Are you ready for this?  I know I am.  I’ve been sitting on these images, giddy with excitement, for a couple days.  I wanted to wait to post them until Valentine’s Day.  Traditionally a day where we celebrate our love for other people, I’m using today’s themes of appreciation, love, and care towards someone I usually overlook: myself.

I know it’s a little “rah rah ME!”, but like a lot of ladies, my creativity and thoughtfulness is usually directed outwards.  This year, I made my husband a card and a mix tape and we’re going out to dinner, AND he gets a print of one of the following photos.  Also, there’s an assortment of valentines going out to friends and family today.  But this shoot?   It’s a valentine to me.

The goal behind this goal was to let me feel comfortable in my own skin, after a couple of body changes like roller derby, CrossFit, and a tattoo.  With the help of Jora, Juan, and Sandra, I got there.

Seeing my transformation to pin-up girl stopped the train tracks of my obsession with perfection, and let me to see myself in the cheeky, cheerful, gorgeous light that’s behind pin-up style.  With pin-up, there’s a perfect balance of glamour and humor.  Much like burlesque, it’s a female-driven medium that allows the artist to feel both elegant and sexy at the same time.

Once I got into hair, makeup, and wardrobe, I felt transformed.  Juan and Sandra are super collaborative, and it was so much fun bouncing ideas and poses around all afternoon.  I got to play.  And that’s rare, and treasured.

Best of all, I felt totally comfortable during the lingerie shots.  Those were kind of a surprise.  I hadn’t anticipated shooting in lingerie, but everyone along the way was encouraging it, and it felt like an organic progression of this idea.  And it’s kind of awesome that the set I picked is in red, given the holiday.  I look classic in these shots: glamorous, beautiful, composed.  I’m not used to that, and I love it.

These are the three looks we did, but there are several more photos in different poses.  I already have my eye on a couple I’d like to order past this set.

Thank you, so very much, Go Mighty and Olay.  You’ve made me so happy to be me. 

This post originally appeared on Go Mighty.