Boudoir photography is an outlet or an expression of confidence, vulnerability and softness of the human form. In femininity, it brings out the beauty of a woman/person and how an image communicates the intention (be it letting go, being open about intimacy/sexuality, self-love etc.) It is not everyone's cup of tea. ~ Pin-up Rebel Ms ML
Yes, it is absolutely true!
Boudoir photography is not everyone's cup of tea but a different form of art that permits you to be fearless. We still have a long way to educate people, especially in Singapore, on what boudoir photography is.
It is intimate.
It is unconventional.
It makes you dig deep while sharing your story during your session.
I am grateful to be given the opportunity to photograph Ms ML, a firm believer and fighter for the curvy community in Singapore. She hopes that her session will encourage all plus-size women to embrace their curves and accept themselves as a whole.
Here's Ms ML on her boudoir experience at The Pin-up Rebels:
Q: Since boudoir photography is all about embracing who you are, please tell us a little bit more about yourself.
I struggled with body weight and body image issues since childhood. It was tough growing up being constantly told for being ``too chubby" ``fat" etc and that I would not live very long. I also received nasty comments from people that I've dated, strangers and people I meet at events and it led me into a spiral of seeking validation externally.
I had to learn that I had to accept myself for who I am and that no one else has lived my life to tell me what I am doing is wrong/unacceptable (within legal bounds). It led me to discover that I had an underlying chronic illness, mental health issues and I finally learnt to love myself and nurture the person that was hurt by everyone that I once trusted. It is an ongoing journey of embracing my body, no matter what size she is, and I am grateful that it is an instrument to live my life and dreams. I'm glad Boudoir is an outlet to express myself.
Q: Since boudoir photography is about being vulnerable please share with us about a low point in your life and how did you lift yourself up from it?
Ans: On top of my personal issues, the environment that I grew up in, was not healthy. Life is still not smooth-sailing now, but I am grateful for the countless blessings my life has presented me with and I continue to press on. Or if it gets too tough for that day, I'd buy myself a small treat (food/drinks/accessories).
Q: Did you tell others that you will be doing this photoshoot? If yes, what was their reaction? If no, why not?
Ans: Funny enough, I have a diverse group of close friends (some are traditional/conservative, some are neutral or extremely sex-positive/body positive). Those that were liberal/open-minded to such topics encouraged me to stick to my decision for the shoot. As for the conservative friends.. there were multiple conversations as to "why" "is this to seek validation from men/romantic partners" "de-valuing myself and cheapening my body". They were difficult conversations to have, but it had to be done. Not everyone is receptive to the idea of Boudoir, some link it to sex tracking/pornography (which is a legitimate cause for concern) but in this case, it was not. I haven't had much interaction with my conservative friends about this topic, but I respect their boundaries. I have only shared photos with 3 friends who are comfortable with the idea of boudoir.
Q: What was your biggest fear before your session?
Ans: My biggest fear was how will my body look in photographs. Although I am comfortable in my body with clothes on (I have learnt how to dress well for a chubby person) but it was the poses in lingerie that I had pondered on. The saying "the camera adds on 10 pounds" was what made me feel insecure before the session. I did not have any expectations of how the session might go as it was explained to me clearly on how it was conducted. I felt at ease from the start so I was not as nervous as I expected myself to be.
Q: What was your favourite part of the entire photographic experience, and why?
Ans: I enjoyed talking about life before & during makeup and preparation, it helped me to calm down and understand that this is not to intimidate me. I can't exactly pinpoint a favourite experience as I really enjoyed connecting with everyone before, during and after the shoot.
Q: In three words, how would you describe your feelings when you saw the photos?
Ans: Awe, wonder, speechless (in a good way).
This was a lovely experience, welcoming of all body sizes (I highly encourage mid-size/plus-size/fat/chubby to try this at least once) and had a great time enjoying everything.
Definitely do it for yourself and not for anyone else, you deserve this moment.
~ Pin-up Ms ML