bodyshaming

Is it wrong to want to feel sexy?

It is in our nature to want to be admired and respected. On top of that we want to look strong, confident and just beautiful in general and we are not scared to say it out loud. However, we don't really say out loud "HELLO I AM SEXY!" or we don't even dare thinking it. But what's so wrong with that?

 
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What does sexy even mean?

Some people would tell you straight up: you are "sexy" when people want to have sex with you. Period. And it's actually not entirely wrong since we have the tendency to qualify someone as sexy when they radiate a sensual feeling and a lot of time, it comes from a physical aspect.

We have met countless women and men saying "oh gosh, I am so NOT sexy" sometimes with a chuckle, sometimes blushing, sometimes with regrets in their voice.

We are in 2018 and the word sexy should and has a lot more different meanings. To us, being sexy is pretty much a way to say you are attractive and you have a little je-ne-sais-quoi.

And since being attractive is so suggestive, it means that no one will ever have the perfect definition of sexy, but it also means that everyone can actually be sexy in their own way.

That's a pretty good news, right?

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Throw away the clichés

Non-exhaustive list of sexy things according to the Scandaleuse Dictionary, 2017 edition by Capdevielle J. & Lelorrain F.

  • confidence

  • a woman's neck

  • ambition

  • nice hands

  • determination

  • kindness

  • heels

  • a smile/smeye

  • tattoos

  • and way more...

Is there any links between all of these? Not really. Maybe your partner finds you sexy when you're changing a lightbulb for that matter. Because being sexy does not fall into one and only one category. It is more a feeling, an attitude and not only the way you look.

Now that we've seen these, I can honestly say that I would definitely love to be seen as confident, ambitious, kind with nice hands, a tattoo while smiling. It brings me closer to the version of myself I want to be in my life and it makes me happy.

So if I follow this logic, I then want to feel attractive. And since all of these factors can also be considered sexy, it also means that I do want to feel sexy too, but in my own way.

And there is nothing wrong with that.

So no, there is nothing wrong with wanting to feel sexy.

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Because it makes you feel good. And when you feel good, you also do good things. And this makes you feel good too. You see the snowball effect of goodness here?

So why wouldn't you want to be sexy? 

We are getting further and further from the cliché of "sexy = trashy" that it is time to reappropriate the whole concept and turn it into something positive. off you go you sexy beast.

 

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You deserve to love your body (again)

We all have "flaws". Yes, even that girl in the corner that you think is perfect, she very likely doesn't like something about her body. Sometimes they make their way in our minds because of others, or we create them ourselves from time to time. Time to take a breather and hug that body of yours.

 
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Your body changes all the time.

Whether you are 25 or 55, your body is in constant evolution. Maybe it is out of your control, maybe it isn't, but since it is likely to stay with you for a while, you may as well accept it and make peace with it. (I secretly vow to read this in 5, 10, 15 years and onwards.)

Don’t think of imperfection, think of a map of memories.

When you really think about it, isn’t your body a keepsake of everything you have been in life?

Scars, stretch marks, and other various changes, they are here to witness what you have been through and I am convinced these can all be turned into a positive outcome. Maybe your stretchmarks are witnesses of that beautiful baby of yours. Or that your body adapted itself to a new you. Scars are here to remind you that you can heal. You’ve done it before, you will do it again. And that’s a beautiful feeling.

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Guess what? You’re unique.

I have a birth mark on my neck - which I was asked a million times if it was a hickey - and I could have tried to hide it with foundation. Easy fix. But you know that, I decided it was cute and it’s even heart shaped a little. I also have a good layer of hard skin on my feet, but hell, I grip on my aerial silks like Spiderman.

Every birth marks, dimples, random beauty marks are what makes you unique. No one has the exact same body as yours and it is a great thing!

Isn’t it a breath of fresh air that, since there is no one like you, you can be anything YOU want?

Be the best version of yourself, not what people expect you to be

It personally took me forever to do anything concerning my body because I wanted to and not because my environment suggested I do or don’t. Wearing whatever I want, get tattoos, get physically stronger, cut my hair, shave, not shave, put makeup on and so on. If I feel like walking around naked for the hell of it, then so be it.

