CONTENT WARNING: Mentions sexual assault, substance abuse, physical abuse and mental illness.
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us Christina. It was such a pleasure to work with you and learn more about you. I also love doing themed shoots, so it was very exciting to create this with you.
What made you want to take part in the Love Me True Campaign?
The post came up on facebook, so I had a read and thought "I want to be a part of something that was inspiring and uplifting for women." I was a little worried about putting my story in as I was scared that if I was chosen, what people would think of me. But then remembered what this was all about, so I decided who cares and went for it!
Tell us your story!
A lot of things have made me who I am today. Many a bad thing from my teenage years; rape, alcohol abuse, abusive relationships, being an ex-prostitute, having clinical depression. But many good things as well; 2 beautiful children, a good, legit job, supportive friends and strength I never knew I had.
I have been beaten down to my lowest, but with my kids being in my life I have risen above everything and those things made me the strong woman I am today.
What do you remember learning about beauty from a young age? What impacted you the most that you have carried throughout your life?
I didn't learn much about beauty, apart from looking at others and thinking they were beautiful. I always thought I would never be beautiful at a young age. I was always told I was ugly by everyone apart from my family. I still find it hard to see myself as beautiful, but I tell myself I am. I've also learnt that beauty is in the heart, not just in the looks.
What advice would you offer to other women who are considering taking part in the campaign?
I would say go for it! All the worries go away as soon as you meet Jessie and Jamie, and seeing how beautiful you are during the shoot is an awesome feeling. It's well worth it.
What does it mean to love yourself?
It means being at peace with yourself and loving the person you are inside and out, no matter what society thinks.
How did you feel during the experience?
At first I was a little anxious, but after a few minutes and for the rest of the experience, I felt so comfortable. You both made me feel so relaxed, it was really awesome. Thank you guys so much!
How did this experience impact you? Have you noticed any changes in yourself, be it your self-confidence or anything else since your session?
The experience made me feel more confident, not only with how I look but within myself as well. I'm trusting my decisions much more and finding it easier to take compliments on how I look.
What was the best part of the experience?
The theme! Im so thankful that I was able to go and do something I have wanted to for so long and have a photographer who was just as excited about it as I was. I also enjoyed learning all the ways to pose and seeing how much that changes everything.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
This was an awesome experience. It was empowering and definitely worth the time. It was so good talking with the ladies [Jessie and Jamie] and they make the experience so enjoyable. If you are considering doing it, I say do it! And don't be afraid to ask Jessie anything.
Last question, would you do it again?