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Why Every Woman Needs a Boudoir Photo Shoot

The week before the COVID-19 closures, I had the privilege of being chosen as a ‘model’ for a boudoir photo shoot. Alicia Venditti organized this shoot alongside Rosalee Wynne, Lindsey Daubney, and Gilian Gillespie to market everyday women using their products and services.

It was one of the most empowering things I have done for myself this year. The shoot took place in this beautiful warehouse in Dundas used by photographers and artists. The day started by meeting everyone and having my makeup done. I don’t usually wear makeup, but it was really nice to have Lindsey, a professional makeup artist, take her time and do it for me. It was also the first time in a while that I did not have my kids with me and that I could fully give my attention to the women around me.

Following my makeup, I went upstairs into the dreamy space that was made to look like a boudoir. Rosalee gave me the lingerie pieces that were selected for me and I emerged from the change room a bit shy and unsure of how I looked. Everyone was raving about how great I looked and how well the fit was. I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, this is ME! I accepted my body and I was not ashamed of my flaws, cellulite, or flub. I was seeing its beauty and its accomplishments. Having a cheering squad has that sort of effect.

I requested 50 cents ‘In Da Club’ (I know I am dating myself) and I worked the camera. I was feeling beautiful, no I was feeling GORGEOUS, and I did not allow self-deprecating thoughts to take over. I chose to enjoy the ride, laugh, and believe what the women around me were saying.

When my turn was done, I watched and encouraged the other ‘models.’ I genuinely marveled at the beauty of all the women there. We all joked saying we wished we could do this weekly because it was such an uplifting experience. I left there feeling like I won a contest or something. I was on a high for the entire day. When the pictures were shared, the rush of feelings I felt came right back.

It seems so small, but the power of self-affirming words and positive energy (with good music) cannot be understated. During my shoot, I felt on top of the world. I wasn’t thinking about everything I had to do or how tired I was. I wasn’t thinking about all the things that are wrong with my body or the things I want to change. I felt so much love and appreciation for my body, and I thought it looked GREAT!

These are the reasons why I think everyone should have this experience during their lifetime. When I told members of my family that I was going to participate in a boudoir photo shoot, some were skeptical. There is this negative connotation about these sorts of shoots, just like when we talk about sex and sexuality. There is this notion that anything related to sex and/or intimacy is private and should not be discussed publicly.

I also know that a lot of people are shocked that I (Naika) speak about these things as an adult. Growing up, particularly in high school and university, I was VERY against the public discussion of these topics. My evolution has taken me on a path where I wholeheartedly believe that each individual woman should define her sexuality and the sexual activities, she wants to take part in, if any at all.

That has been the focus of QueensConnected in the last 3 years. Our conferences and workshops are meant to provide a safe space for women to come together and discuss these topics that are associated with shame and stereotypes. The goal of our events is for women to leave a little more validated, heard, encouraged, feeling great about themselves and their bodies.

Join us for our upcoming workshop More Power, More Confidence, More Pleasure this Saturday from 4 to 6pm via Zoom. Hope to see you online!

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