I must humbly admit, I envy Amber Smith. Her confidence is unlike any I have seen in a long time (or maybe ever). It's not a confidence someone may flaunt because they think they're beautiful--although she is, and she is aware; she's gotta be! But, Amber has a confidence that reflects the appreciation she has for herself; her abilities, talents, heart. She honors that her body helps her to move, sweat, dance, smile and create. She doesn't diss herself for any imperfections, because she's too focused on her blessings.
As we were getting ready for the day, Amber didn't apologize for anything. Maybe her bedroom wasn't in perfect order, but she was okay with her that. If anything, her messy room reflected the busy, fun life she leads, along with the hard work she puts in outside of her home; Amber works her butt off--I know that because I've worked alongside her and always admired her for her ethic, even when she was given the brunt of a task.
I think we can learn a lot from Amber--especially fellow females. We are so critical of ourselves... but why? Why not compliment yourself? Why not thank your strong legs for getting you to and from, rather than wishing they were thinner or longer, or smoother? Why are we never focused on our capabilities but instead what we lack? While I sit and strive for perfection, Amber is a woman who shouts for joy about how her quirks are what make her lovely. Her spunk is infectious. I wish I could keep her in my pocket! Not only does she radiate positivity, but holy moly, will she make you pee your pants with laughter.
Not that I've photographed a long list of people, but the ones I have are not professionals, which is the way I like it. But whether it's a friend or myself, as any of us have gotten in front of the lens for this blog, we have all felt timid, or ask, "Err... so what should I do?" But, Amber needed no direction, unless it was me saying, "Oh my gosh that was amazing. Do it again."
As Amber and I were shooting, I noticed the tattoo on the back of her leg for the first time. While the bluntness of it made me giggle, Amber was quick to tell me the meaning behind it. I then realized it wasn't just ink on her skin for the fun of it, but the phrase was a reminder to herself; a reminder of her strong, feminine disposition that she wishes to turn into a business. I had Amber write a few words for you to explain what "ovary gang for life" is all about:
"Ovary Gang For Life is a feminist driven clothing line! OG4L is for women and the supporters of women rising in power and position in our daily lives. The future depends on women. We have to create and sustain fulfilling and happy lives. My clothes will reflect my aggressive attitude on the respect and admiration I believe everyone should have for women. I hope to inspire my community to love and respect women! Be an activist for your mom, sister, lover, friend. I love my ladies! Shout out to my goddesses around the world."
- Amber C. Smith
Being a woman is special. We feel so much. We have motherly tendencies to comfort; physically, emotionally, verbally. Our bodies are seen as a work of art, therefore we have access to dressing it in extraordinary ways. These concepts have their benefits, while they also have a downside... Sometimes you feel so much but don't believe you have the power to voice those feelings or opinions. And with the gift of having a beautiful, feminine figure, women's bodies are unfortunately taken advantage of all the time.
The idea of being whistled at or "catcalled" doesn't encourage us to dress our bodies' in a flattering way, in fact, it keeps us from being ourselves. Women want to be respected and honored, but yet the way we are howled at makes us feel like a piece of meat; something for your enjoyment rather than a being with gifts and ability. We want to be able to walk down the street in a great dress and heels without the fear of being harassed or talked about in a vulgar manner. There is a way to appreciate a woman without making her want to run and hide (or smack you). Speak to her respectfully if you feel you have to tell her how great she looks. It's common courtesy, it's gentleman-like, and that is attractive to us.
This is a dress that hugs me nicely and makes me feel confident in my femininity. I may have had to brush off awkward honks on the street as I wore it, but I love how it makes me feel far too much to let that stop me. As women, we can no longer allow weird looks or inappropriate shouting to dwindle our confidence. We can't let another person's opinions or behaviors keep us from wearing something we feel beautiful in.
It's a lovely thing to be a woman; wear it well.
Two of my favorite pieces of jewelry: My "Carpus" Cuff by Odette New York (I got mine at Idlewild Woman) and a necklace made in Athens, Greece that was gifted to me by my sweet friend, Jenna.
For a pop of color, I put on Revlon's Wink For Pink lipstick.