How To Be More Confident And Cope With Breast Cancer
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This week I am excited to share with you an interview with one of my favorite photographer Jen Rozenbaum.
She has been empowering women through her work for many years and recently started to vlog about her journey fighting breast cancer.
In the interview, we talk about building confidence, the Shamelessly Feminine movement and how to cope with or support someone with breast cancer.
Interview with Jen Rozenbaum
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my questions!
I heard about you on Creative Live a couple of years ago with your awesome Boudoir Photography Bootcamp, but for the readers that don’t know you yet, can you tell me more about yourself?
Sure! My name is Jen. I am 42. I am a born a raised new yorker. I help women celebrate their unique femininity, shamelessly. (Sometimes with the camera, sometimes without!)
How and why did you start boudoir photography?
I picked up a camera to help me through a tough time in life. It served as a distraction and a healing tool. I discovered boudoir when a friend asked me to help her on a shoot she scheduled with 2 sisters. I immediately fell in LOVE with it and there was no turning back.
You photographed hundreds of women and used your skills to boost their confidence. What are your favorite tips for women who want to become more confident?
Greater self-confidence truly starts with your mindset. You have to practice thinking positively and loving yourself. It doesn’t come easily!
What do you think are the benefits of a boudoir photo shoot for people who are dealing with low self-esteem?
The comfort zone is a beautiful place, but growth NEVER happens there. By pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, you are proving to yourself and your mind that you are capable of things you didn’t even know possible.
Often when women do a shoot, they make other big moves in their lives because they see more of their potential.
What are your favorite self-care activities?
Working out is probably my favorite. It pushes my body and my mind which I enjoy (and sometimes hate!).
Could you tell us more about your movement: Shamelessly Feminine?
Shamelessly feminine is all about being true to you. Being yourself without shame – not just from the outside world, but more importantly from yourself. I want women to feel free to be the biggest version of themselves as possible.
How do you think women could be more supportive of each other?
This is a loaded question. I think people, in general, can all be more supportive of each other – but for women, in particular, it all comes back to not shaming each out for our unique choices in life and how we choose to live.
One thing that I love about you is how real you are. Was it hard to put yourself out there? How do you stay true to yourself in a world where people are embellishing their life online?
To be frank, I don’t know how to be anyone else but me. I think sharing my realities with others is healing for them and me. I do have boundaries and some things stay private in my life of course. I don’t need to embellish my life – I have ups and downs and that’s the reality of all our lives. There’s no shame in that.
Talking about real life, you have been diagnosed with breast cancer in July and started to share your journey online. How did sharing your story help you in going through this?
Sharing my journey has given its purpose. Without purpose, it just doesn’t make sense to me why I have cancer. If I can save lives, help women cope, educate people – then the journey has meaning.
As a boudoir photographer, you probably photographed women who also had a mastectomy and boosted their self-esteem, and you recently had to go through the same operation. What would you say to empower women going through a similar situation?
It’s funny because I have always struggled with my own body image, but since my surgery, I love and respect my body more than ever. Any time I doubt my strength, all I have to do is look down and see my scars and know I can do anything. I would tell anyone going through this that their femininity is more than breasts or hair. It’s a power that no surgery can take away.
During this journey to recovery, what are the top things that people did to make you feel better?
Just being in people’s thoughts and prayers were so meaningful to me.
What do you do to make your journey easier?
I photograph the journey, I write and of course, I have been making videos (which I also post on youtube). Also, meditation and exercise have been vital for me.
What would you say to someone who was recently diagnosed with cancer?
Take one day at a time (maybe even one minute at a time)… Be patient and kind to yourself. Eat brownies. Smile a lot. Love yourself fiercely.
What do you think women need to know about breast cancer?
It can happen to anyone. I have no family history. My genetics were negative. I always took care of myself. No one is immune. Also to be your own advocate. Do self-checks and don’t be afraid to speak up if you feel something.
- How To Minimize Your Closet and Boost Your Confidence
- Learn How to Live a Healthy Life and Love Your Body
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- 6 Things You Need to be Motivated to Workout
- The Best FREE Resources to Live a Healthy and Happy Life
Over to you
Today, call your doctor to schedule a mammogram.