Little Boxes | Tulsa Boudoir | Duende Boudoir

Human beings are very judgmental towards one another. We make snap decisions about a person based on what they wear, how they look, where they work. We like things to be neat and tidy and to fit into categories so our brains work really hard to quickly sort out a person in a short amount of time. Into the little boxes they go, judged. And there is probably a psychological reason for this, like maybe keeping us alive and safe.

But what about when you judge the lady ahead of you at the Target check out or the person begging on the corner or your brother’s new girlfriend? I doubt any of those people are out to do you harm. I bet most of those people, if you gave them a few honest minutes of your time, would reveal things to you that would make you realize that maybe you’re more similar than different.

My experience with people, mainly through working so intimately with women, is that they don’t fit into tidy little boxes. Or that the boxes they should be placed in based on certain factors just don’t fit who they are. We are all complicated beings bopping around this planet just doing our fucking best, okay? So let’s give one another a break and cool it with the judging. Or at least be more mindful and try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes before making up your mind about someone.

I’m embarrassed to admit this but I made a snap decision about Kyra before I even met her. She was late for our shoot. I hate it when people are late, it’s my biggest pet peeve. So I was not the nicest I could have been right off the bat but I don’t think I was rude. (At least I HOPE I didn’t come off that way.) So already I’m thinking it’s going to be a waste of time and that the images are going to turn out bad because we are half-way through our hour allotment before we even get started and people need time to warm up to the camera. A lot of thoughts are just flying around in my head and they are all negative. WHY DO WE DO THIS? WHY DO WE LET ANGER CLOUD OUR JUDGEMENT SO SWIFTLY? There are a million legitimate reasons why she could have been late. Like the fact that she’s never been to the hotel I’m at, that parking is really confusing here and that traffic that day was backed up. But no, I judged. And I feel like an asshole because of it.

We basically skipped all the usual chit-chat get to know you stuff and went right into lingerie and shooting. And from the first image to the last I was just in the flow with her. She opened up to me in such an honest way with her movements and her soul that few can do right away. I think you have to be very in touch with your pain to be able to deliver like that so swiftly, at least that’s my experience.

These images are some of my favorites ever taken. But I can’t look at them without a little part of me regretting how quickly I judged her. She’s a beautiful soul, inside and out, and I am privileged to have gotten to capture her on camera at this moment in her life.

Luckily I get to know how she saw the experience because here are her words! —-

“Doing a boudoir shoot definitely scared me. Not because I had never done one before and not because I wasn’t comfortable in lingerie. To be completely honest there was a point in my life where my job revolved around being comfortable in lingerie and being exposed to any eyes to see. And back then I was full of confidence. But that feels like another lifetime and another person. So doing a boudoir shoot at this stage in my life scared me because I feared I wouldn’t be able to bring out that sexy confident woman I once was. I used to be a lot more fit and toned, my body was at its prime back then. I’ve let myself go over the years and grown to really hate what I see in the mirror. Doing this boudoir shoot with Paige was the best thing that could’ve happened to me this year. Paige made me feel beautiful again. Being in gorgeous lacy lingerie brought back a confidence I didn’t think was possible for me anymore. It inspired me to love the woman I see in the mirror and accept my flaws as beautiful. It helped give me the courage to walk outside with my head held high. And ultimately it gave me that voice back in my head that says “Kyra you are one badass bitch.” I am so grateful to have been able to work with Paige. I’ve never worked with a photographer that has such a creative vision and knows exactly how to portray it to you. She had all this brilliant ideas and worked with me to execute them and in the end they turned into flawless images. Thank you Paige for bringing out my inner sexual goddess again.”

Same story, two different sides. And I was on the wrong one. I tell you this (if you even read these) because I want you to know that I’m far from perfect. I judge too quickly still even though I work on combating that every day. And I hope that you can work on it too. Because the world needs more compassion and less Judg-y McJudgertins in it.

