I’ve been spending time with my girlfriends more often lately. We’ve gone golfing, painting, and of course eating and drinking. The other day, one of my friends invited me to fill a spot for a Groupon for a boudoir photo shoot. I’ve never done anything like that before, and although I’ve heard of it, I’ve never known where to go for that service. And I don’t think I am brave enough to seek that out on my own. But since the opportunity fell in my lap, I took it. Why not try something new right?
I have to admit I was embarrassed when I arrived and met the photographer and greeted the ladies in lingerie (my friend and two of her friends). It took a while to get over the embarrassment, but I got over it. I decided it wasn’t any worse than wearing a bikini in public. And I knew that my husband would really love the pictures. I wanted to do something special for him.
I didn’t realize until later was that it was also something special for me. I just showed up because someone else cancelled, so I didn’t really put any forethought into it. But taking bedroom pictures in lingerie was also an experience in building self-esteem. It was an opportunity to grow in being comfortable in my own skin.
Overall, the entire experience was positive and professional. We took turns posing for the camera and changing outfits. I had no idea what I was doing, but the photographer told me how to pose. Afterwards, we viewed and selected the ones we wanted.
Immediately, I criticized every little flaw I could find. It’s funny how we (women) do that. Instead of seeing ourselves in a positive light, we focus on our flaws and imperfections. Instead of being grateful for aging and the amazing things our bodies have done for us (like giving birth to three children) we put ourselves down more often than we accept compliments. My friend did it too. Although there were plenty of pictures I didn’t love for various reasons, there were seventeen that I did love and felt proud of. They even used one of my pictures as their Facebook page profile picture! I’ve shared that one below (the rest are for my husband).
At the age of forty five, I definitely feel the effects of middle age. I work on my health and fitness, but after sixteen surgeries (seven on my right leg and five on my abdomen) and three children, my body has definitely changed over the years. I have arthritis in my spine, bulging discs, and chronic pain, so my outlook on my health is often overshadowed by acceptance of the aging process. I don’t participate in many physical activities that I used to love because of so many injuries. Half the time I feel like it’s a struggle to get through the day because of pain. At this point, I can swim, bike, and do yoga. And those are three sports I hope to do until I’m a very old lady.
Seeing the pictures helped me to look for positives in myself and to appreciate this stage in my life. And that’s something all women can benefit from. Inner confidence can be much more beautiful than outer beauty.