You will be much happier the minute you start making decisions about yourself for yourself. so go, dye your hair blue, wear that dress you love, stop shaving your armpits if it makes YOU happy.

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"You are morbidly obese" - Marine's Story.

We meet wonderful people all the time during our sessions. Each of you have a very specific story, and you are always so willing to share it with us, which we are extremely thankful for. We are not going to write a blog post today. We decided to let one of our most recent Scandals tell her story, in hope that it will help you if you need to.

• Version Originale Française Disponible dans la deuxième partie de l'article •

 
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“You are morbidly obese”
This is the sentence that changed my life. My name is Marine, I am 26 years old and I lost over 90 pounds.

This visit at the doctor's office changed my entire life. The word "morbidly" is pretty hard to hear when you still have your whole life ahead of you. But for some reason, here I was. It was iduring this split second when I finally decided to put my life back on tracks.

Everything started when my brother passed away when I was 13. That day, I lost a piece of my soul and  heart too. This is pretty much when the whole overweight phase happened: I was eating to compensate my loss. While I was at an age when you're supposed to start understanding your body and learning to love it, but my part, I just hated it.
Years came by, so did multiple diet plans... I am losing weight one day, gaining twice as more the next, until it hit me:

I am 25 years old and I weight over 220 pounds.

It was such a shock. I start seeing specialists who tell me that together, we can beat that obesity, that the secret is not drastic diets, it's a good BALANCE. Balance is what you eat, sure, but I also learned to exercise again (and trust me, that's not easy!). I also learned that indulging myself sometimes is not the end of the world. I just think they taught me how live properly again.

It took me two years to lose those 90 pounds.
Two years of doubts, tears, reassessment, anger... But also hope, self-acceptance and pride!

Boudoir photography, a rewarding challenge

While browsing online, I stumble upon one of my former highschool comrade's photography website. She and her partner take beautiful boudoir photographs and I jump on the occasion to ask if I could book a session during their trip to France.

I had a meeting with Juliette to discuss it. She was very welcoming and managed to make me feel comfortable right away. I am still having a hard time to accept myself, so taking pictures in which my body was the main focus was scaring me.

We had a chat, booked a date and worked on what atmosphere we would be going for and off we go!

The day of, I was super excited but also very nervous. Juliette started coaching with a smile right away which made me feel comfortable despite my non-experience in this field whatsoever. The session flew by and the woman I have been wanting started showing up bit by bit.

This session gave me a chance to appreciate my new body, but also to accept it. I felt sexy for the first time ever, and I never thought I would feel that way.

There is still a long way until I accept my new self completely, but this session gave me confidence I never thought I had.

So thank you so much ladies for this moment. I hope that I will be able to do it again one day and I know it will be with Scandaleuse.

 
 
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« Vous êtes en obésité morbide… »
Voici la phrase qui a changé ma vie. Je suis Marine j’ai 26 ans et j’ai perdu plus de 40kg.

Ce jour chez le docteur qui a changé ma vie. Le mot morbide c’est plutôt dur surtout quand on a encore toute sa vie devant soi. Et pourtant j’en étais là… C’est à ce moment là que j’ai décidé de prendre, enfin, ma vie en main.

Tout à commencer lorsque mon frère est décédé alors que j’avais 13 ans. Ce jour-là j’ai perdu une partie de mon âme, de mon cœur aussi. Mon surpoids est arrivé à ce moment, je mangeais pour compenser ce vide. L’adolescence c’est le moment où notre corps se réveille, on l’apprivoise, on commence à l’aimer. Moi je l’ai toujours détesté.
Les années passent, les régimes s’accumulent… Je perds des kilos, j’en reprends souvent le double et puis un jour je me réveille…

J’ai 25 ans et je fais plus de 100kg.

