Defining Boudoir And Why Just Taking A Photo in Lingerie Is NOT It

I'm a people person. I've always been a people person, and I don't think there's any way I could ever not be a people person. This is completely different from being a people pleaser because I'm confident in my decisions and don't mind disappointing folks. It means I'm capable of adapting and adjusting to the people I'm around to influence their mood if I so choose. When I was younger, this was mostly a negative thing, but now I USE MY POWERS FOR GOOD. 

 
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So boudoir, pronounced [boo - dwah], used to mean a women's private bedroom or sitting room between that 16th - 19th century era. Imagine these giant, magnificently decorated homes with multiple rooms you could get lost in for days on end. There would be a morning room, an evening room, a boudoir room, a powder room--like any room you could think of. And if the outside world was too much, you just retreated into this room to prepare yourself for the next bout of life. That was way back in the day, but the most present day representation would be a Kardashian home.

 

Boudoir was so taboo it wasn't even funny. It wasn't funny at all. The earliest and most common account is by this dude from the 1920s, Albert Arthur Allen, who's typically regarded as the breakout photographer for these (then) very illegal photos of the female form. Then we received the pin-up version from the 50s, and a freaking revolution from the 70s. And when I say we, I'm referring to women as a whole because I haven't found too many sources of African American boudoir past the last 20 years...which isn't hard to believe for obvious reasons. And if those reasons aren't obvious--it's colonization.

 

MISCONCEPTION #1:  Boudoir is Porn. 

WHOA HEAVY HITTER STRAIGHT OUT OF THE GATE. I know, but for real, it's not. Pornography is a billion dollar industry involving sex workers (who are unfairly and unevenly paid, btw) and the next category close and yet so far away is erotica. Boudoir is an homage to the present usefulness of your body--everything it can and can't do, and how it makes you feel. Even if those feelings are pushing you farther away, boudoir can help mold and rearrange those. 

MISCONCEPTION #2: Boudoir is bland.

People think all the photos are just in black and white, and you see the same white female, thin, able-bodied contoured back over and over and over again. I don't intend nor wish to create a space where my clientele only looks a certain way, and I know plenty of photographers who believe the same. However this doesn't mean everyone is prepared to photograph fat bodies like mine, or women of color, or even non able-bodied people. Every photographer is not going to be for every person. That's why it's important to do your research and connect with someone who's going to represent you in the best way... even when the camera's off and especially after your entire experience is complete.

MISCONCEPTION #3 Boudoir isn't sexy.

Nope, not all the time. This is kind of a trick misconception. Our bodies aren't inherently sexual. The only life we've been made to live is one where our bodies do the work for us that we know they can do. Meaning, our bodies exist to coexist with everyone else. So yes, it might be a good gift for your significant other or a great gift for yourself after hitting a milestone in your life, but what are you giving back to your body? How do you show appreciation for what's been living on this Earth and allowing you to experience everything you experience?

MISCONCEPTION #4 Boudoir is only in hotel rooms. 

I feel like I shouldn't have to say this, because I definitely LOVE luxurious hotel rooms with giant panels of windows lighting up the frame of your body as we talk about life and cry over the best episodes of Queer Eye, but boudoir can, in fact, be done in your home. I'm probably not the norm but I want to see your home first and get a feel for the space. I want to see how you live in your home, and figure out the best space to capture that too! 

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Boudoir is about an experience for all people. It's about letting your body be your body without anyone else's judgements. It's what fuels me. There are many different experiences but what I love most is connecting with people. I think it just gives me another avenue to make friends and empower people to break down those barriers society places on us. If you're questioning the importance of boudoir, what that experience could look and feel like for you, or just information in general, definitely reach out. I love, love, love talking to people about what they should be celebrating. You should be celebrating you!

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jordan posing in the best freaking way looking like a snack