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  • Mackenzie Slack

Learning To Love My Body - Again.

Hey there, it's Mackenzie - your photographer at MSP Boudoir in Bolivar, Missouri. A few weeks ago, I was inspired to share my journey of learning to love and accept my body. My hope is that it will shed some light on the subject and idea that this concept is not a destination, but rather a journey that we make again and again throughout our lives.

Mackenzie Slack Photography boudoir - photographer

I grew up in a pretty modest home. No bikinis, long shorts only, no low cut shirts, etc. I specifically remember the first time I thought that my body wasn't good enough. I was in 7th grade, definitely in an awkward stage, and frustrated that my boobs weren't growing. I mean, how would the guy I liked ever like me back if I looked like a pencil? (Turns out that guy was an asshole anyway, lol).

Ugh - to say I wish I could go back and give my little self a hug - is an understatement.

Throughout my school years and as a young adult, I struggled with feeling inadequate. I didn't always hate my body, but it was never "good enough" and I struggled with finding confidence in almost every area of my life.

When I became pregnant with my son, my relationship with my body became worse. I loved being pregnant, but looking in the mirror gave me mixed feelings. I felt beautiful that I had life inside me, but also felt unattractive because I had gained so much weight and my whole body was puffy. Looking back now with kinder eyes, I wish I would went ahead and had maternity pictures taken to capture the special moment in time - because it truly goes too fast.

Fast forward to about a year after he was born, I stumbled upon boudoir and fell in love. The more I learned about boudoir, the more I practiced it, the more I nurtured my relationship with my body. In the beginning, there were days I would stand in front of the mirror and force myself to only say good things about my body. Slowly, I began to believe those things.

boudoir photographer Springfield, Missouri

Around age 26/27 I came to absolutely loved my imperfect body. Extra weight and stretch marks included. I felt beautiful and strong. When I got pregnant with my daughter in 2022, that love grew more. I absolutely loved my changing body and thought it was so beautiful.

Then life hit.

My daughter received a terminal diagnosis when I was12 weeks pregnant. I'm not sure if it was due to depression or due to complications from her diagnosis, but my body was not thriving. My belly was SO big, but the rest of my body was withering away. But still, I felt more beautiful than I had ever felt before.

Maternity boudoir photographer Bolivar, MO.

When we came home from the hospital after her birth, for weeks - I just stood in front of the mirror and cried. I looked so sick, skinny, and small. I longed for my beautiful curvy body that held my sweet babe.

This is where it truly hit me - the impact our feelings have.

On the outside, you couldn't really tell a difference between my body before or after pregnancy. Both were beautiful - but the way I felt about them had changed.

9 months later, I still don't "love" my body - but physical appearance has little to do with it. Recently, I realize that I've been struggling to forgive it for failing us. I've held feelings of anger, distrust, and betrayal for it.

This opened up my mind to realize that many of you may be struggling to forgive your bodies as well - maybe it's due to infertility/child loss, maybe physical or mental illness, maybe it's aging, maybe it's simply because your life doesn't look the way you thought it was going to.

My bet is that there are more of us on this path than we realize.

Slowly, I am learning to thank my body for what it was able to do for me and my girl, instead of focusing on what it could not do.

No matter where you are in your relationship with your body, know you are not alone. It can be really frustrating to go from a place of love and acceptance to - well - the opposite. It can also be really frustrating to be working towards a place of love while you are in a place of frustration and negativity.

boudoir photographer Springfield, Missouri

Whatever you do, I urge you - don't give up on yourself. This journey - learning to accept, appreciate, and love your body - is SO worth it!


And I'm right here with you, friend.

Thank you for letting me share.

boudoir photographer Springfield, Missouri




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