Là c’est le choc. Je vais voir des spécialistes qui me disent qu’ensemble on peut vaincre cette obésité, que le secret c’est de ne pas faire de régime mais l’EQUILIBRE. Équilibre de la nourriture oui, mais pas seulement: j’ai appris à faire du sport (et c’est pas facile!), j’ai appris que se faire plaisir de temps en temps ce n’était pas la fin du monde, bref je pense que j’ai réappris à vivre.

Il m’a fallu 2 ans pour en arriver à ces -40kg.
Deux ans de doutes, de pleurs, de remise en question, de crises de colère… Mais aussi d’espoir, d’acceptation et de fierté !

La photo boudoir, un challenge enrichissant

Et un jour, je tombe sur le site d’une ancienne camarade de lycée qui fait des photos boudoir magnifiques avec son associée, je saute sur l’occasion et lui demande si c’est possible lors d’un passage en France de faire une séance.

Juliette est tout de suite très accueillante et me met en confiance. J’ai toujours du mal à m’accepter alors prendre des photos où mon corps le centre de l’attention me fait un peu peur.

On discute, on pose une date, on voit ensemble la direction que les photos vont prendre et nous y voilà !

Toute excitée mais aussi nerveuse, me voilà devant l’objectif ! Juliette est tout de suite très souriante et douce et me permet de me mettre à l’aise malgré mes maladresses de débutante. La séance passe super rapidement et je fais ressortir peu à peu la femme que j’ai envie d’être.

Cette séance m’a vraiment permis de me mettre en phase avec mon nouveau corps mais aussi de commencer à m’accepter comme je suis. Je me suis sentie sexy chose qui ne m’était jamais arrivée avant!

Le chemin sera encore long avant une acceptation totale de cette nouvelle image de moi, mais cette séance m’a vraiment donné une confiance en moi que je n’aurais jamais pensé avoir!

Alors merci merci merci à vous pour ce moment. J’espère qu’un jour j’aurais l’occasion de repasser sous l’objectif, et ce jour-là, je sais que cela sera avec Scandaleuse Photography!

 

Thank you so much Marine for sharing your story. Boudoir photography is not only about getting pretty pictures. It's also about facing your body, challenge yourself to see it through's someone else's eyes.

contrary to what you may think, it is accessible to all shapes, sizes & genders. Don't be scared of jumping in, we can guarantee you will feel like a queen (or king).

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The Day I Said "F*** IT"

For the first time in 5 years, I went back to my parents' house last month. I took a trip down Nostalgia Lane and went through boxes with my old stuff. I came across an old diary of 13-year-old Juliette, in which I wrote a table with my physical qualities and flaws. As you can probably imagine, my flaws list was off the charts and my quality one had one random item.

I used to dodge my reflection in the mirror. Maybe it sounds odd to you, after all, you have seen us pretty much half naked on our ads shamelessly and we say loud and clear how you should love and be proud of yourself.

But yeah, I used to dodge mirrors on a daily basis and I don't anymore. And you shouldn't either.

 
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From teenaged years b*llshit to confused young adult.

I feel like everyone's complexes started when they were teenagers. Fanny's did too. Probably because kids can be total jerks with each other. I had never noticed that I had a bit of a belly, or that my chest was absolutely flat until some girls told me. Then, it just echoed and became a part of me.

So, of course, teenaged Juliette started random diets while feeling like crap. Did I lose weight? Yes I did. But I saw myself huge every single day for years. I hated my face as well , and had stupid side bangs trying to hide at least half of it. Which is ridiculous now I am thinking about it, seriously, if I could have looked like Cousin It, I would have.

I am very lucky that I am surrounded by a loving family and I felt confident talking to my parents about anything. Could have been much much darker.

Pretty much when I started being called "Fat".

Pretty much when I started being called "Fat".

The years went by, I was still feeling enormous. When I look at pictures at myself back then and I want to go back in time to shake younger me and tell her "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?".

When I was finally out for high school and went to Paris to study Photography (when I met Fanny!), it hit me: why am I making myself feel like that over some stupid comments from people I didn't even admire from years ago?

So I just decided to say "F*** It" and I gave myself a chance.

