When I first entered my military base school in Korea (aka: DoDEA school), I didn’t even know how to say “Hello, my name is Crystal.” I felt really out of place, I was a chubby kid, didn’t speak English, and super awkward. It was pretty hard to make friends and I had my fair share of bullies that came my way. People called me fat, ugly, and an alien.
I remember eating alone in one of those playground tube things where you crawl into play hide-and-go-seek. I hid there because one time someone tripped me in front of the lunch room and I spilled all my food. Can you imagine? A non-english chubby kid trying to scoop spaghetti with their hand? It was awful.
I had a “friend” who used to take all my lunch money and teased me that I didn’t need more cookies for lunch because I was already fat. Fast forward couple of years, I joined swim team, became a cheerleader and those boys and girls who made fun of me wanted to be my friend. One even asked me out – barf. I realized, the world is so shallow and fucked up.
I have always dealt with body issues, but I feel like as I’ve grown over the years, I’m at a place now where I can really accept myself for who I am. I’ve thrown away those toxic friends and got rid of all of them right before I turned 30.
I’ve met awesome encouraging humans, like April, who photographed me and is an amazing photographer (more on her below)!
So, this Valentines, I’m going to celebrate it differently. I’ve taking a relaxing bubble bath in pink balloons in my favorite Victoria Secret lingerie and dedicating a love letter to myself.
// About my outfit //
Victoria Secret –similar here (but this style is still sold in store)
//About my make-up//
Julep – from Julep box (now you can get a free k-beauty skin care with my code FRESHGIFT (click here)
// Find out more about April from Ribbon & Lace Photography //
Why photography (i.e., why do you love it)?
Photography is my creative outlet away from life as a wife, mommy, and nurse. It provides a space where I help empower women and promote body positivity. As a mom of 3, I know what it’s like to lose self-confidence and sort of lose yourself amidst the beautiful chaos of motherhood. Through photography, I not only help women, especially other moms, rediscover how beautiful and strong they are, but it also brings out my confidence and sense of purpose!
Ideally, where you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years I’d love to still be doing photography, but possibly doing that full time while still working as a nurse per diem. I’ll have a teen and two preteens by then so I’m mostly hoping I’m somehow finding time for self-care so I can maintain the strict-but-cool-mom role.
What’s the best place to photograph in WA?
As a boudoir photographer, I’ve gotta say the best place is wherever you feel comfortable just being you. Whether that’s in a studio, at home, or even outdoors, your shoot needs to take place in an environment where you don’t feel forced or unnatural so that you can produce genuine photos.
Who is your inspiration? And why?
My grandma, mom and my sis are the three most inspiring women in my life. Even when life throws negativity their way, they find a way to not only make the most of what their dealt with but they get shit done. I can go to any of them whenever I need a boost in confidence or a reality check. They’re my superwomen!
– Stay salty –
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