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  • Writer's pictureTheresa Easter

Embracing Body Acceptance and Empowerment: A Transformative Event for Women by Sky Edwards

Women have always cultivated connection. We seek it and create it every chance we get. Just take a look at the countless events, pages, and Facebook groups online. There are mom support pages, hiking groups, craft groups, book clubs, support groups, women in business groups, and events. Everywhere we look, we see these beautiful bridges and gaps being filled so that we don’t have to walk these paths alone. We can connect, find support, offer advice, and share resources to help each other grow and flourish together. When I became a mother, I longed for connection and to know I wasn’t alone in navigating the newness and overwhelm. It was easy to find online and in-person groups for that kind of support. But when I went through pregnancy loss, I realized I needed to create my own space for us to connect, share, feel understood, and held. It was the first time I noticed I could create a safe space to fill a void.

So, why wouldn’t we create a beautiful place where women who are longing for connection and empowerment can come together and celebrate our uniqueness? For so long, I had been walking the path of body acceptance and self-love alone on my corner of the internet without finding real-life connections. There are many women doing and creating and writing the same things I am, but where was the group? The connection? The support, celebration, and gatherings that supported this part of life’s journey? Where is the sharing of tools and the conversations surrounding body image? Creating the idea for an event that would bring women together for this sole purpose lit a fire in me. But I wasn’t sure anyone would even show up. I had this beautiful idea, but would it resonate with others? Did it sound a little bit creepy?

The answer came in the form of 27 strangers showing up to the mountains in nothing but their undies, ready to meet complete strangers and have their photos taken. The answer was in the women showing up completely vulnerable, seeking connections I had only dreamed about but never experienced. I gained friends and support like never before, and this annual event was born. It has grown and changed, just as I have, and just as the women who attend year after year have. This year brought a significant change because I became friends with a photographer, Theresa, who shares the same passion as I do. She helped me grow in my own confidence in ways I didn’t expect. The way she lights up talking about boudoir and her why, wanting women to know how truly beautiful and special they are in their own bodies, made me want her to be a part of this event, group, and space. A new partnership was built, and this year's event, even through the rain, exceeded all expectations.

There was a power and rawness this year that left me in tears. Not only did these women show up for themselves, but they showed up for each other. The way they cheered each other on was so beautiful. You would have never known that we didn’t know each other by the way we showed up for one another. The vulnerability to share, to hold space, and to make every single woman feel safe and valued was truly remarkable. Self Love & Empowerment 2023, which has been held annually since 2018 under different names and partnerships, took on new dimensions this year with the partnership of Theresa Easter. Together, we created a space where women could celebrate their uniqueness, find empowerment, and connect on a deep level. The event, despite mother natures plans, showcased the power of vulnerability, support, and acceptance. It left an indelible mark on all who attended, including myself. We also had the amazing opportunity to partner with Indigenous World Winery who supplied the wine for the event and all proceeds were donated to Her International a charity that empowers ‘her’ through education.

As we continue to grow and evolve, we are committed to providing a safe environment for all women to embrace their bodies, celebrate their journeys, and uplift one another. We can’t wait for our next event and we look forward to growing together in our our partnership and as a community, creating the kind of real life magic we all deserve.

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