Role Model or too Much Skin?
Most of you probably caught my IG story about visiting Julie . I initially put the call out because I was looking for a photography studio to simply borrow someone’s white seamless canvas and shoot some leggings. Bridget was going to be traveling with me. But plans changed, and all of a sudden I was asking Julie if she could shoot the leggings. It also happened to be my husband’s birthday and I wanted to do something ‘special’ for him since I have been away. His favorite color happens to be red. I just so happened to have red heels and a red thong body suit. Hahahahahaha! Long story short we shot the leggings and got straight into a mock boudoir shoot. It was the first time I’ve ever done a shoot like this and I can’t tell you how amazing of an experience it was. When I arrived at Julie’s studio I was blown away by her level of detail. I can only describe it as a “woman’s touch”. For example, she had a sign that said ‘welcome Kortney’ sitting on the table. She had sultry R&B playing at the right volume. The lighting was amazing and she offered me a drink straight away. We quickly started talking and she told me about how she got into doing boudoir. A lot of her clients are rape survivors or escorts. She explained how the photo shoots are empowering experiences for both herself and her clients. She struggles with body image on a daily basis and experiences healing through other women. She can still remember back in junior high and high school how her dad used to say "God you have the body of a linebacker" and her mom saying " you'll never get a husband if you eat like that" Of course by time I was ready to leave I had her hooked in with some local Virginia GA members. Like K.P. to help her get started with Powerlifting! I mean Julie has THE PERFECT body type to lift some MASSIVE numbers. Thighs to DIE for. She’s just adorable, So personable and easy going. We both had a lot of fun. So here’s the crazy thing. Since I was 21, I’ve been doing some kind of modelling. Back in my younger days I used to do a lot of implied nude and shooting with dudes to build my portfolio before social media had really become a thing. Model mayhem was the end all and be all. Over the years I’ve only worked with maybe 2 female Photographers. Even then it was just to shoot clothing for GRRRL and years back the odd shoot here and there. Like the iconic shoot with Jessica Frint in Humboldt County. But, ultimately it’s always been with male photographers. However over the past 4 years I’ve only shot consistently with one of my best friends who goes by the name “Tchalla Hawk” in the public eye. We’ve been shooting for a decade now and he's one of the only Photographers who doesn’t see “flaws” as “flaws”. I’ve decided our goal by the end of this year is to release a semi-autobiography pictorial book that showcases our work and growth over the past decade without the use of photoshop or airbrushing. Today was a radical change in experience. Having a woman direct me on how to pose in a sensual way was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Having modeling experience, I’d get into position and she’d tweak it ever so slightly then yell out “oh YES! That's brilliant! Perfect hold that right there! GORGEOUS!” Hearing compliments from another woman is life changing. It’s an energy that I cannot really explain. Those of you who’ve utilized the pledge cards and written a compliment to complete stranger which resulted in some kind of experience will know what I’m talking about. In the past I’ve taken A LOT of risque and racy photos in tiny outfits to show off my muscles. I always flexing and showing some kind of definition. But today was very different for me. I felt soft, and overly feminine. I almost felt strange. My entire life I’ve felt like I’m not worthy or sexy if I can’t see actual muscle definition. It’s a long-story as to why.But I’m acutely aware of it. While traveling here in the United States I’ve worked out 3 times in the past month. So feeling like I’m not ‘ripped up’ and putting myself into poses that didn’t involve me flexing muscles, felt rather odd. However, when we went back and looked at some of the photos I was truly mind blown! It was like seeing myself though another lens. And this is exactly what I believe boudoir photography is designed to do. It’s not vanity, but more of an avenue to self acceptance. You get to see yourself in a powerful position (because lets face it Darryl Hall & Oats were singing ManEater with conviction in the background!) of sex appeal that you can chose to use, or not to use. Finding yourself exotic, enjoyable, desirable, fabulous. I’m still having a hard time with the concept of where you draw the line between being a “good role model” for the NextGen and showing them that we have a power that needs to be harnessed and used at OUR will. Why do we sexualise women’s nipples but not men’s, when in actuality ours serve a function? They feed tiny humans. And also show them that there is nothing wrong with sexuality. Naturally humans (kids primarily) want to do what they’re told “not to do”. So if you’re exhibiting yourself in a position where you're making a statement. This is me loving me. I’m not here for your approval. I’m not here for the likes on the pictures. I’m here to say goddamn I’m a stunning goddess and when shot through the eyes of another woman I can get a glimpse of my underlying power! Whether that power is rising up your masculine energy or feminine! Whatever your journey is you can find it whilst doing a boudoir shoot. So. Much. Love. Feeling content, accomplished, unafraid, and unstoppable with the GA charging forward. MFCEO