Plus Size Boudoir Milk Bath Photo Shoot
As body positive bloggers, my friend Amanda and I were provided with the very unique opportunity to experience being photographed by the extremely talented Melissa Mullins. The price? A signed model release so that the images could be used publicly. The night before my début as a plus size boudoir milk bath model, I was desperately trying to come up with an excuse to not participate. I’m not one to back out of a commitment so I jumped on Facebook to message Amanda…
Jen: Tell me not to back out and that I NEED this body love experience???? I just need a kick in the butt. I’m not feeling very confident these days.
Amanda: Oh honey!! You know it will do you so much good!! And not just YOU! Think about other women looking at the photos after!! So empowering!!
Everyone should have an Amanda in their life!
I had done plus size boudoir photography before and was also photographed in only my bra and underwear for the 4th Trimester Bodies Project. What made this experience different wasn’t just the milk bath, it was that I’m at my heaviest weight. I didn’t feel confident enough to be this vulnerable.
Still feeling a bit torn, I Googled, “plus size boudoir milk bath images“. I scanned and scanned and didn’t find a single image of a woman my size. The closest was at least 50 pounds smaller.
Then it hit me…
That was point my friend was making – my body, a plus size body I’ve worked incredibly hard to embrace (and still work to love but no longer hate), needs to be represented!
So I packed my big girl (black lace) undies, three different plus size lingerie options, and a black dress that makes me feel gorgeous. I placed two bottles of champagne (AKA liquid courage) in the fridge to chill and headed to bed feeling ready to be a plus size boudoir milk bath model.
Sure enough, from having my makeup done by the confidence-boosting Lark Mervine to sliding into that milk bath – I felt like a goddess. There was even a point, as I stood dripping wet in only my panties while changing outfits, I noticed I no longer felt an ounce of body shame. It was a moment of pure bliss!
I went home, riding high on body love, and posted a few behind the scenes photos on Instagram. Within the first few comments I was reminded why this path I travel down, being a body positive advocate, isn’t easy. I am tasked with not only battling the voices within my own head but accepting the criticism I’ll always receive.
It was made clear to me, within the comments, that my body is viewed not as my own, but made for my husband’s viewing pleasure only. In addition, I received the painful “reminder” that fat bodies appearing sexy is unacceptable unless it’s to serve a fetish.
I wish those commenters really understood the courage it takes to put yourself (and your body) out there.
I do this, and share my images, to help women who are struggling to even face a full-length mirror, let alone stand naked in front of it.
For the mom who starves herself during the day and then secretly eats all of her kids’ snacks in the pantry once the children are in bed.
I do it for the woman I was before I started down my own path to self-love. The girl who wouldn’t even wear a dress for fear it made her look too fat.
I now live in dresses with pleasure and share my personal journey to body love with whoever wants to follow along. The critics keep me going because their comments serve to tell me I have a lot more work ahead of me. And I’m thankful there are so many of us body love advocates writing articles, sharing images, and pushing forward the notion that all bodies are good bodies.
As often happens, this whole experience came full circle a few weeks after my photo shoot when Melissa shared a promotional video on Facebook. I saw a bunch of stunning images…and then I saw myself! I burst into tears, knowing that other plus size women would see a body like their own represented within milk bath boudoir photography. And sure enough, Google, “plus size boudoir milk bath images“ and you’ll now see me!
It’s amazing what happens when you’re willing to strip down and push yourself to do something that feels terrifying at first. I’m not saying you need to sign up to be a plus size boudoir milk bath model (though I highly recommend it), but find something that feels right to you and go for it!
Imagine what it could feel like to no longer hate your body…
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