Punk Rock Boudoir
Ok so I’ll start out by saying how excited I am about sharing this punk rock boudoir photo session! I’ve always had a rebel streak. And find myself often connecting with people who walk the offbeat path in life. So I love that this session embraced Zoe’s personal style and attitude. Combining her softer more feminine side with the edgy parts of her personality. Also, who doesn’t love a braided mohawk? But, in addition to the pure awesomeness of this shoot I wanted to share something more vulnerable.
Fat Shaming, Skinny Shaming, Body Shaming…
As an empowering boudoir & portrait photographer, I have a lot of deep conversations with women. Often they are about self love, and insecurities. Leading up to this shoot Zoe and I were working together on a few projects. And we talked a lot about our experiences growing up and how those shaped our body image. So this next bit of writing is a combination of our experiences, thoughts, and emotions. I hope they help you see yourself in a more positive light.
For most of my life I’ve had body image issues. Along with the estimated 50% of other women and girls who feel unhappy with how they look. I think that is a conservative estimate, especially among teens where my story begins.
My experiences with Body Shaming…
I’ve always been a small person, as a child I was an equal to my peers, but quickly they surpassed me in height and mass. As a teen I became painfully aware of my size. People would tell rumors that I had eating disorders. Girls in the locker room would stare at me and whisper behind my back. Except, of course, I could still hear everything they said. There was this perceived notion that skinny meant I had no problems and my life must be perfect. Skinny meant happy. Skinny meant success. Except, by those measures, I was not skinny. So for years I struggled with on one hand feeling like I must be ‘fat’ because I wasn’t happy and my life wasn’t perfect. But on the other hand I was picked on for being too thin. And, realistically I knew I had no weight to loose. I felt isolated because even my dearest friends would make comments. Saying I couldn’t have anything to complain about with my body. Or, that I wasn’t sexy because a bag of bones just isn’t attractive. It wasn’t accepted to feel insecure or unhappy about my body because it was small. Body shaming is a way to keep women down by making them divided and against each other. It is also a way for advertisers to sell us products and services. They sell on emotion. And the emotion is that skinny means life is perfect, and fat means life sucks. Spoiler alert, it is all BS.
We all have different awesome bodies
I’m thankfully beginning to understand that neither of those things are true. There are tons of different body types, but our physical body doesn’t have to be an emotional hurdle to get over. In fact, we should all be honored to be given this life to live in our skin. And at the same time we need to acknowledge that everyone has insecurities. That is human, and we need to learn to be more supportive as a society so that people can get past their insecurities.
I think the body positivity movement is in a unique position right now to be more inclusive. It also can help turn the focus on health. Not an outward physical appearance of health. But what being healthy means for each individual. We’ll all end up different weights, shapes, and sizes. We’ll have different physical abilities. And, we’ll feel good in our skin. Sure, it will be a lot harder to sell women shit they don’t need. But, dear advertisers, meet the challenge. Get creative. Stop using body shaming and insecurities to sell subpar products.
“You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously.”
I hope you see strength, vulnerability, limitations and self acceptance in these photos. And that they inspire you to accept your own body more fully.
Still, to this day, as an adult woman I get plenty of comments about my physical appearance. I understand to my core the feelings of insecurity and frustration. And I also understand that those feelings are so common for so many women. So when I get to photograph a woman I make sure to give her space to be herself. I create a space for self acceptance, self love, insecurity and simply existing. We all deserve to feel good about what we’ve got. And we all deserve to have our fears and insecurities recognized without being mocked for them. So if this is something you want to explore for yourself, lets talk. Let’s shoot. Let’s make amazing, beautiful, powerful photographs of the woman you are today. Oh, and if you are wondering about incorporating your personal style into one of these sessions, this punk rock boudoir shoot is the answer, fuck yea! You do you.
PS. This badass hair styling was done by my favorite local hair stylist in Alameda, Suzette McD.
All Images © Ella Sophie
Ella Sophie is an artist and photographer living in Oakland California. She specializes in creating images that empower women. Through portraiture, boudoir photography and ethical fashion photography. Ella strives to change the perception that women have of themselves one photo at a time. When she isn’t working you can find her volunteering at the local animal shelter. Encouraging fellow entrepreneurs and artists. Or traveling and taking in the beautiful wilderness.
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