Okay here are the bomb-ass images (there are a lot more but I narrowed it down as best I could!)——-

Heartbreak Hotel | Memphis Boudoir | Duende Boudoir

Getting over a break up is hard.

I don't have any recent experience, I've been with the same man for 12 years, but I still remember my last break up. It helped to shape me into who I am today. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?

When it happened I was a complete and total mess for a long time, and it took years for me to finally heal all of the little pieces and fucking MOVE ON for good. I think it was because he was my first real love, my first real relationship, and the first time that I had sex. Oh, and I was like 16 or 17 so everything was very dramatic and I was going through a lot of other issues at the same time. It's not so much the break up that did the damage but the feelings of worthlessness that I held onto that I had to heal. 

I thought he was THE ONE. I thought that we were MEANT TO BE. I thought a lot of things back then. 

But time heals all wounds if you work on them and all healing takes time. 

I'm not really going to go into how shitty breaking up with someone feels, because most of us have been through it already and we know that it's a hell of a lot more than tubs of ice cream and Facebook stalking. 

I'm going to talk about the self-knowledge that comes from breaking up with someone. 

Because it can be a blessing in disguise in the long run, at least it was for me. 

When you're thrown into the deep end of the single pool a lot changes. You're suddenly on your own again. You only have yourself to think about, which for a lot of people turns into feelings of self-loathing and unworthiness. The woe-is-me mentality just sucking the life out of you day after day. 

But what if you treated each day as a single person as a day where you got to do exactly whatever set your soul on fire? What if you lived each day racing towards your bliss? And what if you could do this no matter what relationship status you are or aren't in? 

Newsflash-bang-POW! You can! It's really simple. Living your best life authentically IS the key to happiness, and it might even take you on the path to finding THE ONE who you are MEANT TO BE with. 

Lovers come and go, relationships come and go (so don't take them for granted) but you're stuck with yourself so you might as well cultivate a relationship with YOU. Treat yourself how you'd want your lover to treat you (Look up The Womanizer. TRUST ME). Take care of yourself how you want to be taken care of. In other words DO THINGS FOR YOUR OWN DAMN SELF. You're all you've got, for better or worse, so you might as well love yourself. And if someone comes booping along your path and ignites something within you then you already have a strong sense of self that can let them into your life but not let them take over your life.  

Revenge sessions, like this one, are a great way to jump-start the healing. It's a visual reminder of the fact that you are sexy, powerful, amazing... and you don't need someone else's validation in order to feel all of those things. 

I'm not gonna lie, it's also kind of fun to show them what they are missing. 

Wardrobe- Duende Boudoir Lingerie Closet

To book your own revenge session- CLICK THIS!

Self-Portrait= Self Love | Florida Boudoir | Duende Boudoir

I am so nervous to post these that I might throw up. 

I'm feeling allllll sorts of emotions but the main one is FEAR. I'm scared to show people my body because it's a body now. And as much as I might preach self-love and all that mumbo-jumbo I am kind of ashamed of where I'm at in this current body. It's physically uncomfortable right now and for someone who can't even look at themselves in the mirror most days it's fucking terrifying to show it to the whole world. But that's exactly why I need to do this. I need to do this for myself. And I need to do this for you

But let me rewind a second.

Like many women, I've had (air quotes) body issues. But unlike a lot of women I've had at different points in my life what's considered as issues issues. The heavy hitters. Anorexia, bulimia, bingeing/purging, orthorexia,  exercise addiction, and body dysmorphia. Those are just the body-related ones! I'm a little bit messed up I guess. And I was really damn good at hiding all of those. It was kind of like a game for me, except the risk was losing my life if I won. The blind hatred I felt towards my body truly was all-consuming. 

But. 

I'm happy to say that I'm more or less recovered from most of those issues but the mental mindset doesn't ever leave you. And because of that I take certain precautions. I try not to go to the gym anymore by myself. I don't watch food documentaries. I don't count calories or have a scale or look in the mirror (for better or worse) or let myself go too long without eating. I spend a lot of time just being naked in an attepmt to normalize my body with my self. I even got rid of that folder on my computer with pictures of skinny people that took me years to compile. That one was hard to do.

