Embracing Imperfection | The Refined Collective

This post is in collaboration with The Refined Collective Series. Be sure and check out the other ladies in this wonderful group: The Refined WomanJulien GarmanBrynna WatkinsJackie Viramontez,  Lauren ScruggsRebecca Hajek and Erica Chen.


Image by Katherine Harris

Image by Katherine Harris

A few years ago, when I was rebranding Boudoir by Tutti to properly define its core values, one of the most intentional decisions I made was to eliminate the word imperfection from my vocabulary. Women would reach out to me, interested in booking a boudoir shoot with the caveat that I retouch their imperfections and then they'd list them off for me. Early in my business, I basically did whatever my clients wanted me to do. If they wanted me to get edit wrinkles, lines, skin, dimples, scars, acne, moles or any other skin feature, I'd simply do it, no questions asked. This resulted in pictures I can barely look at now without cringing. They're so over-edited and fake that I can barely stand it! Not just for the amateur aesthetic they display, but because they don't represent the woman I remember meeting and photographing that day. They don't showcase the way she made me feel or the essence of her being. Did I do a disservice to her by airbrushing her skin and erasing the marks that make her, her? The answer is yes and no. In booking a shoot, going through the experience and seeing pictures of themselves that reflect a wonderful version of themselves, these women felt joyous and beautiful. I can't discount the power of that. On the other hand, they continued on with their lives perhaps believing that what makes those pictures beautiful is the fact that those features were erased from existence, and that's certainly counts as a disservice.

I've expanded and refined my vision for women in the past seven years in a way that serves both my values and my vision for women. I'm confident we can move toward being women who not only embrace the skin we're in but also stand in the power that comes with that truth. In practical terms, what this means is refusing to use destructive words such as imperfections to refer to natural features of our physical body, embracing the features we have difficulty accepting as well as celebrating the ones we adore, being tender and loving to our bodies through wellness and continuing to fight for authenticity in relationships, interactions and media's representation of women. 

During a recent interview, I asked a woman to describe a visualization exercise where she pictured her future self. In her mind, the picture she saw, albeit a physical representation of herself, represented her actual spirit - her essence - her soul. She referenced how her children see her, how no matter what she's wearing, how congested or sick she might feel, how tired or unattractive she might appear on any given day, her children still run to her for love and comfort. They see her essence. She is enough. She is beautiful. She is worthy. It painted such a warm image in my mind about how simple this all really is. You and I don't carry imperfections - we are exactly how we are supposed to be. 

We are enough.

We are beautiful.

We are worthy. 

What if we approached our perception of ourselves in the same way children do - with carefree and joyous abandon? When there's nothing standing in our way, joy erupts. When we flip our need for our physical bodies to speak to how we feel inside and instead allow our beautiful essences to coat our physicality, we will feel worthy, seen and beautiful. Always. 

As your peer and friend, I admit this isn't the attitude I wake up with daily. It takes practice, community and tools to peel back layers of yucky residue. One of my favorite ways to center myself and feel my spirit is by using affirmations during meditation. With eyes closed, a serene environment and breath connection, I find these repeated phrases helpful in reminding me how much beauty and love rests inside me. Take yourself through your favorite meditation and use any of these powerful words to bring clarity to your own spirit and essence.

May I be filled with loving-kindness.

May I be well.

May I be peaceful and at ease.

May I be happy.

May I be appreciative and thankful.

May I be blessed with pure love and light.

May I be joyful. May I be now smiling.

May I be larger to cultivate more loving kindness.

May I be healthy.

May I live with ease.

May I be blessed.

May YOU feel ease and peace, my darlings, and may you know there are no such things as imperfections.

With love,
Tutti

// C R E D I T S //

The Refined Woman Collective
Loving kindness affirmations

 

THIS WEEK --- The {Lovely} Ladies of Sky Ting Yoga!

I'm beyond excited to share this teaser video of my shoot with Chloe Kernaghan and Krissy Jones of Sky Ting Yoga! We had such a fun time talking about life, yoga, inspiration, beauty and traveling and it's all being featured this week, so make sure to subscribe to the blog (right there on the right!) to be notified when it's out. In the meantime, below is a behind-the-scenes video for you to witness just how gorgeous and real these two are. 

