The blogs about women were long. Real long.
For the sake of none of these women’s honest, heartfelt words and loving messages from their friends and family going unseen, I’m going to be posting each in a single blog every couple of days or so until I am able to finally get the teen session executed and up to share. So that you can take just five minutes and read one woman’s “story” and maybe find comfort in the way you can relate/understand/empathize/etc.
They will be in no particular order…drawing numbers 1-18.
Today’s number: #16.
I give you…well…me.
“I used to hate my ass. HATE. IT. I’ve always had the bubble butt – the one that made me look like I should have been born a black girl. The one that people would “say” they wished they had, but I was sure they were always just making fun of me. They could NOT be serious. This was before J-Lo. Before Beyonce. Before that Kardashian girl. Before anyone actually believed that guys were really into any curves besides boobs. (Sure, Sir Mix-A-Lot had made his statement, but, c’mon now…)
That obsession kept up all of my influential years, from junior high on…progressed into adding an obsession with any weight gain to my thighs, as well. And then, JOY OF JOYS!, 20 months ago, I had a C-section and was given the curse of an even worse focus to just pile on top – my belly.
The damn belly – where once I hadn’t seen weight stick, I now get to obsess every minute over how the pounds seem to pile on right at that scar. EVERY MINUTE. That is no lie. Every minute, I am self-conscious about my weight.
Despite that this has always made me feel like I’m spending an obsession on something incredibly shallow…despite how I try to remind myself that I’m supposed to just tell myself I’m beautiful no-matter-what…the absolute WORST part about this being my main insecurity is that it goes against everything, and I mean EVERYTHING that I try to instill in my daughter. Everything that I tell her about how our society is completely screwed up at putting such a focus on appearance. How “thin” doesn’t factor into “beautiful”. And I mean all of those things. I just didn’t have an influential female figure telling me the same things. But, that is a story for another day. For now, I would love to change the cycle.
and lose this belly…
and feel truly beautiful, all factors considered.”
alana’s friends and family:
“Well….I love her because she’s Alana, and there’s no better daughter that could have happened throughout eternity for a father.
Sent from Breenholme, North Alaska by dog sled.” – dave
“her ability to laugh when dumb things happen. her smile.” – ravyn
“just some of alana’s many positive traits! please lemme know if you need me to clarify / elaborate
-loving, responsible mother
-great listener, kind & attentive friend
-honest, trustworthy and open
-wonderful sense of humor
-extremely creative, talented and motivated
-a smile that warms the heart
-great at improvising plans, seeking & having fun
i could go on and on, i feel like these are some of the major ones
i hope this helps
t” – toby
“The most immediate and wonderful thing anyone notices about Alana is her laugh. Her laugh is big, its loud, it’s enchanting, it’s undeniable. After her laugh you see her humour; by which I mean, she’s actually laughing at funny shit (albeit sometimes dumb funny shit, funny shit all the same). Then you see how beautiful she is, her face, her eyes, that big ass smile…These are the things that EVERYONE notices about Alana. Then you find out she is talented, creative, and bad ass with a camera…These too are things that EVERYONE notices about Alana. These are undeniably super awesome qualities. (Seriously, that’s a lot of really rad attributes in one tiny package it’s almost unfair.) However, those are not the truly impressive qualities that made me love her so very much. My dear friend, Alana, is one of the most empathetic, compassionate, loving, patient, and kind mothers I have ever had the joy of knowing. Not only in regards to her own children, the whole lot of them. Alana is a brave champion of every kids delicate beings. Her intolerance of shitty, thoughtless, and cruel parenting, brings me great pleasure on a regular basis. I have so much respect for her ability to give the truest love so completely selflessly…it’s pretty amazing. I’m so happy to know her, I’m happy my kids know her and above all I am happy Ravyn and Grey get to call her Mom.” – jamey
“The first time I ever saw Alana playing with Grey is when I knew I loved her. The faces and games she shared with her son were completely devoid of authority or patronization. In that moment, she was with him an equal. They were on the same level, playing the same game, and both deriving the same amount of joy. As her and I became closer, it didn’t take long to realize that this is her true nature with everyone she loves, and even some strangers too. Not once during our friendship have I ever felt she was secretly conspiring, or judging me out of some deep conspiratorial competitiveness she hid from the world. No, Alana is absolutely genuine. She will stand up and defend her family and friends for the sake of what’s right and hold her own down to the gritty finish. I am constantly surprised and inspired by her creativity and talents as well as her compassion and desire to make the world a better place to be. She brought us all together here today to carve out a new path for women that would be deprived of judgment, censure, or competition. This act, to which she gave her time, talents, and efforts is one of the most beautiful and compassionate events I have ever witnessed and I count myself as one of the lucky few who gets to participate and enjoy the life and adventures of the beautiful, talented, gifted, and compassionate Alana Tamminga.” – rhi
