OK, maybe I exaggerated slightly on the senior citizen part. I’m 53. And a half. But who’s counting? I’m a yoga teacher and an early childhood teacher. I’m blonde and curvy, with some attributes I’m proud of, and others I am not. Like most women in our culture, I have some major body issues. I spend more time covering it up than flaunting it.
So why did I do it? Was it a desperate last grasp at my fading youth? Was it a joyful affirmation that women of any age can be beautiful and sexy? Or was it merely the fact that I got a Living Social coupon and it was about to expire?
Whatever the reason, when I realized the coupon was about to expire (drat! I just outed myself as a Living Social addict!) I called and made my appointment:
Me: I’m an older lady, I’m not really interested in wearing lingerie.
Her: That’s fine, just wear whatever makes you feel beautiful.
Me: Maybe I just want to wear yoga clothes and do some yoga shots. I don’t need all that sexy stuff.
Her: Whatever makes you feel good.
Me: (fuming at her lack of resistance against my resistance) well, maybe I will go through my lingerie and just see…
I realized, while looking through my “unmentionables” that they were really more unmentionable than they should be: sports bras promoting the “uniboob” and torn, stained Granny Panties. Even in my defensive mode, my undies were sub-par. So I went shopping and bought a few things, just enough to make me feel “beautiful”.
And I arrived with two suitcases of options (which the photographer, Lanette, told me was not excessive) and got ready to shoot. I was hella nervous. But I shouldn’t have been. It was a blast. I had scribbled down a few flattering poses in case she didn’t have ideas for me. I mean, it’s easy to photograph sexy young women and make them look good; it’s an entirely different matter to photograph an old broad trying to fight the cruel tides of time. But she knew what to do, how to arrange me, and promised she had a “smoothing brush” that she would use on the finished pictures.
As she looked through the viewfinder, she made a “grrrr” purring noise. Did I really look good? I began to relax, throwing back my head on the couch, crossing my legs in a classic pinup look, looking at the camera through my mascaraed lashes with a Mona Lisa smile on my lips.
We went through a dozen outfits. At one point, I wanted a shot in my jeans. She said “Yes, just jeans and a hand bra!”
“Oh, I didn’t bring a hand bra.” (what the hell was that, anyway?)
She smiled and cupped her hands over her chest to show me. Oh. That.
And a week later, we did a phone session where we went through the shots. I didn’t love them all, but I liked more than I had expected. A few hundred dollars later, I had my beauty shots.
Thinking back on the experience, I have to wonder: what had really motivated me? Was it vanity? Did I need to prove something to myself? Maybe. Or maybe I was just supporting a local business. Whatever the reason, I’m not sorry I did it. Women need to know they are lovely, because we are. And if it needs to fit within the cultural constraints that we are forced to live with, so be it. All I know is that Lanette was right; I did feel beautiful.
If you are considering doing a boudoir shoot of your own, here are a few tips:
- Be relaxed. For me, this meant a glass of champagne before I showed up.
- Trust your photographer; if they do this for a business, chances are they know what they’re doing.
- Feel free to guide the direction of the shoot. Get as naked or non-naked as you feel comfortable with.
- If you want to buy the digital rights to your shots, or even just some prints, it will be pricey. But it might be worth it.
And most of all, have fun and let your inner beauty shine through!