BONUS: As an added bonus and in the spirit of the upcoming Springtime blooms, I decided to offer a killer boudoir deal (see below) that'll hopefully give birth to many new relationships with lovely, like-minded people like you - if you're reading this, we already have a lot in common :) Regardless of whether or not you've ever considered a boudoir photo session, just get in touch so we can chat about some fun details. I guarantee it's even more fun and much less scary than you could ever imagine!

Thank you to Krissy + Chloe for making this shoot and interview so, so fun, and for your bountiful words of wisdom, both in and out of the yoga space. 

Stay tuned for their feature in a couple days. In the meantime, here's the video - you'll want to turn the volume up!

Sending you all lots of sunny + warm love,

Tutti

newyork.boudoir.photography.tuttidelmonte

LIVING SEXY IS... Connecting To Others

This one is a particularly challenging woman to intro to with as much oomph as she naturally carries.

boudoir.photography.nyc.tuttidelmonte

Eve is a brilliant artist, who’s blessed with quick wit, a tender heart and an intense connection with herself as a woman. The latter may be seen as a curse, as being a woman comes with a lot of FEELINGS, some magnificent, some painfully destructive.

But emotions, the ups, the downs, the good, the bad, etc. allow us to connect to others on a multidimensional level. 

boudoir.photography.nyc.tuttidelmonte
boudoir.newyork.photography.tuttidelmonte

//

“It takes some level of chore in your life to actually evoke these emotions sometimes. So for anyone who wants to get close to that, I’d say to them… FEEL.” - Eve

//

boudoir.photography.nyc.tuttidelmonte

Coming from the world of fashion and beauty, Eve has spent many years in an industry that defines beauty and sexiness using mostly visual aesthetics. But, as time and life will have it, she now sees a complete different side of it.

boudoir.photography.nyc.tuttidelmonte

//

"As an adult, the more I transcend the idea of an aesthetic in itself and look at what feels right, the closer I can connect to my emotions, the sexier I feel… It’s not something visual, it’s not even something physical, it’s about connections. It’s about connections to other people.” - Eve

//

boudoir.newyork.photography.tuttidelmonte
boudoir.newyork.photography.tuttidelmonte

This is coming from the same woman who started the interview stating that "eating copious amounts of watermelon, alternating that with masturbating and watching old reruns of the X-files on a Friday night alone” is what comes to mind when she hears the word sexy. You see why I love her? 

boudoir.photography.nyc.tuttidelmonte

//

“Perhaps there isn’t such a rigid definition for what sexy is. You start to develop your own idea for what is beautiful, what is authentic, what is natural; and whatever IS natural, becomes the sexiest things there is.” - Eve

//

boudoir.newyork.photography.tuttidelmonte
boudoir.newyork.photography.tuttidelmonte

This woman and her natural and unforgiving way of being truly inspired me during this process. I love seeing people dig deep into their spirit and shed the layers that don’t serve them anymore. The protective walls we build inside protect us from getting hurt, sure, but they also impede us from fully connecting to others in the most intimate ways. It’s so humbling to see someone’s soul bare and willing to feel. So I thank you, Eve, for being as courageous as you are and challenging me to not be afraid to feel more. 

boudoir.newyork.photography.tuttidelmonte
boudoir.newyork.photography.tuttidelmonte
boudoir.newyork.photography.tuttidelmonte

//

"The more you connect to humanity as a concept, that really is the sexiest thing, because the most integral, the most grounded, the most vital thing that you can possibly connect to is the emotional shared appreciation between all living beings.” - Eve

//

boudoir.newyork.photography.tuttidelmonte
boudoir.newyork.photography.tuttidelmonte
boudoir.newyork.photography.tuttidelmonte

I couldn't resist the urge to film this beauty during our shoot. I hope you enjoy it!



// C R E D I T S

Video by Tutti del Monte

Featured: Eve Ainsbury

Music by Mikky Ekko, "Pull Me Down"

Location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn