(Body Love Studio)
I did something WAY out of my comfort zone over the weekend. I had a boudoir photoshoot. In photography, boudoir refers to a style in which women pose for pics partially clothed or in lingerie. ... These photos are also used as a way to document how great you look and feel about yourself at this given time.
You should know that I’ve never worn a bikini. I hate looking at myself in the mirror without my clothes on. I’ve struggled with accepting my body and all its “imperfections” my entire life. I am not someone who walks around feeling sexy. I wish I had more body confidence…which is why I agreed to do boudoir.
The opportunity came up a couple of months ago. BODY LOVE STUDIO wanted to advertise with the radio station and have me talk about the experience. I was VERY hesitant at first. Then, I had an amazing conversation with Michelle, the owner of BODY LOVE STUDIO. She told me she started doing boudoir photography to EMPOWER women. She said the experience is designed to make women LOVE their bodies and feel like GODDESSES.
I was intrigued. I told Michelle about how much my body has been through the last few years. In addition to having my son (C-section)…I had a hysterectomy and a preventative double mastectomy with reconstructive surgery because I carry a gene that increases my risks for both ovarian and breast cancer (my mother died from ovarian cancer in 2009). I have a lot of physical and emotional scars from the surgeries. I don’t SEE myself as a desirable woman...and I wanted to change that. I was ready.
I showed up at Michelle’s home studio with a duffel bag full of lingerie and a stomach full of knots. The next four hours were more amazing than I could have imagined.
First, she had her makeup artist make me look like a movie star! Then Michelle herself styled my hair. I was looking glamorous…from the neck up. LOL. I finished up my glass of wine and headed to the bathroom to change into my first ensemble.
Michelle works together with another photographer named Ashley. They take photos simultaneously from different angles. They play music to help you loosen up and have fun. They shower you with compliments. They cheer you on as you transition from one position to the next.
Everything seemed to be going well until I had to change into my second outfit. It was a high-waisted lacy underwear with a matching bra and a black velvet jacket. My stomach was showing. I felt SO UNCOMFORTABLE. Michelle knew something was wrong as soon as I walked out of the bathroom. I wasn’t “having fun” in front of the camera. I was AWKWARD. I felt so exposed, I couldn’t relax.
Michelle stopped taking pics and started walking towards me. She said, “Stop it. You look amazing. Get out of your head. Don’t do that to yourself.” She kept repeating it as she got closer to my face. I couldn’t hold back the tears. The ugly cry erupted from my chest and I SOBBED. She hugged me and let me have my moment. She knew I had to break down before I could break through the insecurities. The whole thing reminded me of the scene in "Good Will Hunting" when Robin Williams tells Matt Damon's character "it's not your fault" over and over again until he starts crying.
After that, a whole new Chilli shined through. I stopped being so guarded and I completely trusted Michelle and Ashley to do what they do best. The more I let go, the more confident and sexy I felt. By the end of the photoshoot, I felt like a Victoria’s Secret model.
I had no idea what to expect when I got the pictures back. To say that I was BLOWN AWAY by how AMAZING they looked, would be an understatement. I LOVED them!
My experience at BODY LOVE STUDIO was exactly what my soul needed. Every woman needs to have a boudoir photoshoot. It’s life changing. Anytime I feel my confidence start to slip, I’m going to look at these images and remember…I AM A GODDESS!
And...before I go, I wanted to say that YOU are BEAUTIFUL too.