Recently, I did a boudoir shoot- I called it Unlocking Afro Boudoir because my photographer and I shared the vision of accessorizing African accessories with minimal clothing. Boudoir can be very unsettling for most people, actually for most women, as it was for me. I always wondered why any woman would want to show that much skin. I once unfriended a celebrity I deeply admired because she posted nude photos. I thought how awful, but was it my insecurity reacting to a woman who found her confidence? I secretly always wanted to do a Boudoir shoot, but I was stuck in the bottleneck of what they will think. They being my family, friends, acquaintances, strangers, and random people on the internet. I even let people I have never interacted with limit my art. And then I drowned the noise.
Frankly, it was one of the most empowering shoots I have ever done; being truly comfortable in your body and unclothed because you want to, not because you want to fulfill someone else's desire, unlocks something bigger within. When I lived in Europe, nude beaches were typical- billboards with almost naked women all over, and nobody stopped to obsess over them. Europeans live freely. These women may not meet the stereotypical definition of beauty in America, which has placed psychological limitations and enslaved most women to their covers, indirectly shaming breasts that nursed, mothers, stretch marks, c-section scars, etc. The European women with scars, stretch marks, cellulite, and everything that is not 'pretty' in the Western culture, walked around these nude beaches naked with no shame, no worries, just enjoying the beach's warmth, swimming, and sun tanning- nobody seemed to care, it was just a body. They radiated confidence and happiness, and they just lived. The more you focus on what 'THEY' think of you, the smaller you make yourself. Perhaps a boudoir isn't the thing, but there is something that you always wanted to do, but you have allowed the noise to flood your why and distort your art. Stop letting 'THEM' rewrite your story and be the author.