Women's Empowerment Spread the Word
So you probably have been hearing that boudoir photography is empowering, plain and simple. But you may be asking..why and how?
Let’s start with some basic definitions…
Empowerment. Def: the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights.
Women’s Empowerment. Def: Women’s empowerment can be defined to promoting women’s sense of self-worth, their ability to determine their own choices, and their right to influence social change for themselves and others
So how do photography and taking pictures of women in a bedroom in lingerie empower them? This is where I believe boudoir photography can be misunderstood. “Boudoir” aka..bedroom. “Lingerie”..aka worn in the bedroom. These things can be interpreted as sexual or leading to or asking for sex. Truthfully, many boudoir photographers will photograph erotica photography. No judgment here as long as there is no objectification of women. These sessions can be very sexually liberating for those women who choose to do this. However, that is not why I believe most women seek out boudoir photography as an empowering experience, nor is it why I photograph boudoir photography. So why then?
Because many women are hard on themselves. “It turns out there’s an area of your brain that’s assigned the task of negative thinking,” says Louann Brizendine, MD, a neuropsychiatrist at the University of California, San Francisco, and the author of The Female Brain. “It’s judgmental. It says ‘I’m too fat’ or ‘I’m too old.’ It’s a barometer of every social interaction you have. It goes on red alert when the feedback you’re getting from other people isn’t going well.” This worrywart part of the brain is the anterior cingulate cortex. In women, it’s actually larger and more influential, as is the brain circuitry for observing emotions in others. “The reason we think females have more emotional sensitivity,” says Brizendine, “is that we’ve been built to be immediately responsive to the needs of a nonverbal infant. That can be both a good thing and a bad thing.” So, there’s that. Great.
But, there is good—no, great—news about changing a pattern like negative thinking, according to neuroscientist Michael M. Merzenich, PhD, at the University of California, San Francisco, who has demonstrated how the brain remakes itself all the time. The brain is not like a computer that has fixed wiring and connections,” says Merzenich. “Every aspect of you is created by the brain revising itself in response to your interactions in the world—and I mean everything. How you define yourself—the person you are—is a product of plastic changes in your brain. That includes things that relate to your attitude and your emotional construct. What you are is a result of how your brain has tried to create a model of the world, and the brain is plastic until you die.”
So, by changing a women’s view of herself, it can transform her long-held fears or insecurities, and/or validate her self-worth (aka. Definition of empowerment).
So, how do we change her view of herself? By showing her how the world truly sees her. By bringing out her best qualities and letting them shine. By tapping into her feminity and reflecting that back to her visually. How do we do this? By shedding the outer clothes, by allowing her to be vulnerable, by gaining her trust and guiding her through the experience. By photographing her in an intimate setting, in beautiful lingerie that she feels like a woman in, by posing her and lighting her in the most flattering way. This is how boudoir photography experiences can be empowering for women. They can promote her sense of self-worth and confidence. Thereby changing her mental patterns regarding herself from negativity into positivity. It can transform her. It can. I have seen the metamorphosis happen in front of my eyes during sessions numerous times. The magic of photography is that having these moments are captured and frozen in time in a photo. And every time you look at them it will bring you back to how you felt when they were taken. If you felt empowered during the session, every time you look at your portrait..you will feel those feelings again. Reinforcing positivity and rewiring your brain to think of yourself positively. Your portraits are actually your memories of your empowering experience, that you can go back to time and again. That is why women are seeking out boudoir photography, and that is why I dedicated myself to photographing it.
Women are amazing creatures. All women are beautiful no matter what size, shape, age, or color, as long as they have confidence within themselves and truly love who they are and what they have to offer. I love that I can help women and provide these kinds of transformational empowering experiences with my artistic passion and my talent for photography. I truly believe that there is beauty in power and power in beauty, and I am all about it.