top of page

A badass intro to her Soft Girl Era

I wasn’t the girl who played with dolls and planned her magical wedding day. Pink was NOT my favorite color: I preferred green. If I had something to say, I spoke up--consequences be damned! By a lot of measures, I just never felt…”girly”. But I wasn’t a tomboy, either. There just wasn’t a box that I fit into, so I made my own. I relied heavily on my (hyper)independence, creativity, and wit, which is terrific for survival. Not optimal for connection and community..


90’s pop culture in the USA reveled in the battle of the sexes; and so I fought. It felt like I was given a second-rate seat at the table when I thought I deserved better. I knew I deserved better. As modernity marched on and I grew into full-fledged womanhood, new doors were opened. Somehow I found souls that matched mine, and the narrow definition of what it means to be feminine broadened to include the outliers where I had set up camp. 


In college I fell in love with ballroom dancing; embodying the various personalities of the dances. I could be flirty and wear a thousand rhinestones, and still feel like myself! What a revelation. 


Trying on new ways of being in a context without consequences was a phenomenal journey into self-discovery. The very same can be said about curating a look and character for a photoshoot…


Which brings me to Savannah, Georgia where I found myself blissfully alone in a gorgeous studio apartment with one whole night dedicated to self-portraits. Instead of an ice blond fade, my hair has a bit of wavy length and a peachy-warm hue. All my previous forays into self portraiture were infused with badassery. Straps. Leather. Hardware. This time I felt compelled to  invite a softness to my look that I haven’t enjoyed for a very long time, which meant a shopping trip was in order, because I certainly had NOTHING of this nature in my closet. 

I struck gold at the first store I went to: a vintage thrift boutique called House of Strut (irresistible name, honestly). The negligee I tried on very last fit me like a glove, if gloves were made of tricot and lace. With my dreamy 1960s nightdress carefully wrapped in tissue, I headed back to my temporary home base to get as much photography done as possible before sunset. 


Instead of posing with a remote trigger, I set my camera on a tripod and took video clips. This was an exploration into how I felt not how I looked. I didn't carefully construct every shot to perfection, and the photo resolution isn't as high as usual. The process was really more important than the product--such is my brand.


Thanks to the wealth of curated playlists on Spotify, I found the perfect music selection for twirling around the room. I lounged in the sunshine spilling onto the king-sized bed. Traced my fingertips along the delicate rosy fabric...


and wept. 


I didn’t realize how positively resistant I had been to the soft girl experience! Sure, my therapist habitually brought up the term “vulnerability”...and I thought I was doing a pretty good job of leaning into that openness.


But here in this lovely room, I was truly safe enough to be soft. And that is a place I invite every woman to find.


Thanks for reading,

Jess

















183 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page