Over the years we were being conditioned with what beauty should be, and who can celebrate it: the young, the beautiful, the brave and courageous. Now the influencers have raised the bar so high, that the ordinary woman feels threatened, insecure, and discouraged to even look at herself in some cases. 

According to the Stylist Magazine article “Comparison culture is taking its toll on our self-esteem”, statistics revealed that “83% of women say social media negatively affects their self-esteem” and “39% of women compare themselves with women they think look pristine without effort”.

Comparing ourselves to carefully curated images from various media channels, lacking the inner feeling of self-worth are just a few out of many criteria why women do not feel confident in their own skin. 

Paulina Sobczak, a photographer and body image coach from London, and a mum of two say, “Going through various body changes, I felt a lack of confidence in myself and in my body. I lost my self-worth, in a race of trying to prove to others that I am good enough.” 

As her 40 was fast approaching, depression signs were creeping and she was left wondering, what is beyond 40. With so much social media and media pressure to look young, it felt unsustainable to keep up with world expectations. She says that only a few years ago she was facing some of the darkest days of her life. 

Paulina says, “Whilst going through difficult breakups in my personal life, I refused to confront my fears of seeing who I really am. Feeling like I am not good enough and not worthy.”

At the time, her friend in Holland was photographing women to show them their true beauty and Paulina wanted to experience that for herself, in search of finding the beauty within herself. So she flew out to Holland for a personal photoshoot with her friend, Kristel. 

Paulina recalls, “This was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I felt so amazing and absolutely pampered, as a mum of two this is not something I get to enjoy every day.  From professional make-up, hairstyling, and a wardrobe selection big enough to make my head spin, I was truly spoiled for choice. Plus, I had a photographer who made me feel comfortable and at ease in front of the camera.  

After the photo session, the photographs were truly beyond my expectations. Not only were they beautiful, it allowed me for the first time ever to truly see myself, happy, joyful, sexy and elegant. That was exactly how I wanted to feel and be portrayed.”

This one photo session was the catalyst for Paulina to completely change how she sees photography. After returning to London, she rebranded her business and started to change the way she works with clients. It was no longer about the photos, but the whole experience that her clients can have with her as a photographer. 

She realised that the power lies not in beautiful photographs, which are often with a put on smile, often masking the feeling behind it. But a photo session that makes women feel confident, empowered, sexy and beautiful in their own skin. 

“I am passionate about empowering others to feel comfortable in their own skin because I truly experienced transformation through that initial photo session experience and later on carried on photographing myself regularly to celebrate myself. I am a believer in energy, and I know that what you think, see and feel – shall be. When you see yourself truly happy, confident and beautiful you connect to your inner self-acceptance, you start approving what you are seeing, even if what you see is not “perfect”, but it is the best version of you, and you feel at peace within yourself. Only then you can start seeing possibilities, seeking opportunities and excel in your personal and professional life.” 

Women empowerment, confidence and self-acceptance are the very things that we as women should be talking about more. That is why Paulina will be sharing her story at the Women Thrive Summit during the celebration of Women History Month, March 20th-31st, to celebrate and empower all women to step into their inner goddesses and truly see how powerful and beautiful they are. 

We have never been in such sensitive times, when it comes to body image, looks, and self-awareness. That is why Paulina is determined to empower women, bring them back to love, their inner sanctuary through accepting their bodies, they are in now.

“As a professional empowerment photographer, I take a lot of care to pay attention to all sorts of details like photographing angles, focal length, lens distortion, depth of field, lighting, focus, sharpness, colour, exposure, posing and framing. But most importantly I create a safe space for my customers, for them to be able to unfold in front of the camera and drop their guard to fully enjoy their beautiful, personalised photo session experience. Only then they will be able to reconnect with themselves and feel love and be loved.” Paulina says.  

As one of her clients have said: “You captured me, exactly how I wanted to be portrayed. You’ve guided me through the whole process the way you needed, to achieve the exact photographs I wanted of myself. 

I will be sharing my story and empowering women to love themselves just as they are at the Women Thrive Summit, March 20-31st hosted by the Women in Business Club. Join my talk and be inspired to claim back your power, and become an unstoppable woman.