A Boudoir Shoot Changed My Life (yes, I’m serious)

Date posted: November 19, 2013 | By:

I write a blog for a living. So you might say, I like photos. It’s true. It’s the curse of being born a photographer’s daughter…and of being a second-born child whose parents showered their first born with pics and forgot about the camera when she came along. What? I’m not bitter. But it did make me a lover of marking the memory of every occasion with a photo – much to the chagrin of my family & friends.


So when I was presented with the opportunity to pose for a boudoir shoot with the uber-talented Claire Pearce and Unbuttoned Photography here in Los Angeles a few weeks ago, I thought “Hmmm…that could be fun!” - a thought that was immediately followed by, “If my grandmother was alive, would she disown me?” and ”Umm, how much am I really comfortable with folks seeing of me?”
See, I am not someone who likes putting her body on display – mostly because like approximately 91% of american women – I’m not totally 100% comfortable with my body. I’m more like 60% comfortable with my body. On a good day, a little more. On a bad day, a lot less.
Much like many of those other 91% of women, I have had a hate affair with my body for years. Since I was 11 years old, I have dieted, binged, sucked in, thrown up, starved,  excessively worked out, called my body names – and none of it has made me love my body any more, surprisingly.
I have looked at myself in the mirror – more times than I would like to recall – and said vile, hateful things to myself than I wouldn’t dare say to my worst enemy. I’ve been lovingly – and not-so-lovingly – called curvy, thick, voluptuous and big-boned when all I ever wanted to be was thin and petite. People would even intend it to be a compliment and I would find myself utterly disgusted.
Well, I am tired of hating what I am and wanting to be what I am not. No more. I work too hard and love life too much to let my distorted view of my body get me down. I eat well, work out almost every day and it’s not fair to myself to hold myself to some unrealistic expectation. I have let this dichotomy of what I think I should be versus what I am hold me back from dreams, wound relationships and keep me from a more confident version of myself that I’ve always known was in there. I have spent 35 years of my life letting my body be my albatross. And, well, I’m sick of it. But it’s not just me. It’s you, it’s your mom, it’s your sister, your daughter, your best friend. As my wise friend once said, “I am so tired of my girlfriends hating their bodies.” Yeah, me too. 

So, as a gift to myself for my 36th birthday, I decided to stop the madness and start the loving. I love others too much to not give myself that same love and respect with this long overdue gift. I’m not a mother yet but damned if I’ll one day teach my daughter to hate her body. I want her to love her body, respect her body and enjoy her body for everything it’s worth. And how can I do that one day if I can’t do that myself today?
So what was the catalyst that made me turn the body-hating page to a body-loving page?
Well, I ended up doing said boudoir shoot I mentioned up above with Claire Pearce and  Unbuttoned Photography.

I THINK my Nanny would be okay with this. No? Photo by Claire Pearce of Unbuttoned Photography, Hair & Makeup by Emma Willis of Contour Fossa Makeup & Hair

Now, I’m not saying that this cures all ills and that you’ll be dancing around naked on stripper poles in the middle of the street. I certainly am not.

Giving Dollface a new meaning. Shot in my home 11/3/13. Photo by Claire Pearce of Unbuttoned Photography, Hair & Makeup by Emma Willis of Contour Fossa Makeup & Hair / Tassel garland deco by Studio Mucci

But it did help me appreciate my body the way it is right now – every curve, every scar, every flaw and every feature  - that makes me uniquely me. And now I’m sharing it with you. So please, um, be kind.

A new kind of appreciation…it only took 35.9 years! Photo by Claire Pearce of Unbuttoned Photography, Hair & Makeup by Emma Willis of Contour Fossa Makeup & Hair



While photographer, Claire – and Sherry (her assistant) – prepared for the shoot, I was primped to the hilt with hair and makeup by Emma Willis of Contour Fossa Makeup & Hair. There was something about sipping champagne, listening to D’Angelo, Marvin Gaye, Meiko and Robin Thicke, and writhing around in silky lingerie on my bed with pumps on that made me feel, well, sensual. And it was not a bad feeling to feel.



Photo by Claire Pearce of Unbuttoned Photography, Hair & Makeup by Emma Willis of Contour Fossa Makeup & Hair / Tassel garland deco by Studio Mucci



I have found that this one day spent showing my body a little love and respect has made me a better lover, better friend, better daughter, better one-day wife & mother and better woman.



In my happy place in my Jessie Steele apron - Photo by Claire Pearce of Unbuttoned Photography, Hair & Makeup by Emma Willis of Contour Fossa Makeup & Hair


I loved it SO much that I plan on doing it yearly to appreciate myself and maybe – just maybe – gift the one I love with, as well one day.
I have turned a corner and it’s a corner that I wished I’d turned years ago. I really hope you find it inspiring to start your own self body-love movement and find time to have a day of your own to celebrate the skin you’re in.

So here’s to closing an old chapter and turning the page to an exciting new chapter. And hey, 36? Bring it on.

*If you’re in LA, next Sunday 11/24,  Unbuttoned Boudoir Photography has a special running right now for $745 for 14 images, hair and makeup! Um, can you say perfect holiday gift for the honey or yourself?


Photography by: Claire Pearce of Unbuttoned Photography

Hair & Makeup by: Emma Willis of Contour Fossa Makeup & Hair

Tassel Garland Deco by: Studio Mucci


BF Asks: Are you one of the 91% of american women who are unhappy with their bodies? What do you do to give yourself more confidence?

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4 thoughts on “A Boudoir Shoot Changed My Life (yes, I’m serious)

  1. You looks absolutely stunning, Amazing, Gorgeous, Beautiful….and the list will go on. This post was very inspirational as to accept my body the way it is. I am in awe with the first photo features (hottt). Congrats to you!

    • Dear Joanna, One of my FAVORITE all-time BF readers! This is why I write this blog. I am so happy it inspired you! I would love to have more mutually encouraging and inspiring dialogues between us girls more often. And, don’t only “accept” your body! Loooove your body! You are GORGEOUS!!Thank you so much for the sweet note! xoxo, BF

  2. You are such an amazing woman. 100% beautiful inside and out! Thank you for sharing this powerful post. I have been in the “I hate my body” club for years. You have inspired me! I’m turning in my membership and starting fresh in the “I love my body’ club.

  3. From a man’s perspective with or without make-up, or sensual clothing it seems to me you in fact are, and probably have been – a beautiful woman/ person/friend/lover. Nice for you to finally feel it and see it. BTW 36 is just the beginning of growing as a woman. It only gets better. Congrats Rod

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