Possible Womxn 12/12 ME – Kendra K // Mental Health
“It wasn’t like a rain, it was more like the sea, I didn’t ask for this pain, it just came over me.”
-The National, Pink Rabbits
My lort almighty. I can’t believe we are here. When I decided that I was going to be a part of this project I was straight terrified, not going to lie. Not necessarily about the photos or getting them done, but more about opening up and sharing my story. With the truth meaning more to everyone who reads this, I knew that sharing everything I am is what I not only owe to myself, but owe to this project too. For over a year now I have been blessed to witness 11 ladies with 11 different stories about their bodies truly bloom right in front of my eyes. I got to not only hear their stories first hand but share them every month (or so…) with each of you. Each womxn feeling marginalized within their own bodies and never seeing themselves represented in boudoir imagery. I got real personal real quick with each of these ladies and I am forever grateful that each and every one trusted me in doing this – not just the photos, not just sharing their story, but representing them as a womxn in this project, in this time of our lives. Showing them that beauty is whatever they are. It’s been a lot of hard work, but it’s one of – if not the most rewarding – things I have ever done in my life thus far. It makes me excited for what’s to come. It also makes me nervous because I know that in order for me to take the next steps I need to in life, I need to better myself. This year has been a big year of me coming to terms with what I need to do next in life. I struggled a lot, this wasn’t a year I will look back on fondly honestly, but I know I will look back on it regardless. This is where I started to grow, and I mean really grow. Through it all I tried to see the beauty in the pain, I tried to love harder, crawl out of my shell a little more while simultaneously failing a lot, learning a lot, pushing through a lot and failing some more. I questioned many things in my life, including my career, my relationships, my purpose, and my mental health. I made some significant strides towards the end of 2019 after having a very lackluster year within myself. I’m proud of it and I hope it shows the path that I will continue to take in 2020. Being a part of this project has been one of my kickoff moments in life. Having boudoir done for me, processing years worth of feelings within a couple months, writing it all out while my hands shake. This has been a huge moment for me and hopefully a jumpstart to a new Kendra, one I’ve been trying to find for a while. While I am nervous to go on, I know I am only surrounded here with love, so thank you.
Thank you again, to everyone who has stuck around. Your support through this all has truly meant the world. I wanted to take a brief moment to shout out MY amazing photographer, Alejandra Maria. Or, littlalejandra on instagram. Alex is not normally known for doing boudoir, but I have been such a fan of hers, her style, her art, and her dancing skills since day one and wanted nothing more than to get a little creative with her. I am blown away at my photos, I still can’t believe I get to cherish these for a lifetime. Thank you so much Alex, you have been so instrumental in this project and in my life, honestly. <3
I am excited to be able to represent the category of mental health in the Impossible Boudoir Project. Although I will be talking about my body here and there, it will mostly be about my mental health – depression and anxiety. I have been depressed for roughly 14 years and anxiety seems to be a thing that progressively worsens for me as I grow older. My depression is a huge part of my life, it’s the only constant I have ever known. I have struggled basically everyday with it for these past 14 years and it’s honestly the worst. For me, it’s the worst because it’s the worst pain I know. It’s an endless cycle and I’m learning that it’s something I can help manage but not fight. It will always be there but there is hope for it to get better. Even if that means circling back to low times again, thats okay. I hold out hope for even just a few good years ahead, a few years where I can maybe feel like me.
For those reading who share the same pain, I am sorry. I’m sorry this is your reality as it is mine. I am sorry if you may have had months, or even years taken away from you because of this. I’m sorry and I am also here for you. To those who know someone struggling with depression, just be there for them. Reach out, tell them you love them and that you are there for them always. You never know what message could help and redirect someone you love.
Holy shit, let’s begin.
When it was time for my session, I won’t lie- I was actually fucking ready to go. Like, running to the studio, makeup did (first time in my life, thank you to my friend Jessie), Fenty lingerie in hand (wasn’t supposed to be delivered until after the session, thank god it came early, or on time for me), with a big ass smile on my face ready to strip down to my underwear. I am one billion percent confident that being a boudoir photographer is what gave me all the confidence going into my own session. I know where to put my hands, which way to turn my face, and all the flattering poses to make. I have seen and helped hundreds of babes in front of me not only feel confident in their posing, but feel confident in just being themselves. There was no way I was about to walk into that session not being myself and living out what I preach to others. It was amazing, I felt on fire and the confidence and pride lasted for a while within me.
For the longest time, I thought I couldn’t do boudoir even while being a boudoir photographer. Literally what would go through my mind is, no one ever sees my body, so why should I get photos like this taken?. Shame on me I know. But I really thought, well what’s the point…
Having this session put a lot of things into perspective for me. Although I’m not someone who bares her body, so to speak, that doesn’t mean that is a reason for not getting photos like these done. I have a living, breathing body and thats the only reason I need. Now having done this myself I can truly say, this needs to be a requirement for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re married, single, dating, a womxn, a man, trans, non-binary, or queer person, you have a body that deserves your love the most. Doing a session like this is the ultimate way to start loving who you truly are in your own skin. So coming from the terrified boudoir photographer who thought she didn’t have a good enough reason to get boudoir done and who finally had a session of her own, it’s worth it- trust me.
Growing up I had a very nice life. My childhood was pretty normal, good, nothing too crazy, nothing too terrible. We always had enough money growing up to take the yearly family vacations to Disneyland, my mom would always throw nice birthday parties when my brother and I were younger and we would travel and camp all over the western part of the United States. It was a lovely childhood full of outdoor activities, family, friends, scenic views, and fond memories. Part of me wanting to live in a van is to live out my childhood again. My Mom and Dad showed me that long road trips and camping were fun, and they are the most fun things I do today. I was a pretty lucky kid. Grew up moderately healthy, I have never been abused, I have never been sexually assaulted, had never even broken a single bone in my body. I was fortunate to grow up the way I did. I know a lot of people who had it far worse than I did as a child, so I thank my stars for my life thus far, even though it had its own set of bumps and challenges.
It wasn’t until I got a little older that things started to change for me. I started losing interest in a lot of things. I was sad most of the time, socially anxious, not wanting to be around my family, not wanting to do any sort of activities; you know the typical teenager stuff. But I noticed that I would hide out in my room and cry, a lot. I would lay in bed with tears streaming down my face and listen to my family be a family outside of my door. I didn’t want to be a part of my family, I didn’t know how to, I had so many bad emotions within me I thought that shutting myself off to them was ultimately protecting them and me.