"They see positive things about you that you don't recognize anymore and I left there feeling like I might have a chance on America's Next Top Model. " | Duluth Boudoir Interview with Sara

How old were you at your session?36

What made you decide to book a session?
I had wanted to do boudoir like six years ago but circumstances came up and I couldn't do it. Fast forward to now and I booked on Black Friday because I'm very much in a "YOLO" phase except for me I actually lived twice. I died giving birth to my fourth baby, I have serious health issues from that and I'm not the same in any way that I was. I am trying to get my groove back and I thought this would be a fun thing to do to help. Then they had their Black Friday sale so it felt like serendipity and I booked it on a whim thinking I had all the time in the world to lose some weight in time for my session. Spoiler: I actually gained 14 pounds so I went into my session at the largest size I have ever been, including all four of my pregnancies.

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What was originally holding you back from booking a session?
Obviously my size. Back in the day I was curvy in all the right places and I had worked hard at losing weight. Then life happens and I had two more babies and now my health issues makes it almost impossible to lose weight so I have to embrace where I'm at because this is what it's going to be. I can't dwell in low self esteem land and it's really HARD. It's really hard to feel sexy when you feel like garbage and think you look battle worn.

What were you most nervous about for your session?
I actually wasn't nervous at all! I was more anxious and jittery than anything because you can read 78 of these questionnaires and you really have no idea what you're stepping into or what the experience is going to be like.

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How did you feel about yourself before your session?
Pretty crappy. I have a five inch vertical scar on my stomach, I look five months pregnant and get asked when I'm due on the regular, I've got the thunder thighs and a booty to match. I feel disproportionate. I feel pretty great about the shoulders and up but everything below is not where I want to be in any sense. It hurts to move so I definitely don't feel sexy in any capacity.

Describe your experience.
It was pretty surreal, to be honest and I wrote it down the day of so I would remember because I have short term memory loss (hence, the Dory tattoo on my wrist). But it started with Emily picking out a bunch of things that might fit based on my questionnaire so I tried probably about 20 items on. I picked out what fit and what I felt comfortable in and Jes narrowed it down to about four looks for me. Then Emily did my hair and makeup, and I'll be honest, I cannot do my own makeup so that alone was a treat. It also highlighted that I'm fairly certain I am using the wrong brushes for everything and did you know primer is a thing? I did not know this and now I'm excited to buy primer. That's how much of a loser I am, ladies. After hair and makeup, you get into your first outfit and Jes basically walks you through everything. The time flies by and I really wanted to keep going but real life is waiting for us.

How did you feel about yourself after your session?
I felt amazing. They see positive things about you that you don't recognize anymore and I left there feeling like I might have a chance on America's Next Top Model. I felt prettier the rest of the day even though I only went out to dinner with a friend and came home to scrub toilets, do laundry, clean up cat vomit, and listened to toddlers scream about bedtime. I looked fabulous doing it!

Were you nervous before your viewing session?Not really! I was more excited than anything.

How did you feel about yourself after seeing your photos?
It was kind of funny because I felt prettier the day of and doing it and I didn't really see that same person in the photos, if that makes sense? I didn't recognize that girl and I wondered if that was what my husband sees on the regular, because I certainly don't feel that way at all. The great thing about short term memory loss is everything is a surprise so I didn't really remember what I wore or any of the poses so I was surprised by a lot of it.

What were your favorite products?The albums! I went in thinking I'd get the heirloom box but I left with much more.

What would you tell anyone interested, but maybe hesitant, in book a session of their own?
Just do it. Nobody ever is going to feel like they have no problem areas and let's face it- we can say we're going to lose the weight but summer is coming and so are mini donuts. Ha! I honestly challenge the women with the worst self esteem to do it ahead of the girls who feel pretty alright with themselves because they can benefit from this the most. I really look at myself completely differently.

How was working with Jes and Emily?
Jes and Emily are the dynamic duo who make everything fun. Even when I joke about chronic dry eye. Ha!

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Will you be doing another session?Maybe. I don't know if I need more photos but the experience was amazing.

Anything else you want to add?
I'd like to add that it's such a special job these women are doing for us and I know women must come in every day totally scared of what they are in for and they make everyone feel like a super model. To do that and be uplifting on the Facebook groups, and help out in the community, they are really changing the world one woman at a time. It's a pretty amazing thing when you look at the enormity of it and I'm happy to be a small sliver of that.