“Personally the list for me about alana goes on and on. She is beyond selfless in her friendship, taking me into her home time and time again. I truly feel blessed to have her vibrant energy in my life. She has a gift of making you feel both special and awesome in her attention to you. I know one of her major insecurities is a body hang up, but that’s probably because she has so much of her life already on lock down. That lady goes above and beyond, as a cheerleader, a support system, someone to make you laugh and just someone to chill and relax with. I know I can trust her to give me straight advice and remind me of my priorities as well, I am so damn grateful that she is in my life.” – eden
“I’ve actually started this a few times. I am going to simplify things. What I really like most about Alana is that she’s genuine and she expects me to be my genuine self. So what does that mean to me? She’s honest, she has my best interest at heart and she is a true friend. I don’t have to see or talk to her all the time but I know I can always count and confide in her. Alana definitely makes things better just by being her. I love Alana for all these reasons and so much more.” – melissa
“Words of Love for Alana
‘I want to know her.’ That’s what I thought to myself the first time I was introduced to Alana Tamminga. I was working at a Philosophy freelance event for Nordstrom at the Downtown Seattle location for the very first time. Intimidated and nervous don’t even begin to describe how I was feeling when I stepped onto the floor that day. I looked over at the other girls bangin’ out some fresh, fierce faces and I smiled when I heard Alana’s infectious laugh. She doesn’t laugh like most folks. It’s a throw-your-head-back-and-laugh-like-you’ve-never-heard-anything-so-funny-in-your-life kind of an experience.
Once you’ve both stopped laughing, because it is impossible not to join this girl in said giggle-nonsense, you’ll be drawn in by Alana’s beauty. She’s not your girl next door. She’s definitely not the kind that wears mom jeans, though she’s just about the coolest mom I know. Alana is a beauty that is not just skin deep; hers is a beauty that spills out from her soul. My dear friend Alana clearly is a most attractive woman – I mean she can rock just about any style, color and length hair known, her skin is practically flawless, and goodness she is blessed with a whole lot of gorgeous, bouncy booty – but what is truly fantastic about her is her ability to be herself. I not only admire that quality but strive to emulate the same within myself. Alana is kind, genuine, generous, thoughtful, loyal, confident, forgiving, hilarious, talented, artistic, nurturing, fun – my friend.
I am so glad, years later, I can now say ‘I know that girl – she’s one of my truest, dearest friends.’” – mara
“Anyone who has met Alana will tell you that she’s a blast, funny, gorgeous, sexy, and smart. Those are the easy ones and you see them the minute she opens her mouth. I’ll go a bit further and describe what I see and what she means to me.
She has the rare ability to be a sincere friend to lots of different people at the same time. She somehow makes you feel like YOU are special and funny even though it’s her that brings that out in you. She instantly makes most people feel comfortable and at ease upon introduction. I don’t think she’s ever met a stranger, everyone is her friend until proven otherwise (which is rare). All of these things are what make her a great photographer and able to capture the real personalities of her subjects.
Alana is open with her feelings. If she’s happy, mad, excited, she shows it. She puts herself all the way out there even though she’s been hurt before. As someone who loves her, I’ve wished that she protected her heart a little more because I didn’t want to see her hurt again. That’s not her though, she’ll put it all on the line and she figures that if it doesn’t work out, at least she tried. Since I’m the exact opposite in this department, I admire her ability to do this.
She’s the only person with whom I can truly be myself. She’s the only one that I can tell my true thoughts and feelings without being afraid of being judged or loved less. She’s a great listener but will offer fantastic advice if asked. I can trust her 100% and I don’t trust anyone, so that’s saying A LOT. I know that if I needed her right now, she would drop everything and help me in whatever way I needed and I would do the same for her. How many people in our lives can we say that about? I say all of this knowing that there are tons of people out there who feel the exact same way about Alana. She cultivates loyalty by being herself.
She’s real. She’s loving and giving. She’s courageous. She’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever met and is never condescending or arrogant or conceited. While she has some insecurities like we all do, she has tremendous self-confidence in a lot of areas.
We can all see that she’s gorgeous and sexy, but she doesn’t know it…which makes her even more so.” – peni
“Years from now, I’m going to look back at my life and anything that I’ve done, that I’m happy or proud of, will be because of Alana. A baby boy, a daughter… She’s an amazing mom, my best friend, the best companion I could ask for. Beautiful, compassionate, hilarious, dumb (in a good way, like me, she’ll understand), she gets me out of my comfort zone and helps me enjoy things I may have thought I didn’t. I got more than I bargained for but I wouldn’t change anything.” – dylan
the original blogs (with backstory) can be found here: