Posts tagged self acceptance
Different Shades of Beauty | Winston Salem Portrait Photographer | Jasper & Fern

My youtube channel makes some interesting suggestions sometimes. Most of the time it suggests diy projects, photography, Ellen, sharks and acrylic pours. It also occasionally suggests uplifting content. Most recently, one of the "What Would You Do" videos, headlined "Teen Wanting to Look Whiter," popped up. Heart strings tugged and interest in this social experiment drew me in.

In the video, two young black girls are discussing skin bleaching. The girls are actors attempting to instigate reactions from the surrounding people. Unfamiliar with these practices and unfamiliar with cultural standards, I really wasn't sure which direction these reactions would go.

The more responses that were shared, the larger the lump in my throat grew. This one gentleman compassionately responded how I wish anyone would respond to any person dealing with an insecurity or pressure like this.

"You don't think you're fine just the way you are?" After explaining his own experience with his aunts' skin bleaching and cautioning them about safety, he shared a beautiful perspective.

"See, there's different shades of beauty."

That sums it up right there. Beauty isn't just one thing or one type of person. Beauty is more than can be put on a box or a magazine cover and sold.

As a photographer, I see this struggle for self value and confidence in many of my clients. As a woman, as a human, I see these same struggles in myself. While my struggles were different than what the video is about, I wish I'd met someone with this compassion who could have shared with me what this man shared with these girls. No one should feel like they are “less than.”

This video, this story, goes to show how much we can impact each other - how much we influence each other's understanding of value and of beauty. Be kind with your words and actions, Friends.

As you go forward today, friend, know that you are perfect just the way you were created and, above all, know that you are loved.

(You can watch his whole interaction starting at 3:06 if you want. He does go on to share some other meaningful and compassionate insight.)

Social experiment focused on the standards of beauty when it comes to skin color | Skin bleaching | self value | beauty standards | self confidence | self hate | body issues | identity | young girls believing they’re worthless

Yes, we took the test! My Adobe Creative Type

Sooooo, I have one other predominant guilty pleasure - aside from camembert cheeses - click bait tests. Yup, I’ve taken anything from “What Condiment Are You” and “Which Avengers Character Are You” to “What Is Your Dominant Quality” and, most recently, the Adobe Creative Type test. The test is flying around all of my creative circles and I love it! I’m learning about other people and I’m learning about me. I love, love, love to learn about others and analyze myself. (This is also why my favorite board game is Loaded Questions.)

I took the test and received the Dreamer assessment. My favorite part about the dreamer is that these people typically see the world as “a place of beauty and magic.” This is totally on point! I get drawn in by stories, by personalities and by the little pieces that, in the moment, don’t make sense but then are put together perfectly - just as they were meant to be. I get goosebumps and teared up at these moments. They are, indeed, beautiful!

It was also great to see the types of people I would work best with. So, now that I have seen what some of my peers are assessed to be, you can bet your taco I will be seeking out these local Winston Salem based creatives for collaborations and projects!!

Even if you don’t consider yourself creative, you should consider taking the test. I believe that all people are creative, whether it be with mediums of paint and chalk or mediums of strategy and numbers. Click Here to Take The Adobe Creative Type Test. I WOULD LOVE FOR YOU TO SHARE YOUR RESULTS WITH ME!!! (

Read more about the Dreamer below. Also, for kicks and giggles, I took the test and answered opposite of what I would answer and received the Producer assessment! The details for that type are shared below as well.

The Dreamer

Creative StrengthsConnection to emotions and imagination, empathy and sensitivity

  • Untapped PotentialUsing dreams to fuel real-world action

  • Ideal CollaboratorThe Innovator

Adobe Creative Type Test : The Dreamer

The world is a place of beauty and magic in the eyes of a DREAMER. Where others see facts and figures, you see symbols, metaphors, and hidden meanings.

You’re deeply emotional and intuitive, with a vivid imagination—the quintessential idealist and romantic. The inner world is always where you’ve felt most at home. You’re happy to roam your mental landscape of thoughts, emotions, and fantasies for hours on end.

You’re naturally drawn to express your inner world through literary pursuits, music, and the visual arts. Think of yourself as the “magical realist” of the creative types: like the literary masters of that genre, you naturally infuse your everyday life with the beauty and wonder of the imagination.

Your greatest gift is your depth of sensitivity and empathy, which allows you to give voice to universal human emotions in a way that touches people on a profound level. Your greatest challenge is learning to balance dreaming with disciplined action—which starts with coming back to the present moment. Let your mind roam free, DREAMER, but don’t forget to return to the here and now. Practicing mindfulness will go a long way in helping you turn your dreams into reality.

Seek out opportunities to collaborate with INNOVATOR types, who combine your lofty idealism with a focus on pragmatic solutions. The grounding energy of the INNOVATOR can inspire you to apply your imagination to real-world change.

