail over and over and over again and wear that crown with a pride and joy so big that no one can take it from you. Embrace the suck and keep getting up. Move 1,600 miles away from a place you feel safe with the possibility of failure nipping at your heals because the alternative is to stay stagnant. Try loving a body you hate and fail, because when you do that, it is a testament to the fact that you are trying. No one expects life or this body love journey to be easy, but surround yourself with an army of women who are failing with you. Know you’re not alone and never ever give up. Want it more than you want to breath and keep failing until you are standing on a mountain top of failed attempts. Look back down on those moments of failure and know you kept moving when you wanted to quit. You are not alone and know that these amazing women are with you and most importantly I am here holding you hand and failing right along side you. Embrace the suck, embrace your failure and embrace the journey. You are so worthy of this effort and support. Embrace all bodies, especially the one you are in.

Love,

Katelyn


Cheers to just a few of the amazing women who have allowed me to walk through this body love journey with them. To each of you who have trusted me along the way, thank you. You are so loved.

Embrace All Bodies | Raleigh, Durham Body Positive Boudoir - Body Love Is For All Women

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A Story About Me

Raleigh, Durham Body Positive Boudoir - Body Love Is For All Women

Take a long hard look at that body pictured above. Make sure to take in all the rolls, dimples, sweet meat and curves. To some, this may be a picture of beauty, to others it may be a shame trigger that plays into their own fear and vulnerability. In my eyes, I see a woman sitting in her power, basking in the truth that she is enough. Yes, I know it’s me and that may be a biased opinion, but y’all, it has taken a long time to be able to show this side of me to the world. A. Long. Ass. Time. Body positivity is not easy nor for the faint of heart. Trust me, I used to be my biggest critic. I grew up as a larger than normal human and the concept of “body positive” missed me. The boat sailed on that journey and I didn’t even know where the dang harbor was to get on the ship. In my eyes, body positive was reserved for the people who actually had “nice bodies” that were worthy of love.

I’m going to be real honest and raw in this blog and it is going to rub some people wrong. I am ok with that. I have spent a lot of my days trying to make myself smaller to fit into the box that society says women should fit into. We all know that box, it looks so neat and clean from the outside. Just small enough to not be noticeable. Never a crazy color. And NEVER too loud. Well sis, let me tell you, to me that box has always felt like the Fat Guy in a Little Coat scene from the movie Tommy Boy. If I finally got myself in the box then the back blew out, or the side smooshed open, or the folds gave out. Until I started this journey, I spent a lot of time worried about how I was going to shrink my being to fit the box, when in reality I just needed to order a bigger damn box.

This story starts back in the days of elementary school when, in the 3rd grade, I wore a woman’s size 9 shoe and was shopping in the old lady section because all the cute little girl stuff was either too small or not long enough. I was a head taller than almost every boy in my grade and the next three grades above me. I towered over my best friends who were all so little and adorable. They could go to sleep overs and share clothes, play dress up with their life size Barbies and buy matching best friend shirts. When we finally did find those gross jelly shoes everyone wore in the 90’s in my size, it was like a rare gem stone. So much so that my mom nearly killed herself falling into Trinity Lake to save one, and no I can’t make this stuff up. Looking back as an adult, I know just how amazing my parents were through this weird time, but it didn’t matter. I was an outlier. Not one of the cool girls because I couldn’t physically fit myself into the mold….I was just too big.

Fast forward through the horrible days of junior high when we started to notice boys for the first time. I was the girl who played sports and rough housed with all the dudes, not someone they saw as an option to date. I will never forget the horrible feeling of getting up the nerve to ask Sean out and have it spread like fire through the school that he shot me down. Why? Well in my brain it was because I was a big fat ass who was too loud and sweat too much. At that age what did it matter what the real reason was? I was standing in my wilderness all alone and couldn’t see through the trees.

Skip to High School when I grew several inches over the summer and was playing travel ball. I went from the 180 pound undatable girl to a 5’10” stunner who was squeezing into a size 4 jean. Yep, I weighed in at 135 pounds and was nearly the same height I am today. My shirts were a medium and I could shop for jeans at the stores my friends did. Man I thought I was hot shit. In my brain I had figured out the secret formula to fit into the box. Eat less and work yourself to death. Literally. If I ate something bad during the day I would throw myself to the ground and do sit ups. I spent hours of my life with my shirt pulled up looking in the mirror to make sure you could still see my hip bones. I fit into the mold and it was all happening for me. Boys started to notice me. Girls in the hall would stop me and tell me how good I looked. Things like “on wow what did you do over the summer? You look amazing” were being thrown around and it fueled an unhealthy desire to stay the size I was. It got so bad that through my sophomore year I stopped having a period….but I fit in the box for the first time of my life.

