A boudoir photoshoot helped me embrace my post-baby body
I’ll admit it: I have scrolled through the galleries of sexy photos of women on AskMen.com and flipped through the pages of scantily clad models and celebrities in Maxim, GQ and Esquire. My eyes roll over their curves, but more than looking at their bodies, I imagine myself in those positions, wearing those clothes, and feeling that beautiful. I think about how I want to look that sexy. But more than that, I want to feel that sexy.
I’m a new mom. I have a new body, new curves, and a new C-section scar. And as a dating coach, I know the life and confidence-shifting reality that a baby creates when it comes to dating and romance. Entering the dating world with a new baby, new body, new identity, and new priorities, I was in need of getting comfortable and feeling sexy in my new skin. In order to do that, I needed to experience it moving in a non-mommy way. I needed to feel and see my curves as sensual again. I needed to pull out my lingerie (hoping it would fit me again) and have the confidence to slip it back on and face the mirror.
I decided to do a boudoir photo shoot with one of the most reputable boudoir photographers in the country, Jenny Taylor Boudoir Photography. You might not think that, as a dating and empowerment coach, one of the suggestions I make for my clients is to strip off their clothes for a sexy boudoir photo shoot. You might think that it’s counterintuitive. I'm sitting here trying to build my clients up, empower them, make them feel like they’re unstoppable women, and then I tell them to take sexy photos in lingerie. Yes. That's exactly what I do.
Boudoir photos are not taken with the intention of showing them to any man — at least not the type of boudoir photos taken by a team of empowering female photographers, hair and makeup artists. The photos are taken with the intention of feeling sexy, empowered.
Jenny and her team helped me decide on four outfits: sweet, sexy, hot and naughty. I was stepping outside of my comfort zone, but from the moment I stepped out of the dressing room, I felt completely safe. More than that, I truly did feel like a model in a photo shoot for one of those magazines. I loved feeling my body move as the photographer told me how beautiful I looked and suggested poses that best showed and even enhanced my sexy curves. I felt liberated and energized and gorgeous. And it was so much fun! I felt like I was on a high.
A week later, when I saw the photos during my big reveal, I was able to see my body through someone else’s eyes — my photographer’s. And within that fresh view I saw, and finally felt, beautiful.
Photos like these also a chance to experience confident vulnerability. Confident vulnerability is owning who you are. It's a mentality that I call "Here I Am." It's not "here I am, what do you think?” Or "here I am, am I good enough for you?” Or "here I am, you better like me!” It's confidently, vulnerably, unapologetically "Here I Am. This is me. I'm not perfect. I have made mistakes. I have done things that I'm not proud of. I have made mid-course corrections. I have seen and done things that I wish I hadn't. And in the end, those experiences and actions have allowed me to grow as a person.”
The thing is, vulnerability can be difficult. Some people find it easier to be vulnerable physically than emotionally. It's almost scarier to reveal ourselves, our true internal selves, than it is to reveal our bodies. What’s great about a boudoir photo shoot — the right type of boudoir photo shoot — is that there's nothing sexual about it. When working with the right boudoir photographer, your inner essence is liberated, enlivened, and you shine from the inside out.
In the end, my boudoir photo shoot allowed me to not just see beauty (though in the photos I definitely did) but to simultaneously feel vulnerable and confident. Within that space, on those sheets, in those sexy outfits, with my hair and makeup done my true radiance was revealed. It had nothing to do with my face or body.
Safety tips before you book your boudoir shoot:
-Don’t just let any random person take sexy pics of you.
-You don’t want your sexy pics to get into the wrong hands
-You must trust the person/company who is shooting the pics
-You must feel and actually BE safe. You are opening yourself up to be very vulnerable. Some people could try to take advantage of that, and of you.
-If you are having an individual (as opposed to an established company) take the pics, you can have them take the photos in YOUR camera only so that you have complete control of the images after the shoot.
-If you choose to hire a company, do your research first. Don’t be embarrassed or feel like you are inconveniencing them by calling and asking more questions.