SAN ANTONIO, Tex. - At a time when many women beat themselves up after looking at glossy magazines photos airbrushed to perfection, a photographer based in San Antonio is speaking up about her experience with such photos.
The photographer, Victoria Caroline, shoots boudoir photos. Her clients range from pregnant mothers to women of all ages looking for beautiful photos of themselves.
But she claimed it was the experience of one husbands reaction to the photos she took that changed the way she looked at her craft.
In a post on her Facebook page that has now gone viral, Victoria writes, "Tonight I want to tell you ladies about a time I messed up really badly. It was back when I first started boudoir, and I had a mid-forties lady book my services at a GORGEOUS hotel in downtown San Antonio. She was a curvy, beautiful size 18. I thought she looked like a goddess, but as most women do, she had a request.."
Victoria goes on to say "She came to me, looked me straight in the eyes, and said 'I want you to Photoshop all of my cellulite, all of my angry red stretch marks, ALL of my fat, and all of my wrinkles, just make it go away. I want to feel gorgeous just ONCE.' So, I did exactly as she asked. We spent an hour and a half together going through many, many poses. I went home, made every last stretch mark disappear, smoothed out every dimple of cellulite, took away every wrinkle. I turned her into the epitome of what every woman dreams of being."
The photographer shared that her client was pleased with the photos and turned it into a beautiful album for her husband for Christmas. But it was a few days later she received an email from that husband.
"Hi Victoria, I am (blank)'s husband, ******. I am writing to you because I recently received an album containing images you took of my wife. I don't want you to think that I am in any way upset with you, but I have some food for thought that I would like to pass on to you."
He went on to say, "I have been with my wife since we were 18 years old, and we have two beautiful children together. We have had many ups and downs over the years, and I think...well, actually I KNOW that my wife did these pictures for me to 'spice things up.' She sometimes complains that I must not find her attractive, that she wouldn't blame me if I ever found someone younger. When I opened the album that she gave to me, my heart sank. These picture, while they are beautiful and you are clearly a very talented photographer, they are not my wife."
And this was the most powerful part, "You made every one of her 'flaws' disappear. And while I'm sure this is exactly what she asked you to do, it took away everything that makes up our life. When you took away her stretch marks, you took away the documentation of my children. When you took away her wrinkles, you took away over two decades of our laughter, and our worries. When you took away her cellulite, you took away her love of baking and all the goodies we have eaten over the years."
"I am not telling you all of this to make you feel horrible, you're just doing your job and I get that. I am actually writing you to thank you. Seeing these images made me realize that I honestly do not tell my wife enough how much I LOVE her and adore her just as she is. She hears it so seldom, that she actually thought these Photoshopped images are what I wanted and needed her to look like. I have to do better, and for the rest of my days I am going to celebrate her in all her imperfectness. Thanks for the reminder."
Victoria said that email hit her like a ton of bricks about how much 'touching up' we really need to do to make ourselves look and feel beautiful. That really our friends, family and spouses love us just the way we are, 'flaws' and all.