The Producer (aka, my complete opposite)

Creative StrengthsStrong leadership skills, ability to make things happen

  • Untapped PotentialBalancing productivity with purpose

  • Ideal CollaboratorThe Dreamer

Adobe Creative Type Test | The Producer

The PRODUCER is the quintessential “doer” of all the creative types. People-oriented, analytical, pragmatic, and dynamic, you have a highly creative nature that’s balanced by a grounded realism and “get it done” attitude. In your eyes, an idea has real value only when it’s turned into something that others can enjoy and benefit from.

Highly goal-oriented and results-driven, you pursue your desired outcomes with a laser-like focus. You derive great pride and satisfaction from your ability to implement ideas, and you find joy in the process of creation with all its ups and downs. A natural organizer with an ability to motivate and inspire others, you gravitate to collaborative and leadership roles. You know how to make everything, and everyone, work together to see a project through to the end.

Along with your intellectual prowess and strong work ethic, your greatest strength is your ability to keep a cool head and single-pointed focus as you work through any and all challenges that arise during the creative process. But while you’re keeping your eyes on the prize, don’t get too fixated on results. Your greatest challenge is anchoring your productivity in a deeper sense of purpose. You’ll tap into your true creative depths when you can tune into the voice of your intuition and use it as a source of guidance.

Seek out the company of idealistic and imaginative DREAMER types, who remind you that there is limitless inspiration to be found within. Let the DREAMER spark your imagination and inspire you to think even bigger.

Embracing Me : Betz
I’m not done. So long as I am in my body, I have have things to learn.” 
— Betz [on the healing process]
Inspiring Women's Portraits | Embracing Me | Winston Salem Women's Photographer | Overcoming life's Obstacles | Betz | Inspiring Women's Stories | wsnclife | wsnc photographer | North Carolina Photographer | Women of Winston Salem | ©Jasper&Fern

There was a gentleness as she spoke. Her gentleness wasn't a timid voice nor a voice of fear. In truth, Betz's voice was full of soul, of love and of calm and of courage. As she recounted her story, walking through the pain and her steps towards healing, her glow was visible. My favorite moments were when her smile crept out. Her face would illuminate and you couldn't help but smile with her! I loved getting to hear Betz's story and celebrate with her in her triumphant growth. She's truly a beautiful soul! 

Inspiring Women's Portraits | Embracing Me | Winston Salem Women's Photographer | Overcoming life's Obstacles | Betz | Inspiring Women's Stories | wsnclife | wsnc photographer | North Carolina Photographer | Women of Winston Salem | ©Jasper&Fern
Inspiring Women's Portraits | Embracing Me | Winston Salem Women's Photographer | Overcoming life's Obstacles | Betz | Inspiring Women's Stories | wsnclife | wsnc photographer | North Carolina Photographer | Women of Winston Salem | ©Jasper&Fern
I have a Secret
Quotes about Self Worth | Self Respect | Self Affirmations | Knowing your Value | Winston-Salem Photographer | Jasper & Fern | Boutique portraits | fern | Nature | inspirational quotes for women |

I have a secret. I'm a recovering people pleaser. Yup. I used to bend over backwards and even circle back around to make people happy. I would constantly sacrifice myself and sacrifice my family. I wanted to make everyone happy and have everyone to like me.

I ruined myself being a "people pleaser." I also damaged my relationships that mattered. The people who were repeatedly taking from me weren't my true friends and family. These people may have seemed like friends before I realized what was truly happening, the lack of balance of give and take in our relationship, and my true friends and family suffered.

I learned my lesson the hard way when I put my family in a tight spot. I realized what I was doing to them. That I wasn't nurturing our relationships as I should because I was draining myself into other people, people who didn't care if I ran dry. I realized that it wasn't okay to allow my family to be treated that way and, therefore, it wasn't okay for me to be treated that way either. So, I quit the trait.

It's quite an adjustment, stepping away and setting boundaries. I've struggled with the guilt of saying "no." I feel ashamed and selfish and can get down on myself. Then, I remind myself to look at the situation from someone else's perspective. If I substitute someone in my place and play out the same scenario and come to the same conclusion that "no" is an okay answer, I can tell my self-doubting-insecurities that I'm not wrong. If it truly turns out to be a selfish situation, I change my attitude and my answer.

I use this same tactic of building my self respect and self value when it comes to people's approval of me. There are definitely people I desire to have approval from - family, friends and peers. That's just the people-pleaser nature in me. There have been times that I've questioned my value because someone else doesn't acknowledge it. I've let their "disapproval" swallow me and deter me.

My biggest realization? That's on me. It's my job to always do my best, no matter if it's noticed or acknowledged. It's my responsibility to know and build my worth. It's my responsibility to set boundaries, keep them and react properly when they are pushed.  Most importantly, it's my responsibility to harbor love in my heart, always, for others and myself.

So, you know that specific affirmation you're looking for from that one person or group? You don't need it. Would it be nice to have? Yes. Would you appreciate and treasure it? Of course. Would that affirmation make you any more valuable? NO. You are already valuable. If you're thinking about and seeking that affirmation it's because some part of you already knows and believes you deserve it. Don't rely on someone else to confirm your value.