Smashing the Stigma / Talking about the Tough Stuff
Enfoque Intimates has been open since 2010... proudly going on 11 years our doors have been open to give women an opportunity to see themselves in a light they don't get to see themselves in everyday. Boudoir is so much MORE than what you see on social media. Women come in and have sessions for all different reasons; they just got out of an abusive relationship and want to take back their own body, they want to be able to feel confident again in a body that has had children, they won a battle with a health aliment, and so much more. Each story is just as unique as each woman and they deserve to be celebrated for who they are, what they've accomplished, and for just being them!
When I first started boudoir with Enfoqué, I was so often asked how my beliefs in God and photographing women in lingerie coincide. How could I think this was ok, what does God think. I really haven't thought about it in a while until the question was brought up again just the other day. I was surprised because of where we are as a society now. 10 years is a long time, and our world is changing everyday. In some cases, not for the better. There is a huge misconception conflating such portraiture with pornography. Pornography is so much more accessible and even simple ads with photos of women everyday clothing are less than tasteful.
The puritanical nature of the critique, shaming women clearly celebrating and enjoying their beauty, strikes me as a dangerous aspect of religious self righteousness: policing and dictating what is “acceptable” behavior from a woman. I suppose it's just like anything else, there are always going to be those who speak "high and mighty" yet are quick to "cast the first stone".
My response: How can these things be ok, but giving women confidence, empowering them, fulfilling a desire to feel sexy, and even giving them a reason to want to be intimate with their spouse - not be ok. Men are very visual beings who are surrounded daily by images of women -- why not have it be their wife.
Yes I have a strong faith in God, but I also believe in boudoir. Boudoir by definition is a women's dressing room, bedroom, or private sitting room. Keywords private. This is an experience that is kept as private as a woman wants. In todays society women are expected to look a certain way, act a certain way, and be something that isn't totally 100% them and who they are. Expectations are placed and when they aren't met it's almost this disappointment or feeling of not being good enough.
Boudoir allows women to get connect with a side that they are taught to hide. We are so busy taking care of everyone else, often times we lose ourselves both physically and mentally. That takes a toll on us, and how can you put your all into your relationships and those who rely on you when you have a bad self image or don't like the way you look.
Do the Bible's teachings on modesty prevent us from actually desiring to feel beautiful? Stunning? Confident? Does it speak against a woman pampering or getting in touch with themselves? Is there a passage that says women from different situations and backgrounds (especially violent ones) aren't to reclaim their bodies as their own again after such a trauma.
I just want to break the misinterpretation of boudoir. Here's a breakdown.
What it's not:
-For the faint of heart
What it is:
-A chance for a woman to pamper herself
-A gift for a woman's spouse to see how important they are to her, by going out of her comfort zone to do something out of the norm.
-A self love experience to someone who is trying to find themselves again after a weight loss/gain, a breakup, battle with an illness, or abuse.
All I ask is for you not to judge the women who come into our studio. Cheer them on! Tell them they can do it no matter how nervous they are. Offer to give them a ride or get your nails done with them beforehand. It often takes a lot for someone to even consider this, but when it comes down to it, we need to encourage and support. Period.
Thanks for coming to my TedTalk. :)