Many people use boudoir as a way to love themselves more … to have someone help them see their inner beauty that they are often oblivious to, and others don’t see. To bring out the best in themselves, and love the parts that they don’t see as beautiful. Today we have another beautiful boudoir session from Shannon Griffin, and her client has shared some deep thoughts with us about her boudoir experience.

from the subject:“Showing more skin: Last summer I was feeling so self-conscious that I got rid of all my two-piece swimsuits. I only wore one-pieces because I was afraid of showing my belly. Even when I wore the one-piece bathing suits, though, I still felt too big. I didn’t feel like me. Instead of feeling free and playful, two emotions I associate with summer and beach playtime, I felt overly conscious of my body shame. I went to the beach less and wore cover-ups whenever I was out by a pool or by the beach. I was actually trading my physical comfort and enjoyment away for the sake of not exposing my midriff!

This summer: the two-piece returns! My belly isn’t any smaller. I don’t have a “beach body”. But I’m refusing to believe that my body is something that needs to be hidden away. I’m also starting to wear fewer clothes while teaching and taking hot yoga classes or running outside. Instead of my leggings and baggy tank-tops uniform, I’m breaking out some of the shorts and adorable sports bras I’ve been covering up. When I hear the old whispers of “you’re not fit enough to wear that” bubble up from inside, I’m learning to respond with patience and love. I tell myself my body is the vessel through which I can interact with the world. Its shape doesn’t change that.

Celebrating my body: This one has been the hardest. Since I got married I’ve wanted to do a boudoir photo shoot to surprise my husband. But I kept feeling that I wasn’t “ready”. I should diet, work out more, and then I’d be willing to pay the money to have professional photos taken to document my “good” body. I was literally stopping myself from doing what I wanted because I didn’t think my body was worth it. When I realized that, I reached out to a wonderful photographer who I trust. I told her I wanted to do this for myself and for my body, to acknowledge that I am worth it, and I am beautiful, and to have photos to look back at when I was feeling those negative voices act up.

The actual experience was amazing and empowering, but leading up to it I was a wreck. My old fears were saying that I should get a haircut, I should work out every day and diet hardcore the week before the shoot. But I started being able to talk back. I wanted to look like me. When I looked back at the photographs I wanted to feel good about ME, not good about the pictures and still harnessing judgment and anger at my normal self. I just saw some of the first proofs, and it is exactly what I thought it would be: hard to look at initially, but incredibly powerful and beautiful.

I still feel shame around my body, but I’m learning and getting better at answering the judgemental voices in my head with kindness and love. I know that I have lots more room to grow here, and I’m excited for the process to continue!”

Photography: Shannon Griffin

Bajan Wed