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Thirty, Flirty, and Thriving... During a Pandemic

Have you ever seen 13 Going On 30?

It was an iconic movie that had many of us believing 30 was the year that everything was supposed to magically come together and we would just have life figured out.

Well, today is that day for me... the big 3-0.

For years, 30 has been dangling in front of my face. I have spent a lot of time trying to reach the goal of having all of my shit together by today... (because that's how it's supposed to work, right?) Things began looking up and big changes were happening, then the pandemic hit.

I have had dreams about celebrating this birthday with loved ones, but unfortunately, that didn't get to happen. I thought there would be a way to still do something small and safe, a minor set back to my plans... But then My boyfriend Brian had to travel for work, so we are on a 14-day self-quarantine. Since I couldn't do all of the things I wanted to do, I decided to not let this pandemic ruin my birthday and have some fun with it.

Not only was this session about doing something for enjoyment, but I wanted to do something with purpose.

Staying in place has also changed my daily life, and like many people, my eating habits. I have seen so many ads talking about the "COVID 15" and how you should be dieting or working on losing the "added pounds." It has absolutely disgusted me. I have been very vocal online about how our bodies are surviving and it's OK to have some changes. Our weight does not determine our worth. None of my poses are traditional "slimming" poses, or really boudoir-centric poses, I just let my body be what it is.

Just as I would never have a client "suck it in" for a pose, I didn't let myself do it.

I was worried that when I saw the final photos Brian took of me that I would be focused on things like my new body changes when in reality, I loved it. It felt so good to take this negative time and make something positive out of these crazy times. I thought about the laughs we shared while shooting, how good that cake tasted, and how much fun we had.

This photoshoot is about embracing life, loving yourself, and not letting anything (even a pandemic) take away from your self-worth.

2020 has been the year of "What I Ordered vs What I Got," and I hope you enjoy my playful take on it.

Kayleigh Kay


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