Dear DiaryDress Up

raop_boudoir073

It’s been awhile since I bared all on the internet here (three years to be exact). A lot has changed in that time with both me and my body, and with so many changes to come it felt like the perfect moment to get a snapshot of where I’m at.

To be honest, this is the most comfortable I’ve ever felt in my skin.

I’ve never really had any sort of self loathing issues when it comes to my body, but I can’t say I’ve always had the healthiest tactics when it comes to staying in shape. For years I built up habits of over indulging and then punishing myself, trying to stay so busy that I “forgot to eat”. I think as someone with OCD fuelled anxiety and depression, depriving myself of food when life got really rough was a way to gain control over something, and in that twisted way it momentarily made me feel better to feel hungry. When everything was spiralling out of control, food was the one thing I knew I could always get a handle on. It started as a teenage angst thing, but by the time I hit my 20s I was also using cigarettes to stay thin, coveting the moments when my bones poked out a little more than before. This wasn’t fit or healthy, this was skinny, the kind of skinny that eventually makes you sick. Again, it all came back to control – how much COULD I deprive myself? How different could I make my body look based sheerly on will power and sadness? It’s not something I’ve ever really spoken about here before, but today sharing it just felt right.

I’ve been steadily working on my mental health for, well, my entire life really, but this past Christmas was a major turning point for me. I made a lot of big life decisions, quit smoking cold turkey (6 months next week!!!) and made a commitment to start actually taking care of myself. No more days without food, no more replacing breakfast with tobacco, no more lazing around crying over TV shows instead of getting outside or heading to the gym.

For the first time in a long time, I didn’t just want to look better, I wanted to be better.

I can’t tell you how much my life has shifted over the past six months, and these photos are a celebration of that shift, a time stamp of this new season in my life. I’m loving eating well, drinking less, and moving my body more (see you guys at Soul Cycle for spin class soon?) and my mental state has never ever been better as a result. Scarlet O’Neill captured this moment so flawlessly, somehow balancing over me with her pregnant belly like a warrior AND making me feel sexy the entire time. Stole My Heart provided the most insanely gorgeous, intricate lingerie pieces to shoot, and Wild North hit the floral game out of the park. Everything came together in one enchanted afternoon celebrating health and happiness.

I no longer feel the need to control my body, and I can’t wait to see all the beautiful ways it changes in the years to come. After all, women’s bodies are magic.

raop_boudoir142

raop_boudoir102

raop_boudoir031

raop_boudoir060

raop_boudoir108

raop_boudoir114

raop_boudoir015

raop_boudoir062

raop_boudoir105

raop_boudoir058

raop_boudoir130

raop_boudoir075

raop_boudoir099

raop_boudoir193

raop_boudoir055

raop_boudoir195

Photography by Scarlet O’Neill
Lingerie via Stole My Heart
Florals by Wild North
Tarot Deck by Labyrinthos

Dress Up

SpringInsoHead

I’m not big on changing my “look” based on trends, but I do always like to feel like my style is evolving- constantly cycling in new pieces and inspiration. I’m always logging my current favourites on Pinterest, and every once and awhile I’ll notice an undeniable pattern based on the season. This Spring, it’s lingerie-inspired looks.

I’ve always had a soft spot for lacy underthings and soft peachy silks, but this is the first time I’ve really embraced wearing them outside in broad daylight. A robe-like jacket over a lacy romper paired with heels and statement earrings? Yes please! Major inspirations include Carrie’s NYE look in the Sex and The City movie, and almost all of the SS16 runway shows, and my favourite brands of the moment are Bully Boy, Uncuffed Leather, and CV New York (who sadly just closed their doors, so shop what’s left quick!) If you bump into me this spring you’ll likely find me in leather chokers, silky loose trench coats, slip dresses with lace bras peaking out, and all the shades of blush, cream and peach you can dream of.

Did I get dressed or just roll out of bed? You’ll never really know for sure.

SpringInspo1

SpringInspo2

SpringInspo3

SpringInspo4

SpringInspo6

SpringInspo7 copy

All photos via. Pinterest

Dress Up

View More: http://ainsleyrose.pass.us/alyssa

Ainsley and I have known one another since high school in North Vancouver believe it or not, and I’ve loved watching her incredible career in photography blow up over the years. I’ve been eagerly waiting for a chance to collaborate on a shoot of some sort with her, so when she messaged me asking if I’d be up to work together during a short visit to Toronto a few months ago I jumped at the chance right away.

Ainsley specializes in bridal, but because I was fresh out of a really hard breakup and we didn’t have much time to put together a massive shoot, I suggested we go for something a little more stripped down. We agreed to get together in Paige from Bicyclette’s bedroom, dress up in favourites by For Love and Lemons from the shop, and shoot a bit of boudoir!

I’ve never done anything like this before, but at the time my confidence was at an all-time low, and I figured, why not prance around in my most beautiful underwear and feel good about myself? Seriously, though it was pretty nerve wracking at first, but I strongly believe every single person should try a shoot like this at least once in their lifetime. It was so inspiring and confidence-boosting to work with Ainsley (she’s both the nicest and babeliest girl you’ll ever meet), and the best part was I went into it knowing I was taking these photos just for me, not for a partner or admirer. It was liberating, exciting, and just so much fun!

View More: http://ainsleyrose.pass.us/alyssa

View More: http://ainsleyrose.pass.us/alyssa

View More: http://ainsleyrose.pass.us/alyssa

View More: http://ainsleyrose.pass.us/alyssa

View More: http://ainsleyrose.pass.us/alyssa

View More: http://ainsleyrose.pass.us/alyssa

View More: http://ainsleyrose.pass.us/alyssa

View More: http://ainsleyrose.pass.us/alyssa

View More: http://ainsleyrose.pass.us/alyssa

View More: http://ainsleyrose.pass.us/alyssa

View More: http://ainsleyrose.pass.us/alyssa

View More: http://ainsleyrose.pass.us/alyssa

View More: http://ainsleyrose.pass.us/alyssa

View More: http://ainsleyrose.pass.us/alyssa

View More: http://ainsleyrose.pass.us/alyssa

View More: http://ainsleyrose.pass.us/alyssa

View More: http://ainsleyrose.pass.us/alyssa

View More: http://ainsleyrose.pass.us/alyssa

View More: http://ainsleyrose.pass.us/alyssa

I already can’t wait to see what we come up with next time we find ourselves in the same city!

All photos by Ainsley Rose Photography. To book your own boudoir shoot you can reach Ainsley through this contact form