Pregnancy & Boudoir: Boudoir Body Image Talks
As a Delaware boudoir photographer, I always ask my prospective clients why they want to do a boudoir session. Why now? What are you excited about? What inspired you to take this next step on your self-love journey?
Want to know the number one reason I get from people wanting to do a boudoir session?
They've had kids and they want to fall back in love with their body again. Whether they gained weight, got stretch marks, or have a C-section scar, there's something about their bodies that's different than it was before, and they're struggling to accept the new body they have.
The Cultural Scrutiny of Beauty and Pregnancy
Most everyone I know is aware that I do not want children. Even though I personally do not want to go on that journey, I am in complete and utter awe of people who do.
Pregnancy is terrifying. Risk of maternal morbidity in the United States has increased, not decreased, with the advancements in technology. And the birth outcome prospects for BIPOC people are even scarier.
Because so many people give birth, we see it as something routine and commonplace. But if you take a step back to look at the process critically, it’s an unbelievably act of science and faith. The human body takes in a microscopic cell and turns it into a conscious creature with a soul and cognitive ability.
How wild is that?
Instead of reveling in the beauty and awe of that biological accomplishment, our culture has made us focus on one thing: what we look like when we do it.
Will you have a b-bump? How quickly will you lose the baby weight? Will pregnancy make your boobs look good? How many stretch marks will you have? And don’t worry, there’s a way to make it all go away. Pay for a trainer and a gym membership, pay to get a breast reduction, pay to get a special cream that reduces the appearance of stretch marks.
We’re conditioned to accept this reality where what we look like when we're pregnant and post-partum is of the utmost importance. Because when we have to care what we look like, we can buy the solutions.
It’s nearly impossible to make a profit off of a person who is fully confident in themselves. And there is no market more vulnerable than the people who just pushed a 10 pound person out of their vagina or had their stomach sliced open to get that baby out.
You’re worn down. You’re in pain. Your hormones are ragingly wild and you don’t know how you’ll feel one minute to the next. And you are tired. Bone tired.
So of course you’re easy prey for marketers.
And months, or even years, later, people come to me, saying they want to fall in love with their post-pregnancy bodies.
I'm devastated that you fell out of love with your body in the first place.
My Message as a Delaware Boudoir Photographer to People Who Have Given Birth
And I want to say something to all those people who haven’t hit the “submit” button on my contact form. Whether it's because you're afraid to put yourself out there or you aren't ready to take the next step in your self love journey.
I’m sorry that you live in a world where people have made you feel less than confident in a body that does such incredible things. I’m sorry that you feel left behind, because once the baby came, people cared more about them than your wellness. I’m sorry you live in a country where doctors don’t listen to you when you give your symptoms. I’m sorry that you look in the mirror and your eyes beeline to what society has told you are flaws, rather than looking at the whole and thinking “Wow. This body created life.”
And I want you to know that I’m here for you. I know it’s scary. I know you’re overwhelmed. But I also know that if you put yourself out there and go through with this investment in yourself, you’re going to get to see your body through an artist’s eyes.
I’m here for you. And if you have any questions, I’m ready to talk with you. Feel free to make an appointment to get on a call with me so we can talk more about what your ideal boudoir