Cassie took Hollywood scenes to heart when she was younger. The rest of us didn’t want to admit it, but seeing skinny waists and small breasts really made us feel like we had to do whatever was needed to stay thin. After all, having weight on our bodies wasn’t “in.”
Over time, Cassie started to gain weight. She looked at her body and didn’t see beauty.
Luckily, over the years, Cassie has learned a truer, more meaningful definition of the term beautiful. Keep reading to hear a bit of her story.
M: Cassie, the meaning of the word beautiful is different for all women in all walks of life. One of my favorite things to do with these interviews and boudoir/beauty photoshoots is to learn what beauty means to each one of my participants. Can you tell me, from a young age, what you remember learning about the word beauty and being beautiful?
C: When I was a child, beauty standards in Hollywood were to be skinny, no bust, no waistline. I’ve always been gifted in certain areas, even as a child. Which meant I couldn’t find someone that had my body shape on TV or in magazines.
From an early age, I felt unattractive and different. I remember going to weight watchers meetings with my mom and sitting in the lobby while she attended them.
Later, in high school, I would accept any request for dates or to be someone’s girlfriend so that I would finally feel beautiful.
After I graduated high school, I rapidly gained weight, and this negative perception of what beauty was followed me for many years. It even impacted my wedding day and the early days of my marriage.
M: That’s absolutely horrible. Hollywood standards are not normal and making women feel as if they’re anything less than beautiful is very upsetting to hear.
I see as you grew and matured, your view of being beautiful never changed. It always remained negative. Does that negativity still stand today when you look at yourself and see the world beautiful?
C: Now, it’s safe to say I think beautiful people shine from the inside out. I don’t think physical features mean anything, especially if the person has an ugly soul.
It did take me a long time to see this, but I think that over time, my husband really changed my perspective. He always used to say, “I think you’re beautiful always. Let me be your mirror.”
Beauty shines through in every kind, compassionate, and caring soul.
M: It’s such a relief to hear you say that! I absolutely adore that you turned your negative views into positive views. It’s often hard to do that.
What words of wisdom could you share with other women who are struggling with that transition? How do you think they could better see the beauty in themselves?
C: I’d say let others shine the light on you. Try to see yourself through their eyes and remember you are so much more than your looks and professions. We’re still friends, sisters, daughters, moms, and much more. Never lose sight of your identities because you’re more than that.
M: These photos that we’re about to take, can you tell me why they’re so important to you?
One of the most rewarding parts of my photoshoots is that I can show a beautiful woman just how amazing she is through the snaps I capture. One would say I can show you how your beauty shines bright. But before we get started, I like to know the reasoning behind the session, even if it’s just to surprise your partner with some sexy photos.
C: For me, these photos are a reminder of the self-love and self-acceptance journey I’ve been on for the past two years. It’s a reminder of my progress towards healing in mental health and embracing myself as a whole person.
You’re right, too. It doesn’t hurt to have a gift for the hubby!
M: Haha, no it doesn’t hurt to have a gift for the husband!
Now, I just have one last question to ask you before we go in there. I think you’d definitely give me an inspiring answer to share with the other gals doing this photoshoot.
What is your favorite non-physical feature about yourself?
C: I’d say that my favorite non-physical feature is how deeply I care for the people around me including my family, friends, clients, coworkers, and even strangers.
In fact, I try my best to show everyone how much I care through my Instagram account, where I share my personal experiences with mental health, burnout in the education system, and therapy examples. I don’t want anyone to feel like they’re alone. So far, I’m going on 10.6K followers, and to be honest, I’ve found some pretty amazing friends there.
Cassie was a delight to be around. She struggled with beauty growing up just like most of us ladies have. The good part about her story is that she came out the other end in a much more positive light - which shows us that we, too, can turn our negativity upside down and see the true beauty in ourselves and others. All we have to do is try a bit!
If you want to see more of Cassie, you can follow her on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/adventuresofabehavioranalyst
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