From the very beginning I KNEW this work was home.
Self hate and body shaming have been a part of my life since I was a little girl.
But back then.. there was no "self love" movement.
No one talked about body confidence or self image back then.
I fought an internal war FOR 30 YEARS silently....Then in February of 2016 I made a kind of off hand decision to shoot some "sexy shoots". It was valentines day.. why not?
As I did those sessions, something changed inside of me.
There was a spark.
It was like all the sudden I knew what all that misguided rebellion had come from. Because this is so much about confronting the things we have been taught about our bodies and our self image,
I started really go to battle with all those things inside myself.
I started to face off against the real root of all my pain.
I realized It was my war....and I realized, as women, we are all on the battlefield of our own heart. We all fight an invisible enemy.
And it is a choice.
We have a choice.
It was then that I realized... I wanted a revolution.
So 16 months later-here we sit.... Welcome to the battlefield my love.
XOXO- Jana V.
When I get letters and gifts like these from dear clients who are now friends....
I know we are winning.
Thank you Dee Wallace Garrett for the amazing letter and gift. It means more than you will ever know. XOXOX- Jana V
Below is the letter and gift I received from this amazing lady!
A Simple Thank you…
As I look in the mirror every morning, I ask myself…Who am I? Who is this older woman looking back at me? I see gray hairs. I see new wrinkles. I see saggy knees and tone loss. I look online to search skincare and plastic surgery. I compare my 42 yr. old self to 25 yr. old hard bodies. I compare my REAL self to photo shopped faux bodies. I am old, I am tired. I am trapped in my own mind.
I am told I am “beautiful”, I am told I “look great” and I reply with arguments pointing out my flaws. Why is it so hard to love myself? I’m a good person. I take care of others. I put everyone before me and I love unconditionally, yet… I am still my worst critic. Why do I allow myself to judge myself as a physical being and not as a wonderful being? I am everyone’s cheerleader, highlighting their greatness, yet constantly denying my own. Why? Who am I? Who is this woman?
A self-critic? A negative Nancy? A joy killer? A hypocrite? All the things I preach to my children NOT to be; yet I live, breath and self-reticule myself daily in their presence. I feel the struggles of perfection; to be perfect in every way. Something so unattainable but for some reason, so desirable. Why? Perfection to me is not perfection to you. So why constantly beat myself up trying to achieve it? Because I am a woman and that is my struggle as is every woman’s struggle.
I had no idea I was anything more than these things until I saw myself through your camera. I saw what my husband is constantly telling me every day. I am beautiful! I am sexy! I am hot! I am a woman! I am feminine! I am appealing and attractive! Wow! I have never known those things were attainable. It sounds so ignorant to think so little of myself but I do as all women do. We should be ashamed! We are unique beings and our “better” halves see us as such, and to be able to experience this through a simple little photoshoot. Crazy to think that simple little photos allow us to see ourselves through someone else’s eyes. But these aren’t just little photos. These are artistic and beautiful and sensual and amazing portraits.
It was the most freeing experience I've ever had with my own body taking these pictures. It's like I had no barriers of self doubt. The shoot was meant for my husband as a gift but ended up being a freeing and erotic experience for me instead. This truly was a gift to myself that keeps on giving. Every woman needs this! They need this self-discovery! We are all perfectly imperfect and we owe it to ourselves to celebrate those imperfections. We should own our imperfections. Who knows…. those imperfections may be what draws others to us. We all have a story waiting to be told...even if we are the only ones that will ever read it. We as woman NEED it! We need to feel good in our own skin and love who we are no matter what we look like.
I am more than a mother. I am more than a friend. I am more than a lover. And for a hour and a half for that one Sunday afternoon, I was able to realize that. I will always have my struggles but I will, more importantly, always have these pics to remind me of my alter ego. My badass self. I am sexy! I am hot! I am desirable and I am free! And when I doubt those things and fall back into my critical self, I will look at my amazing portraits so artistically and beautifully done and remind myself of who I am in the eyes of someone else. I am a badass and I have you to thank for helping me see and discover that. As cliché as it seems. You really did help me see ME! I know who I am. I am a woman waiting to break free of societies barriers and riticule, I am ME and that’s all I should strive to be!
Thank you Jana! You are amazingly artistic! You have a gift and a purpose and you are killin’ it! I can’t wait for my next shoot! XOXOX- Dee