The Stigma of Boudoir Photography

Boudoir photography has been around for centuries, but it still maintains a certain level of stigma.

To me, boudoir photography is about showing women the beauty in themselves that they may fail or struggle to see. There is beauty in EVERY woman and I believe this should be viewed as a form of therapy. Our culture is so quick to equate any sexy style of photographs of a woman to the act of sex, regardless of context or intent. So when we assume that a sexy photograph of a woman - of her magnificent human body with its curves and wrinkles and muscles and lashes and details - would only be created or exist for another’s sexual satisfaction, we are perpetuating that cycle of objectification and tarnishing what should be a pure and joyful celebration of her confidence, and pride in herself. The truth is, that woman deserves to be looked up to. Boudoir photography deserves to be known as empowering, not shameful. It is an experience that makes you feel beautiful, not one that you regret or are ashamed of. I believe that every woman deserves to have at least one boudoir photo shoot in her lifetime.

What is Boudoir Photography?
Boudoir photography has been incorrectly been defined as “a photographic style featuring intimate, sensual, romantic, and sometimes erotic images of its subjects in a soft, flattering light.” While that’s half true, it’s still half untrue. The term ”boudoir” derives from the French word for “bedroom, and/or a woman’s private dressing area.” So, for portraits to fall into the  category of boudoir, they literally need to be captured in “The Boudoir”. Any photos that are intimate, sensual, romantic, or erotic in nature taken anywhere other than the “boudoir”, are simply called “Glamour”. So let’s call things what they are from now on. 

What is the purpose of “Boudoir” Photography?
These types of photographs are typically taken with the intention of being shared with a significant other as a form of expression and appreciation. However, boudoir photography can also be taken simply for the sake of art or personal confidence-building. It is not always overtly sexual in nature; rather, it can be quite tasteful and elegant.

Why the Stigma?
I think there are a few reasons why boudoir photography still maintains a certain level of stigma. For one, our culture is fairly Puritanical when it comes to matters of sexuality. We are quick to judge anyone who expresses their sexuality in an overt way or who deviates from traditional gender norms. Second, I think there’s still a lot of misinformation out there about what boudoir photography actually is. Many people mistakenly believe that all boudoir photos are pornographic or degrading in nature when, in reality, they can be quite beautiful and empowering. Lastly, I think some people may view boudoir photography as frivolous or superficial; something that only wealthy people do for fun or vanity. But I believe that everyone deserves to celebrate their own beauty, regardless of their income level or social status.  

Why Boudoir Photography Matters:
In a world that is constantly telling women they are not good enough, boudoir photography provides a much-needed counterbalance. It shows women that they are beautiful just as they are. It celebrates their curves, their wrinkles, their muscles, their lashes, and all the other details that make them unique. Boudoir photography reminds women that they are worthy of self-love and respect, regardless of what society says.

In conclusion, Boudoir photography is an empowering experience that every woman should try at least once in her life. It allows you to see yourself in a whole new light and appreciate your body for all that it is. If you’re interested in getting started, reach out to me! This is your time to shine!

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