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HOW I FELL IN LOVE WITH BOUDOIR

Feb 15

lauren roberts &helen

When I was about 15 years old, I came across a book called “The Beauty Book.” It was a colorfully illustrative look at beauty through the ages. Page after page, it explored different cultures throughout various eras and painted a picture of what it meant to be an attractive woman at that time.

I can’t be sure of the exact origin of my fascination with the concept of beauty, but I know that book sparked something in me. It taught me that the definition of “lovely” has always been ever changing. Beauty has never been a singular thing, but rather a fluid and constantly shifting concept based on who has the power and status to define it at the time. Something about this revelation planted a seed of mistrust in me for what society had to say about beauty as it pertained to my body.

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Now, I will start off by saying that I’ve always had a fairly average body. Aside from a bout of freshman year bullying, I’ve never experienced actual discrimination because of my size (fatphobia: it’s a real thing, read about it). But I am a woman who grew up in the flat-tummied, thin-bodied, Slim Fast decade of beauty and my body did not fit those parameters. I’ve always been on the chubbier side, always a softer belly and thighs that rubbed together. Almost all the media I consumed in my childhood taught me that in order to be happy, I needed to look different than I did. The movies and commercials and weight loss ads promoted an oftentimes subtle but convincing message that “if only” if I were thinner, the boys I liked would like me back and ultimately I would be a happier person. Chasing after all those “ifs” prevented me from ever savoring my body exactly as it was.

lauren roberts &helenlauren roberts &helen

Reading through “The Beauty Book” made me question what I had been taught to believe was beautiful. Furthermore, I questioned how this idea affected the other women around me. So, I got my friends together. I set up a backdrop and lights and asked them all to tell me about a part of their body they were made to believe was shameful or unlovable. In the basement of my friend’s house, these brave women (my peers and my mentors alike) exposed their hearts in the name of exploring this “beauty” concept through art. They’re vulnerability was incredible and thinking back on it now brings tears to my eyes.

In hindsight, I can see that “The Beauty Project” was my first push back to the idea that someone else gets to arbitrarily decide what is pleasing about my body and the bodies of my fellow women. This little 3 minute film was an invitation to redefine what we see as beautiful and reclaim it for ourselves.

lauren roberts anchorage boudoir photographer

Now here I am, almost ten years later and still drawn to that same push back. As women, we so easily entertain a never-ending stream of negativity towards our own bodies and the journey towards breaking that thought harmful pattern is not easy. It’s complex and winding and full of days that feel like freedom followed by days that feel like complete defeat. It takes effort to unlearn everything we’ve been taught and I myself have certainly not “arrived.” I’m still learning and I know the effort put towards the journey is worth it. We all deserve to exist happily in our bodies and treat them with kindness and gentleness in all the forms they will take through the years, myself included.

lauren roberts &helenlauren roberts &helen

I can tell you from personal experience, boudoir is powerful. When you take off all your layers and step into a space where you’re celebrated for exactly what you are, DAMN. That experience sticks with you. It’s why I love boudoir and keep coming back to it. My boudoir sessions have and always will be a safe space for all bodies. You can let your belly be free and your thighs rub. Bring me your beautiful bony knees and long lanky arms, your lightning-strike stretch marks and your bootylicious rolls. This isn’t about posing to look skinnier or shooting to hide your perceived “flaws” (not a thing btw). I want to create imagery that celebrates you and illuminates beauty in places you’ve never seen it before.

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So, here it is. Today I’m releasing brand new boudoir packages with lower entry level rates so you have no choice but to get on this train. If you’re excited, if you’re nervous, if anything you’ve read here thus far inspires a “hell yes!” deep down in your soul…then we’re probably meant to be. A photo shoot won’t change everything overnight. But holding photos of your own body in your hands makes you start to see yourself differently. It may not be everything, but it’s a damn good step in the right direction.

I’m opening up 3 dates for boudoir sessions in the next two weeks: Saturday February 23, Sunday February 24, and Saturday March 2nd. AND I’m giving away FREE ALBUMS to first 2 women who book a session with me!

Email me at hello@laurenroberts.com to request a pricing guide and let’s do this gurl!

All my love and thanks for reading,
Lauren

// All portraits of me in this post were taken by the artful and kind-hearted Nicole of &Helen //

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