Did your childhood cloud your perception? // Downers Grove Boudoir Photography
Guest Blog: Brand Ambassador, Published Poet, Lexie Oneca
Never in a million years would I have though I’d be saying that in such a fond way!
But as you guys know from my last post, boudoir really opened up a world of freedom to me. I can honestly say I look at my body differently now. And it’s all from being pampered and photographed.
I say a world of freedom because my eyes have been opened to appreciate EVERY body, which — yes, it’s true — finally includes my own.
You see, I was taught at a young age that appearances were very important. I watched my mom practice the exercises from her Thin Thighs in 30 Days book (so I started practicing them too). I watched her get all made up, jeweled up and dressed up to go out with my dad all the time. I would open up her lipsticks one by one, looking at all the reds and pinks I wasn’t allowed to use. I saw that she even had fancy under-things, although I knew I wasn’t supposed to look in there. But I’m not sure I understood the why behind any of it. Why all the makeup? Why the high heels? Even at home I was being conditioned to place great importance on how one was perceived from the outside.
I think you just absorb the why as you grow up. Little by little, the messages start seeping in. Legs should be long, thin, toned and tan. Stomachs should be flat (and tan). Bodies and faces should all kind of look the same: big boobs, skinny waist, perfectly round booty, full lips. And tan. Everything should be tan, all the time.
The messages came to me mostly through magazines. For some reason, I was desperate to leaf through any magazine I could find — Seventeen, Teen, Tiger Beat, Cosmopolitan — because I was curious about those bodies. I obsessed over them. I bemoaned the fact that my body didn’t look like that, so the agenda was always “I wish I was her.” Not “I wish I looked like her.” I started not even wanting to be myself. I so badly wanted to switch places with anyone around me who had a more “normal” body than I did. Truly, my body image has been warped since adolescence.
Which is why I’m so amazed that boudoir has made me finally appreciate my body in a new way. I’m smart enough to know now that I don’t need to compare it to anyone else’s. That just leads to a negative downward spiral. I’m compassionate enough to know now that bodies aren’t something we should comment on, period. And I’m confident enough to know now that I do look beautiful in some of my shots. (Not some. ALL!)
If you’re thinking about doing a shoot, I highly encourage it, for so many reasons. Like me, your eyes may be opened to your own natural beauty. You might develop a stronger sense of self-trust. Maybe it gives you the confidence to ask for that promotion at work. It’s all connected — so to be able to explore all these things within the boundaries of one single act, booking a boudoir session, to me is priceless. You’re doing some capital “W” Work on yourself just by posing and smiling.
Do you have a relationship with your body? What’s it like? Could it use some TLC? (Okay, I think that answer is always hell yes!) Try boudoir. It smooths out all those rough edges you think you have. It’s an art form. It’s empowering. I feel free.
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