This past weekend, I peeled off the last vestiges of my timidity and revealed myself in a whole new light: I took part in an intimate boudoir photography session.BOUDOIR : a woman’s dressing room, bedroom, or private sitting room
After seeing zaftig women on the internet photographed in beautiful and sensuous ways, and after a local coupon for a boudoir photo shoot was brought to my attention by a girlfriend, I felt inspired to overcome my trepidations and join the zaftig community of pin-up dolls. Afterall, I love to tell you ladies to go out there and get ’em, release your fears, embrace your curves and live life to the fullest, so what better way to set an example than to bare some serious skin and become a contortionist in front of the camera?
The coupon I purchased was good for a one-hour session and included four outfit changes. For an extra fee, someone could do my hair and makeup. A male friend of mine graciously contributed to the “Make Her Beautiful” fund, which was a relief, as a big fancy hairdo and the fine art of makeup application has never been my forte.
Prior to the appointment, I spent a great deal of time trying to decide what on earth my four outfits were going to be. Corsets? Bra and panties? Sexy clothing? How does one determine such important factors? I tried on many items within the course of a few days… with jewelry, with hair accessories, with gloves, with stockings. I figured if I was going to do this, I was going to do it RIGHT (including indulging in a pedicure and manicure the night before, because one can’t very well walk into a photography studio without pretty nails!)
Admittedly, the morning of the shoot, my nerves were a bit frazzled ~ I’ve never been in a photography session, and the thought was, well, a bit daunting. Afterall, I would soon be strutting my scantily clad self in front of perfect strangers, allowing them to take snapshots of me while I struggled to “act natural” in front of the camera. Kind of like sending a bull into a china shop. I ended up shoving an assortment of corsets, bras and panties, along with a plethora of accessories, into a big shopping bag and figured I would just wing the costume changes once I got there.
When I arrived at the private residence which housed deBoudoir, I was greeted at the door by a very charming young woman named Carmela, who welcomed me in with a smile and immediately took care of me, giving me paperwork to fill out before ushering me downstairs to start in on my hair and makeup. Following behind her, I glanced at the many photographs adorning the walls which showcased a multitude of women in lingerie and decadent poses. They were all very lovely. And all perfectly thin.
Had this company never photographed a plump woman before? Or had they simply chosen not to showcase her? What a shame not to include this body type in their display! Surely, this would make a zaftig woman feel a little more at ease when visiting the studio. I shall make mention of this when I return to review the photos…
Standing in the makeup room, Carmela asked what look I was interested in achieving, and I heartily replied, “Pin-up girl!” to which she clapped in delight. Typically, she said, clients request smoky, bedroom eyes with very neutral tones and nude lipstick. Carmela preferred dolling the ladies up more, and was excited to give me the “Marilyn Monroe” look.
We spent the next hour chatting incessantly while she proceeded to mold me into a pin-up girl ~ cat eyes, bright red lipstick and deliciously curly hair. We discussed my inspiration to be there, and I explained my blog to her and also the fact that after my divorce, I’ve been continuing to venture outside of my comfort zone and find ways to blossom further as a zaftig woman. Being a tad plump herself (but hardly!) Carmela said that she could relate to my thoughts and was quite interested and excited about the blog. We shared the philosophy that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.
After meticulous preparation, I was finally given the opportunity to glance at my reflection in the mirror. I was stunned at the woman looking back at me. Who in the world was that?! I appeared nothing like myself. And yet, I did ~ an accentuated, vibrant version of myself. The inner sex kitten had surfaced! Pleased at the transformation, I gave Carmela a hug and thanked her for her expertise.
When it came time for my outfit changes to commence, I stepped into a very pretty little restroom complete with scented candles burning and pulled out Outfit #1: a classy, sexy, satin bustier with black lace trim and a satin ribbon. I added black ruffled panties, a few pieces of jewelry, elbow-length velvet gloves and a pair of very high-heeled black shoes that somehow, miraculously, I could stand in. I took a deep breath, opened the door, and entered into the studio on wobbly, but stable, feet.
Carmela took one look at me and shrieked her approval. The photographer, Julie, added her own exuberant response and helped me tie the satin ribbon around my bustier. As I stood there, heavy cleavage and thick, cellulite-laden curves exposed to the world, I knew that there was no going back. I was fully committed and ready to grab the opportunity with both hands to make it the best experience I could possibly make it.
And under the warmth of the studio lights and the tutelage of a well-seasoned photographer, my fears began to slowly melt away. I found myself pleasantly immersed in the challenge of becoming a pin-up girl…