I gave myself a chance to first be okay with how I looked. Bit by bit. You can't just wake up one day and feel gorgeous after feeling the opposite for so long.

Then, instead of comparing myself to others and thinking they were a little evil because they looked so good, I started looking for inspiration in them. For fashion, makeup, attitude. I stopped thinking pretty girls were only a certain way and were part of a private secret group for beautiful girls only. I experimented different looks until I felt comfortable.

I also stopped focusing only on negative comments from a minority of people and realized that I was actually getting a lot of positive ones that I was thoroughly ignoring.

I took self-portraits. My face, my body. Just for myself at the beginning. Then it made me so proud that I showed them to others too. And even better, I started doing it for other people.

I have kept all of them to this day as a reminder for my dark times because, hey, I look freaking great and I should high five myself.

 
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Parallely, Fanny was doing it too. That's probably why when we sat down a few years ago to talk about what we could build together, we naturally went towards boudoir. To show you how good you look when you feel vulnerable. To show you how beautiful we see you. Yes you.

And Now?

Honesty time, I only started removing hair from my face last year. Old habits die hard. I am now fine with not wearing makeup outside, and I only put some when it makes me happy and not because "Ugh I have to, the people who are going to see me at Shoppers buying my toilet paper are gonna think I am ugly." Hell, I even stopped wearing those awful bras which make your boobs look bigger but are seriously so uncomfortable (side note: it actually helped me A LOT to cherish those boobies)

I noticed that I can see myself fat one day for whatever reason and not the next day, which just doesn't make sense. So I give myself slack when I don't feel good. It allows me to not hold on to it, and just let those bad thoughts leave as fast as they came. It's okay not to feel okay, you'll feel better tomorrow.

So if you feel crappy about yourself, I am giving you a virtual hug and I am telling you that everything is going to be okay. Don't let that win. Try Fanny's little exercise here and do not stay in the dark if it gets worse and worse. Seeking help is not something to be ashamed of.

And seriously, just book a boudoir session already, you'll see they are a great cure to throw your insecurities down the drain, where they belong.

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Boudoir Photography = a step back from feminism?

Oh boy. Sounds like it's gonna be a deep topic. Don't leave yet!

Fanny and I had an impromptu interview with Radio Canada Manitoba a couple of weeks ago concerning boudoir photography. An expert was brought on board to discuss the impact on publishing your boudoir photos online. She did bring up an interesting point of view we never really thought of.

If you'd like to watch the interview and read the article (in French), it's here.

 
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A quick reminder.

While more men and couples are inquiring about boudoir sessions, our clientele is mostly women as you can imagine. No secret here. We won't go over in details why you should do a boudoir session (because we did it here) but to be honest with you, we think that the best reason to do it is because you want to treat and/or challenge yourself. It is a full experience that everyone should try at some point.

Posting sexy photos of yourself online = seeking attention?

During this interview, we were asked why our models were sharing their photos online. Our main argument is that, you Scandals post them because you are proud of them, and proud of yourself. The second argument is that nowadays, while we may not like to admit it openly, we do like online validation. It feels nice to get positive comments from friends, family and sometimes strangers. Every time one of our clients has posted her pictures from her session on social media, we have never seen a negative comment. It is actually quite the opposite, people are supporting the movement, which makes us obviously very happy.

The point of view expressed by the sociologist in this article was pretty concerning. From what we understood, she thinks the fact that more women want to show themselves in lingerie is risky and is not a way to claim our feminism. She adds:

"Why should every woman show themselves? I see it at a regressive phenomenon."

Not Ashamed.

By definition, feminism is wanting to get the same rights as men, period. I do think that dragging feminism and politics in this interview didn't make much sense with boudoir to begin with. I am assuming the idea behind it was that, as women, we cannot expect to be taken as seriously if we were to post sexy pictures of ourselves online.

Boudoir photography is getting more and more popular for one reason: women (and men!) are finally saying "screw it" to inaccessible beauty standards and are encouraging self love and acceptance. Boudoir is a way to celebrate yourself, why would you hide it? Don't get us wrong, you have every right to keep your photos private. But you also have the right to share them without losing points in the feminism column.

