I would have to say the absolute most frustrating thing about Boudoir Photography is the stigma around the human body in its most natural form: naked. I can never describe the high of watching someone look through their photos, fight back tears (and so often unsuccessfully), and with the biggest smiles on their face ask me, "is this really me?" Similarly, I can never describe the utter heartbreak of hearing that very same person, regretfully telling me, "as much as I love all of my photos, I can't have them shared."
How can an image that brings a person so much joy, confidence, and happiness be wrong? How is the image of a woman, who shares all the same body parts that we do, be offensive? The fact that my best work, photos that highlight and radiate a person's true raw beauty, will forever be hidden in an album, tucked away in a private space of that person's home, will forever sadden me. Excuse that monstrosity of a run on sentence.
Why is Boudoir Photography still so censored in these supposed progressive social media platforms?
And no, it's not that my best photos cannot be shared that mostly saddens me. Helping my client view herself in a different light, a more positive light, is fulfilling enough. But the reasons behind why these photos have to be hidden is what is most frustrating. In the thousands of years where women were seen as the inferior gender, to the point we were seen as property (and in some ways still are), we have fought to come so far. But in all our progress, society is still able to tell us what constitutes as "beautiful." Social Media can still make us hate the reflection we see in our mirrors. Television and Movies still makes us question our own unique beauty, our own sexy. It still causes us doubt when someone genuinely tells us "wow you are gorgeous." The hypocrisy of society allows us to go to the beach in a bikini (if shaped in a way that society deems acceptable that is) but tuck away beautiful, professionally taken, artfully and tastefully done, photos in our underwear.
It is no surprise that the number one reason people do not book a boudoir session is, " I want to lose some weight first."
...and cue in the bigger sigh.
I get it, I really do. We are bombarded by images of what supposedly everyone sees as beautiful and then we compare those perfectly shaped hour glass bodies to ours, And even those that have those hour glass shaped bodies still cannot see their own beauty. We always hear of super models or instagram models and their own self-hate. Why? Because from day one, we are taught to be ashamed of what is underneath our clothing.
Hopefully one day all of society will grow enough to accept and see the beauty in all bodies, especially marginalized ones. Until then, I will enjoy being the temporary escape for women from society's hypocritical standards and expectations.