My boudoir journey and experience:
Throughout my life and to this day I have received comments that made me think negatively about myself and my body. People I met constantly commented on my size, shape, colour and my eyes – not in a good way at all. As if getting this in your hometown wasn’t enough, in a new place I found that even strangers thought it was ok to comment on my body, which I usually met with a polite smile, then walked away while they laughed and pointed.
This year I turned 39 and received a diagnosis that I thought was the end of the world (my world at least) but I have come to realise that there is a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel. I was feeling sad and depressed and that was when I came across a FB post about Min Xu Boudoir Photography. I looked at her page for a few days admiring the photos and the women and men in them. Wow! They are all so beautiful, proud and confident. I thought I could never do anything like that. It was a few days later that I had another look at the page and Min was offering a special for healthcare workers (I work frontline in my local hospital in the indigenous community), so I went for it. I couldn’t believe I had done it. For a while I sat in my car arguing with myself about what made me think I could do something like that.
A day or so later I received an email and then a phone call from Min. We discussed what was involved in boudoir photography and I booked a date. Eeeekkkk. I received emails with prompts and suggestions for wardrobe not to mention replies to the text messages I sent asking questions that were already answered in the emails.
I began my lingerie journey. I was a “lingerie virgin” – I didn’t even know there were so many choices. I found some nice pieces and got one of everything that Min suggested. LOL. The day of the photo session arrived and I was so nervous. I left hours earlier than I needed. When I arrived I sat in the car for nearly 30 mins trying to do some self talk. Min called to see how far away I was and snapped me out of it.
As I went towards the studio I had so many thoughts about myself going through my head – and not nice ones. We are all guilty of negative self talk and mine was daily. I have always struggled with my weight and I was depressed with everything to that point. I hated myself and did not want to go out or be seen, I was embarrassed and disgusted and I was not comfortable in my skin. Climbing the stairs to the studio was the hardest thing for me to do. I had not told anyone about what I was doing – NO ONE! I really felt alone.
At the studio Min greeted me. She is beautiful, so happy, smiley, bubbly. I was so nervous. I just smiled I think. She asked what I had brought so I showed her in my neatly packed, locked suitcase – you never know things may just bust open. LOL. To begin I discussed with Min all the parts of my body I DIDN’T want photographed. She nodded, listening to all my concerns. However I did let her know to do what she thought was better as a professional photographer.
It was then that Sue arrived to do my hair and makeup. I hadn’t done anything like that since my high school formal. During this time Min hung my items and asked what music I liked, and played this to try to relax me since I didn’t talk much. “Sorry Min”. Min asked what outfit I wanted to shoot first so I chose and she showed me where to change. I was in there for a bit and came out with a full covering over the top of my bodysuit. I was struggling to “uncover” myself. Min gave me a bit of time and I managed to take off the shirt cover. We did a few poses and I was beginning to loosen up. After the second wardrobe change Min directed me in several poses and positions that showed all the parts I didn’t want to show but I was starting to feel more comfortable with what she directed. Min then started photographing from different positions and angles that made all sorts of things go through my head. “Why do that to yourself? Shock horror! What if she thinks my butt is a planet and freakishly huge? What if she’s laughing inside?” But then I thought, “You know what. This is not her first boudoir shoot. It’s ok, it’s fine. She has obviously seen so many women’s butts and boobs. “
Fast forward and I’m on the bed and chatting about the next outfit and position to be in, and all thoughts and cares were out the window. I just took off my outfit in front of her to get into position. Not a care to be had.
I can honestly say it was one of the most memorable and fun days of my life. When I left the studio that day I felt changed. I walked with my head a little higher. I felt more confidence running through my veins. I had no idea how the photos would come out but, regardless of the results, I was brave and had left my comfort zone. I was proud of myself. I felt like a beautiful woman. I didn’t wash off any of the makeup when I left. I kept it and went out that night feeling amazing. I had a wonderful day and night.
We made a date for me to see my photos and that couldn’t come fast enough. Once again I was nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. What was I going to see? Would I like what I saw? All these questions flooded my head. We sat and started to look at each photo one by one and WOW! “Do I really look like this?” I almost started to cry. I was in disbelief. I was beautiful. How did I / could I hate myself so much for so long? Why did I think less of myself because of what I was conditioned to think? It was difficult to choose just a few, I loved them ALL.
This Boudoir session was a very personal journey that reminded me of who I am. I was surprised by my own beauty. It took a single photo to show me that – for me to see myself as I truly am, to love myself again, to believe that I am sexy and feminine, and to completely realise my worth. I am more confident than I have ever been in my life.
From a single photo……
“Thank you Min” is not enough. You need so much more.