#FashionIsPolitical: Boudoir BOSS

Yours truly challenging the Male Gaze. MUA: Hayley

OKAY SO. Let’s talk boudoir & personal politics.

A few months ago, an internet friend and now IRL friend, Suma Jane Dark, started posting about doing “Quick and Dirty Boudoir” photoshoots across the West Coast, as a way to launch her body positive and fat-positive boudoir studio.

(NOTE: I use the word “fat” to reclaim it. Suma explicitly uses it, and identifies as fat, so there’s no schoolyard bullying happening here. ALSO, it’s used because the term “body positive” has been co opted by ThinPeople™ and has basicallyyyyy become meaningless. More here.)

I have internet friends all over the planet, and Suma and I fast became friends, sharing snarky memes and funny dog videos. So when she announced she was doing a boudoir shoot in San Francisco, I told all my Stanford friends to get over there — and they LOVED IT. The next time she came to SF, I managed to be in town for client meetings (freelance life ftw), and GOT TO DO MY OWN SHOOT, HUZZAH.

Special thanks to Hayley of Big Fat Beauty MUA really brought out my inner smoldering screen siren.

I know, I’m a goddess.

I’ll write a “What to Expect for a Boudoir Shoot” post later, but for now, let’s talk about the Politics of Boudoir, with some siren photos of your truly.

Boudoir is Self-Determination

Boudoir photography can be about reclaiming your body, and images of your body. We’re stuck in a society that tells us selfies are vain, but also tells us to #LoveOurselves. It’s a tug of war from hell. How much self-love is allowed? At what point does a woman’s (or femme’s) “self-love” become annoying? How many selfies are okay?

How much self-love is allowed? At what point does a woman’s “self-love” become annoying? How many selfies are okay?

I have literally had friends send me selfies and say, “Is it okay to post another one? I already posted on last week….”

Who the hell gets to decide what the threshold on how many selfies to post, or what“self-love” is, anyways? Who is the “Selfie Police”?

YOU KNOW WHO.

THE FUCKING PATRIARCHY.

Buying into all that nonsense about selfies being vain comes straight (lol) out the patriarchy.

Fuck the patriarchy, y’all.

Boudoir is Reclamation

“The real anxiety with girls and selfies is that selfies might provide girls with the means to create their own positive image of themselves, thereby severely diluting the impact of outside opinion.” (Erin Tatum)

Boudoir reclaims images of oneself, by saying, “You don’t get to define the ways in which I am allowed to present myself. I decide that.” Boudoir helps us reclaim our bodies by reclaiming images of our bodies — whether or not they’re shared with the world.

“You don’t get to define the ways in which I am allowed to present myself. I decide that.”

By working with a feminist photographer like Suma, one can lift the middle finger to the Male Gaze. Rachel Simmons, who wrote about young girls and selfies at Slate, put it best when she said: “It puts the gaze of the camera squarely in a girl’s hands, and along with it, the power to influence the photo’s interpretation.”

Also did a fun “Boudoir Friends” shoot with these weirdos.

Boudoir Helps Us Take Up Space

Boudoir combats manspreading. Sharing boudoir photos is a way of elbowing men on the internet, and saying, NOPE, THIS IS MY KNEE SPACE.

Any photo of you, boudoir or no, is radical, because it acknowledges that YOU ARE HERE and you will take up space. My presence on the internet can also serve as an altar to myself, and my Self. You deserve to be noticed, and you’re not interested in pretending surprise when someone tells you how banging you look.

I am a goddess.

I’ll be posting more of my shots on Instagram, and I’d you like this ~writing style~ be sure to join me on twitter. 😘

If you want to tackle your negative issues, I def recommend reaching out to Morgan Elizabeth Brown, a body confidence coach. ❤

FINALLY! If you’re interested in getting some MF boudoir photos done, Suma will be doing boudoir photos in LA and Sacramento in the coming weeks — and she’ll be trekking across the USA on a boudoir tour this summer. Follow her here for updates. ❤