Jump to the junior college years when I was playing basketball, living on my own and progressing the unhealthy habits I had started in high school. I was in the best shape of my life and still fell into a trap of feeling soooooo inadequate. It lead me to make horrible decisions about who I dated and things I did because I was just craving the high of fitting in. Same thing happened at my four year college. Physically, I couldn’t have been in a better place and it was never enough. I was eating the garbage that society was cramming down my throat and didn’t know any better. Looking back now my heart hurts for that girl. She was broken and sad and covered it all with a positive spin and a smile. Fake it till you make it. It was all I ever knew.

That brings me to the here and now. As dark as those days were, there was a lot of light that broke through the clouds. I had an amazing support system in my parents and never once did I feel pressure from them to look a certain way. That allowed me the opportunity to learn from a safe and comfortable place that no matter how you slice it, society has a messed up standard for what is expected of us. It’s not fair or right and I am here to tell you that as unhealthy as my journey was, I made it out the other side. Going through that has given me the opportunity to reach back and help women that are stuck in the quick sand spiral of body shaming….because until about a year and a half ago I was sitting in the same pool drinking the hate martini’s right with you. I get it sis.

The good news, the Body Positive movement has officially started and wahoo for that! Women are finally learning that they can give themselves the permission they never had to love themselves. The box that society hands you can be returned for a larger size, or shape, or color. If that doesn’t make you want to kick up your heals and put your sexy undies on I don’t know what will. It is our time and that is something more magical than Michael B Jordan in Creed (insert drooling unicorn emoji). Society does not have the right to dictate what your meter is for acceptance. That is something you can control and THAT is a powerful thing.

I want to wrap this up with a very clear and uplifting message. There is not just one type of body that is allowed the freedom to express body love or body positivity. By my definition this applies to all women who have experienced hatred for their being. Fat, skinny, tall, short, wide, broad, narrow, saggy, tight, this movement is for ALL women…ESPECIALLY those that have walked through a similar journey, stood in their wilderness and felt alone. Through my lens, you don’t have to be a certain size to hate your body, that hate is size blind, vicious and needs no help from us. So instead of fighting about who can or can’t be a part of this movement, let us take a moment and just encourage all women to love themselves unconditionally. Body positivity is for me, you and every woman in this word who is ready to buck the system. Stand tall pretty girl and bask in the power that comes from self acceptance. You are so worthy of this love.

Embrace ALL bodies, especially the one you are in!


Love always,

Katelyn


Embrace All Bodies | Myrtle Beach Body Positive Boudoir - Autumn

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Autumn

Myrtle Beach’s #1 Mermaid

One Day She Woke Up and Decided to Be Happy

Ok world, meet my very own, real life mermaid Autumn. We met almost 3 years ago through a mutual job and just clicked. This sweet soul is the definition of what my brand stands for and has become a muse of sorts in the world of Katelyn Scott. As many of you know, I work with women of all types that are battling body confidence issues and there is no rules saying that you have to be a certain body type to battle these very issues. This amazing woman woke up one day and decided it was time to change.

She came to me initially because her and her sweet man were celebrating 5 years together. The session was booked as a gift because she was looking for something with a little shock and awe value. She walked into the studio beyond nervous but with the most magnetic energy. It was like she was frothing over with nervous excitement. Y’all can we just take a second and talk about that? People are always nervous but when you sprinkle a jolt of amazing body love into nervous energy you get the most amazing magic. Which is exactly what happened that day.

To get this blog going I sent my girls a survey and her words brought me to tears. I asked what her favorite part of the day was and this was the response I got (insert ugly cry face here from gratitude for this amazing human). “My favorite moment was when I realized the shoot was no longer for him. I needed that shoot for me. I needed to be reminded that this sexy, confident woman was hiding inside and Katelyn brought it out!! She would look at my photos and just look in awe! She looked at me in a way no one had in a while and it lit a fire inside me! Like I said, my session was "meant for someone else" but it really was for me! I needed to see that my stretch marks are sexy and my curves and perfect! I am a woman warrior in this fight for self love!”

Yep, if you’re not crying right now I’m positive we can’t be friends. Y’all in a days time she went from someone who hated her body to really seeing herself for the first time. She walked in a doubter and walked out this beautifully bloomed flower of confidence, swag, sexiness and light. We have shot together several times since then and she is pretty much the body love fairy godmother of Myrtle Beach, shouting from the rooftops so every woman can feel what she did. And guess what!! She has even entered for a shot at becoming Inked Magazine’s Cover Girl and so far she is rocking it (insert shameful plug to go vote for her!).

I will never be able to properly thank Autumn for the energy she has brought to my brand or show her how grateful my heart is to have a woman warrior in this fight with me. Embrace all bodies is exactly is what she is doing and she started with hers first. Dear, sweet, amazing, smart, talented, sexy friend….I love you to the stars and back. Keep fighting the good fight and know I will always have your back!