Today I want to write about something I find myself talking about extremely often. There will be no photos in this post because I want it to be more about the message than the images.
Why do women want boudoir photos? When I tell people that I take boudoir photos the reactions are extremely mixed. Men’s reactions are often the most entertaining (sorry guys) because they either have no idea what boudoir is in the first place or they completely misinterpret the reasons for the photos. Women’s reactions are generally that they would love to do them “someday” but they haven’t worked up the courage.
So let’s set the record straight and address a few things here….
First, what exactly are boudoir photos? The word “boudoir” is French for a lady’s bedroom, dressing room or sitting room. The idea of the photos is to catch a woman in an intimate, unguarded environment. Most commonly the photos themselves are taken indoors, on, or near a bed or vanity to represent her getting ready for her day. There is also a growing trend to do them outside. Although the term “boudoir” shouldn’t apply since it’s not in a bedroom, it is still accepted as a descriptor. Generally the women are wearing very little clothing and lingerie of all varieties are the typical choice of attire.
Ok, great but that still doesn’t explain why.
This is the point in the conversation that takes a different direction depending on if I’m speaking to a man or a woman. Most women will agree with me….men don’t get it. Is there a rare fella that gets it? Oh I’m sure, but as a general rule men don’t understand one bit.
Women, from the time we are little girls, are constantly bombarded with images and depictions of what “beauty” is. By the time we are teenagers we are expected to look pretty, wear makeup, be skinny, wear the latest trends, look like that model in the magazine. Teenage girls are constantly comparing themselves to each other and so often tear each other down either verbally or just in their minds to make themselves feel better. Instead, girls start doubting themselves and wonder, what is everyone else going to say about how I look today? As we get older it doesn’t stop; it just calms down a little. Basically, it’s a recipe for insecurity.
Then add the male element and it’s a whole new mess of trouble. Somewhere in that struggle to look pretty and perfect some guy probably came along to make us feel like crap. I don’t know a single woman that hasn’t been harassed or insulted in some way by a guy, some of them quite violently. That takes a horrible toll on an already delicate sense of self.
By the time women are functional adults they have been torn down and taken apart. Somehow everything gets put back together in a functional way but their confidence has been badly shaken. Putting on a swimsuit and going to the beach is absolutely terrifying, especially for moms. They spent years trying to get flat tummies and now it’s flabby and has stretch marks so that swimsuit gets a lot harder to put on.
So men don’t get it. Sure, men have things like this going on. I’m not saying that men don’t have a lot of the same pressures and insecurities, but it’s simply different. Also, I am not a man, so I can’t speak with any true confidence about what men go through.
I’m sure at this point you’re wondering what the heck all this has to do with boudoir photography. I still haven’t answered why.
Here is why: it’s a way to get that confidence back. Women do it for themselves. To feel beautiful. To feel sexy. To feel fantastic in their own skin. Yeah, at some point there may be a significant other that is going to see the photos, so on the surface it’s about a gift for their husbands or boyfriends. Ultimately, at the very heart and core of the reason, is for a woman to feel good about herself. During the session I make sure to show the ladies a photo on the back of my camera so they can see themselves in a different way. The photo on the back of my camera is untouched and reflects her exactly as she is and that’s when the change is most apparent, in that moment. At some point I usually hear a woman say with disbelief that they didn’t think they could look like that, or that it doesn’t look like them. I promise ladies, you really are much more beautiful than you have allowed yourself to believe. By the time we are done, the women that walk out the door after their sessions are not the same women that walked in. I see this over and over again, and some cases are much more apparent than others. I keep in touch with these ladies and that feeling lasts. Plus they have the photos to remind them.
So that’s why, to regain confidence. It breaks my heart to hear women say they want to lose 5 lbs first or they aren’t brave enough. I wish so much that I could make them understand that those 5 lbs don’t matter because they’re always going to have something they don’t like about themselves. They only lack bravery because they have spent a lifetime viewing fake images of women in magazines. Yes, FAKE. If you want proof watch this video about how images of women are manipulated to the point they aren’t even recognizable.
Men, these photos are not for you. Sure, maybe they were originally planned to be gifts for an upcoming wedding, an anniversary, Valentine’s Day, or whatever the case may be, but that’s not the real reason. Yeah, you’ll get some hot photos to look at, but you’re actually receiving a much better gift: a much more confident woman in your life. That’s a heck of a lot sexier than any photo.
And ladies, men may come and go, but your confidence is worth constantly renewing and retaining. Consider boudoir photos as an investment in yourself.
If you’re looking for a boudoir photographer in Northwest Arkansas, please contact me! I would love to walk you through the experience and I would love even more to see you walk out the door with a big smile on your face!