How important is a woman's body image to her self-esteem?
A woman's body image can have great impact on her self-esteem. We've all seen this throughout our lives with our female friends at college or in the workplace, or perhaps even ourselves. As women we are constantly bombarded with images from fashion, TV, movies and media of ‘ideal' body types and what we should strive to look like. We often feel pressure to look a certain way. As well, a woman's body image will change after pregnancy & childbirth, which can leave some woman beginning to dislike their changed body, or finding it difficult to adjust to her new form.
How does a boudoir session help improve a woman's opinion of her body image?
After a boudoir session, many of my boudoir clients have told me they found it a very inspiring and liberating experience. It really boosted their confidence and self-esteem regarding their body image. The boudoir session is a chance for the woman to have fun, be spontaneous, to be pampered, to indulge and to celebrate themselves. It gives women the chance to be flirty, sexy, confident, glamorous, chic, and to truly express themselves. When I give sneak previews of some of the images that we are capturing during our shoot, my clients get so excited, and can't believe it's really them! They see themselves and their body in a whole new light. I think it's also partly because of the whole process of doing the shoot. Naturally my clients are nervous at first, but as soon as we get started and they relax a bit, they realize how much fun it is, and how liberating it is. It isn't long before they feel totally uninhibited and really start to feel sexy and confidant. Of course, I am always giving tips with posing, and I like to use my studio lighting to produce the most flattering images. My clients tell me that I have a relaxed and natural approach that helps to make them feel comfortable. It's important that they feel comfortable with who they are working with as much as what they are doing.
'The pictures aren’t meant to be titillating. They’re sensual rather than overtly sexy'
This is emphatically women-only territory – boudoir shoots are not for partners – and the clientele are encouraged to dress in whatever makes them feel comfortable. Most bring their own lingerie, from satin slips and camis to suspenders, although there is usually a boxful of accessories, such as feather boas and garters, available for those wanting to vamp it up.
Some women just want very anonymous pictures – I have shot a pair of legs in stockings, or a bare back with a hint of profile. Others prefer pictures that are much more identifiably them.
If they want to go fully nude then so be it, but most, I find, prefer a more subtle look.
‘The art of boudoir photography is in the hint rather than the full reveal.’
Part makeover salon, part therapy room, the aim of the boudoir studio, is to create a private space where women can indulge their sensual side without judgment or embarrassment. The ladies who walk through the door are all different – skinny, curvy, young and older.
There are divorcées who’ve lost confidence, women who have had cancer, women who just want to reclaim a little piece of themselves after years of raising their families. And for some reason this form of photography taps into something. It seems to produce that feeling of, “Wow, I can look fantastic.”’
I believe that in some ways the popularity of boudoir photography is down to a rebellion against the relentlessly uniform images women are fed by advertisers. ‘We live in a very image-conscious society but a lot of what we are told is attractive is a bit of a cliché,. I think for these women it is their way of saying, “We’re not 22 and stick thin with hair extensions, but we can still be beautiful and sensual.”’ They can look at these pictures and think, “OK, so maybe I don’t look like that first thing in the morning, but that is who I can be, so that is who I am.” And it’s not sexual, but sensual and beautiful.’