This beauty was such a joy to work with!! Here is her story and what she had to say about this experience!!
I grew up going to private Christian schools my whole life. I was taught that women are to be homemakers, bear children, and stand by their man. I was taught that there was nowhere in leadership for women and that once a woman is married, she is to follow her husband and be his right-hand woman. As one would assume, I was immersed in “purity culture”. I wasn’t taught about sex, birth control, or pregnancy prevention. I was shown pictures of sexually transmitted infections and told that if I had sex before marriage these infections would happen to me and never go away. We got true love waits rings, took a pledge, and signed a card saying that we wouldn’t have sex before marriage. One of the most profound things that was drilled into our minds as young girls was to cover our bodies. We were told that we couldn’t wear this or that because it would tempt boys. Our dress code was stricter for girls than for the boys – our dresses and skirts had to be knee length, no V-necks or cleavage showing shirts, nothing skintight, and on school trips the beloved one piece must be worn.
I was taught at an early age that my body was not something to be glorified but rather something that could provoke sin in someone else – and of course going to Christian school we always had a hefty dose of sinning = hell talks and who wanted to go there. When I graduated in 2012 and finally went out into the “real world” I found myself (and still do) covering my body because it has been engrained into me to do that. The one thing that I have learned is that I cannot take responsibility for another’s actions – meaning – no matter what I am wearing whether it be skintight or a potato sack, it does not give anyone male or female the right to blame me for “making them sin” which is opposite of what I was taught.
It has taken me years to understand that bodies aren’t sinful. Clothes aren’t sinful. Showing off your body isn’t sinful. Sex isn’t sinful.
When I first thought about doing a boudoir shoot, I couldn’t tell anyone because I was afraid of what people would think. Why would she be doing that kind of shoot at her weight? Who does she have to give those pictures to… she’s never had a boyfriend? You have never had sex; how do you know how to be sexy? My answer to all of those questions is, if you don’t love yourself then how do you expect someone to love you in order to get all of those things.
I am a labor and delivery nurse, and Christie is also a women’s health nurse that worked downstairs from me at one time. I have seen her work through co-workers that did shoots with her and really loved it. I kept looking into her studio and style and saw that she photographed ALL women no matter size. I was also drawn to the fact that someone would do my hair and makeup because if you know me you know that I am not gifted in that area. So, I took a leap and just booked the shoot and started shopping (because I love shopping).
The day of the shoot I was so nervous. I was sitting in the makeup chair stiff as a board – like my back wasn’t even touching the back of the chair stiff. My phone rang out of the blue while getting my make up done and it was a lady calling me about a job that was opening that she wanted me to interview for – and it’s a job that I have wanted for a year or more. I finally relaxed (my back was against the chair now) and got my confidence boosted when I saw my hair and makeup.
During the shoot, I felt so comfortable with Christie, and I had so much fun. I felt beautiful. She showed me a few sneak peaks during the shoot, and I was freaking out. Was that really me? When I showed up reveal day, I had no idea what to expect and was so scared I was going to hate them… but I was SO WRONG. I couldn’t believe the person I was seeing in the pictures was me or that I saw a picture of myself and thought that I was beautiful. I did this shoot for myself and honestly, it’s the best thing I could have ever done.
Everyone should do a boudoir shoot and everyone should feel this way about themselves. Bodies aren’t sinful, they are beautiful, and are meant to be praised and looked at. So, wear the V neck, the tight pants, the short dress, the bikini – whatever you want to wear… just wear it. Whatever or whoever you want to do – just do it (with consent that is ☺ ).
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