But now that I'm 'better' I'm just another chubby girl who's ignored by society. 

I'm just stuck with myself. 

And so. 

If I have to be stuck with myself I'm going to try to live with it. Maybe even...(oh my god here's a radical notion) love it. 

I've come to realize that I'm a god-damn renaissance painting in a world that currently worships a different body type. Or at least that's what I tell myself these days. I'm fleshy and full and got lumps and bumps and lovely lady humps! 

But just because I was born in the wrong time period for my body type doesn't make my body wrong. It just makes it unique. And uniqueness, at the very least, is NOT boring! 

I'm at my highest weight, I think. And I've reached a truce with myself.

I used to do a lot of bad things to my body...and none of them fixed anything. The underlying issues, which had nothing to do with food or weight, were still there. So now I'm going to try to do some good things. I'm going to work out in moderation with love and respect for my body in ways that bring me joy. I'm going to fill it with real, whole foods instead of sugar and simple carbs (also sugar). I'm going to stop comparing myself to people because, as Theodore Roosevelt wisely said, comparison is the thief of joy. 

I'm not going to hide anymore, nor am I going to wait to do things until I'm perfect. Because we all know that doesn't exist. Perfect is an ever-moving target, an oasis of death in the desert race of life. And frankly, I've got more important shit to do. I'm going to buy the expensive lingerie (for myself, not just my clients anymore!), I'm going to take the self-portraits, I'm going to wear the bikini, and I'm going to have sex with the lights on (well I kind of already do this but it's not what I would describe as my favorite kind of sex ifyaknowwhatImean.)

And the best part is that I'm not alone! There is a whole movement of body-positive people coming out of the woodwork and boudoir is just one of the many ways that they are using to not only jump-start that journey and embrace their own uniqueness but also change the way the world views sexy. Sexy is raw, sexy is real, sexy is...whatever the fuck you want it to be. It's tanned and toned AND big and bodacious. 

Because I'm a boudoir photographer (if you didn't know that already where the heck have you been!?) I hopped on the bandwagon to do it for myself. I kind of chose the dumbest time to to it too. High noon in Florida with the sun shining brightly (the worst time for photo-taking) and in a semi-public walking path. I could feel myself burning as the minutes ticked by and this weird guy kept circling back on his bicycle. Luckily I had Alex along to keep a look out.

When I got home and looked at the photos I have to be honest, at first I didn't like what I saw. I started to think that maybe I shouldn't have done it, it was a waste of time (soooo much time. Self portraits are HARD), and that I was most definitely NOT going to post them. NopenopeNOOOPPPEEE. People would see that I'm fat under all of those clothes! People would think that I let myself go or that I'm lazy or that I'm ugly.

But. Then. 

I had a glass of wine and looked at myself with kindness. I looked at myself objectively as if I was looking at one of my clients. And then I fell in love. When I removed all of the mental bull-shit that runs through my head all of the time and just looked at that woman staring back at me...I cried. I cried for all that I have become, for all that I have lost in the battle to whittle myself down, and for all that my life is yet to be. And I'm crying now! 

So.

As it stands today I'm far from peace....but at least I'm not at war anymore. 

And that's good enough for me.

P.S. Other that color-changes and pimple removal I did NOT photoshop my body. I purposely used photos that flaunted my stomach in 'unflattering' poses because it's my biggest personal 'flaw' in my eyes. I think showing you that is the ultimate form of bravery, and it's set me free. 

Paintings-

Jan Gossaert's Venus and Palma Giovane's Venus and Cupid at Vulcan's Forge

(Hmmmm....Venus is a goddess. She looks like me. Therefore I am a goddess?!)

 

If you're ready to love yourself NOW just as you are and book a shoot with me- CLICK THIS!