I could say a lot about my boudoir shoot with Andrew Thomas Clifton that’s been about a year in the making. I found him on Instagram, loved his work, and made up my mind that one day he’d take photos of me. So this past Sunday, my vision manifested! Yayy!
I’ve mostly been telling everyone how much fun I had. There’s something empowering about embracing where you are with your body and being vulnerable enough to flaunt it in front of a camera, and a strange man.
Actually, in hindsight, it’s a bit odd that I felt only slight reluctance to changing out of my tunic into fishnets and a thong bodysuit and high heels – in clear view of the photographer. As an aside, I had Brazilian bikini and underarm waxing the day before, so everything was nice and smooth.
My trainer told me I shouldn’t be doing the shoot. “No, it’s too soon. Why would you do that? You haven’t even lost enough fat yet.” Or something to that effect. I’m calling it fat shaming, but I believe he meant well. I think he wanted to relish in knowing he helped “get me in shape” for the photos – apparently so I wouldn’t be self conscious. Too late! We were going to shoot in May (I would’ve had four more weeks to work out and diet), but Andrew offered and I jumped at the opportunity to do it earlier.
I’ve been on this self-love kick lately – you know, doing everything in my power to extract as much joy from every moment as possible. Even when I’m by myself. Because I’ve been very wobbly in this regard in the past – relishing in the moments where I felt people were behaving in ways I wanted them to. And being on a roller coaster of emotions at other times.
My greatest power is in remaining aligned with my self, no matter what. When I’m having fun, that’s beneficial to me and everyone I have relationships with.
Not only that – I’ve been preaching (to myself, and trying to encourage my 22 year old daughter as well ) about embracing where you are now, while working toward body goals, career goals, financial goals, life goals, etc. Much easier said than done, I know. So I got to practice what I preach.
What a fun and memorable opportunity.
I’ve wondered how women who fall outside the norm of American beauty standards feel comfortable in professions like burlesque dancing and stripping. And most of us fall along that spectrum if we have cellulite, excess body fat, dimples, boobs that sag, thin hair, etc. I almost said big booties, but women are literally dying for those now.
My mother is disappointed in my willingness to pose “half naked” with my butt out. (She’s afraid I’ll be passed around the Internet.) I reminded her that she’s posed for pictures wearing less, sans professional photographer! And then we had plenty of laughs and some bonding over my outfit choices. I stopped by her house after my session and shared the details with her.
She also told me that I was always body shy as a little girl, so it’s shocking that I would do something like this. That explains a lot – that self consciousness about my boobs, and my thighs, and whatever else, didn’t happen overnight. Didn’t happen somewhere along the course of me giving birth to three children. It’s high time I drop it though.
And guess what. It’s freeing to not care what other people think about your body, and about what you do with it. Your body, your choice, your happiness – above all else.
Another reason Andrew is the perfect photographer – he’s big on body acceptance for women. Some of his subjects appear to be well over 300 pounds, and beautiful in their own right – just like I am. (And like all of you women reading this.) By social media accounts, he receives high praise for capturing and authentically showcasing real women.
I want to be 25-30lbs lighter for sure, and toned – and I won’t put off life and enjoyment while I reach that goal (again). My gynecologist informed me yesterday that since estrogen levels are increasing by a bazillion times now, it will be an ongoing battle to manage my weight. But I got this!
To quote celebrity trainer Mark Jenkins, whom I interviewed a while back:
Every woman is beautiful in her own body type. And women need to learn to accept that and accentuate their strengths and minimize their weaknesses.
So in the meantime, I’m going to have as much fun as possible. Laugh as much as possible, even at my own inside jokes. Continue to daydream. Marvel at the wonders of the world, both big and small.
I will also enjoy my photos when I receive them in 2-3 weeks. Unsure about sharing them publicly because I’m not trying to be on folks’ Pinterest boards!
Will you catch me on a nude beach anytime soon? Probably not. Posing fully nude for pictures? Probably not. Do I still have insecurities? Yup. And that’s okay. If I should change my mind about doing any of the above, I’ll write about it here first!
If you’ve read this far and you’re still interested, and or you like fantastic booties, here’s a short video you may enjoy. (I didn’t know it was that big.)
If you’d like to work with Andrew, he’s professional, personable, and immensely talented. Here’s his info:
Have you ever posed for provocative photos? What was the experience like? If you haven’t, could you see yourself doing it? If you had any hangups, what would they be? Can you relate to dealing with and or overcoming insecurities about your body? What has the process been like for you?
Categories: Personal Stories