You might be wondering how I draw a line from the #MeToo movement to the world of boudoir photography. And, given the stereotypes that have popped up around boudoir, I can’t blame you. There is a difference between boudoir and empowerment boudoir.
The term boudoir brings up the same image for a lot of people – A woman spread in a sexy pose. Who is trying to turn on whoever is looking at the end-result photo. While that can certainly be part of boudoir photography, it isn’t the whole story. In fact, it only a small piece of the puzzle.
Many women use boudoir photography as a means of self-empowerment. They use it to reclaim their sexuality, boost their self-image, and regain a feeling of femininity.
Boudoir: A misunderstood art form
According to an in-depth history of boudoir in a HuffPost article, the photography genre began almost as art back in the 1920s. It was a way for women to claim their bodies as their own and to refuse to follow rules that said it must be hidden. For photographers, it was a way to capture the gentle curves of the feminine figure.
In the 1940s and beyond, nude photography quickly turned from celebrating the female figure in its beauty to showing off sexy curves in provocative poses designed to peek men’s interest. It wasn’t until the 1970s that boudoir as an art form really made a reappearance. But, by then, the image was stuck in people’s minds that boudoir was nothing more than a form of pornography. It was something designed to turn people on rather than something to celebrate the beautiful nature of the female figure.
To this day, there is a mixture of artistic boudoir photography and the kind meant to be used as a sexual prop.
I want to be clear: While the female figure can, indeed be quite sexy and while sex is nothing to be ashamed of, the boudoir photography we do here at Gabriela Cruz Photography isn’t about turning people on. It’s about empowering every person who comes through our doors
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Reclaiming your sexuality through empowerment boudoir photography
There are few people in the Western world who aren’t familiar with the #MeToo movement. But, in case you aren’t: The #MeToo movement began in 2006, really gaining popularity in 2017. The hashtag is a way for women to identify being raped, assaulted, and harassed based on their gender. It has been used as a platform for larger discussions on rape and assault. As a way for women to band together to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions.
Want to learn more about the #MeToo movement? Check out this detailed article.
For many women, empowerment boudoir photography is about taking their power back.
It’s about owning their own bodies. It’s about making their own decisions about how their sexuality will be expressed, finding positive ways to express that sexuality, and being in control.
We recently featured a post about an amazing woman who did just that. Click here to read about Ashton’s healing journey through boudoir photography.
Boudoir photo shoots help with self-image and body positivity
Beore we dive too far into this conversation, let’s get one big myth out of the way. MYTH: Boudoir photography is something you do for someone else.
TRUTH: While some people may choose to create boudoir photos for their husbands, wives, or others, the experience can also be for yourself.
Some people even choose to never show their photos to anyone or, on the other end of the spectrum, to show them to everyone.
For many women, the experience is about stripping away layers of clothing and the masks we wear for ourselves and the world every day. It’s about standing in front of someone else, a camera, and (most importantly) yourself with nothing to hide behind. It’s about baring yourself and bearing your truth. It’s about finding acceptence and appreciation
Therefore, for a lot of women, it is only after moving through the uncomfortable disrobing (literally and metaphorically) than they can find their true beauty. It is only then that they see it, love it, and appreciate it.
Self-image boosting has been helpful for women with low self-esteem, pregnant women who don’t recognize their bodies, and women who dislike their post-partum bodies.
Empowerment Boudoir photography for regaining feeling of femininity
Just because the photos can turn someone on doesn’t mean that’s their main goal.
For some women, simply knowing that they can look sexy makes a big difference emotionally.
In an article written for Western Morning News in 2015, breast cancer survivor Anna Gillard described her experience with boudoir:
“Although I didn’t undergo a mastectomy, there was a lot of surgery.” The photo shoot helped Anna find her own beauty, again. It helped her find her feminine sensuality – something very important to the confidence and overall happiness of a lot of women.
How to feel empowered in your boudoir photo session
Before we go I want to leave you with a few quick tips on how you can create an empowering experience for yourself in your boudoir shoot.
- Choose a photographer who understands your goals.
- Get comfortable with your photographer, first.
- Emotionally prepare yourself for the photo shoot.
- Choose some clothes and poses that are already comfortable – then break outside your comfort zone.
- Embrace your untouched photos.