Less professional because of boudoir?

If you have been following us for a little while, you must have seen that we are using ourselves for our advertising. You have seen us in lingerie, and even tasteful nudity. Does that make us look less professional to you? Do you even remember it when you see us face to face? Every time we have met someone who knows us through Scandaleuse, we only got positive and exciting feedback on our movement.

One of our many example of our advertising with... ourselves.

One of our many example of our advertising with... ourselves.

The other photographer Sarah says at the end of the video that she admires women who share their photos online and that it will become more and more normal, so we won't have to worry about we are seen by others. We thank her for that.

You are not less professional because of your boudoir photos. It has absolutely nothing to do with your work performance, the way you interact with people, or whether you like broccoli or not. If anything, you were just brave enough to openly say you are proud of yourself.

If social media can get more positive messages and encouragement, I don't know about you but I am down. As long as we keep those cute cat videos too.

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Scandaleuse gave up on meat

Bonjour bonjour our vegetarian, vegan and meat lover scandals.

For those who eat meat, have you ever asked yourself what life is like for people who gave it up? Have you ever been curious about how they can still be healthy? Have you ever heard this little voice in your head saying: “come one…Try it, you might love it!”? I'm sure you know what I am talking about…

 
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Well ladies & gentlemen get ready, Scandaleuse will demystify all of the meatless urban legends!

Why and when?

About a year ago, Juliette and I decided to stop eating meat. But we didn’t do it at the same time (believe it or not, sometimes we do take our decisions separately, we are not always Thomson & Thompson).

 
 

Juliette was first. She started decreasing the amount of meat in her diet, after reading a few blog posts about how it is not necessary. She tried it for a couple of weeks and now and she doesn’t want to go back!

Concerning my experience, it was an article on a french online magazine called “Mademoizelle” that was the trigger. It was about the founder who stopped eating meat right away after watching Cowspiracy.

Two days later, here I was, in front of my computer, with my pasta dish and my boyfriend Ivan, watching this famous documentary. Let me tell you, we both got slapped in the face big time! We looked at each other and knew we had to stop eating meat. All we cared about (sustainability, deforestation & global warming) was right in front of us and we were able to change things starting with our plates.

The decision was easy to make but educating our brain wasn't…

How?

While it is not complicated to give meat up, it is not easy either. It takes time, knowledge and willpower. Our brain is a little evil, it can make you crave something you don’t need and this is the toughest part!

I never really ate a lot of meat except things that people don't enjoy such as liver, veal tongue, duck gizzards and of course chicken, ham, prosciutto... (well I am gonna stop here cause now I am craving Italian ham!). But truly, when you are strong enough to fight for what you care about and you can see your actions lead to results, this is a damn good reward!

Take your time, you don’t need to stop meat or animal proteins in one day. Start with beef because it is the worst for our planet, then remove the chicken. And please don’t listen to those people who try to rush you. Like in politics, they can be too extreme.

If you are thinking of becoming vegetarian, pescetarian or vegan, you need to know why. You need to have a solid reason to be able to go through it. Is it because you want to be healthier? Do you care about animal cruelty? Do you want to change the way we act on our beautiful planet? Finding your own purpose will make it much easier.

If you feel ready or want to satisfy your curiosity, check the Cowspiracy website (they have lots of great articles, videos and tips) and of course watch it. For those who are worried about seeing blood and disgusting slaughterhouse scenes, don’t worry you won't. This documentary is full of datas, interviews & facts but no awful footage.

 
 

 Meatless urban LEGENDs:

-Did you force your partner to give up on meat? Yes totally. Every night I handcuff Ivan at the bed, feed him with broccoli and order him to call me his Green Mama!

 -You don’t eat meat! How can you be so healthy? I grow this magical plant on my balcony which is perfect for baking little muffins. It gives me wings and makes me indestructible! No let’s be serious, I just make sure to replace all of the animal proteins I don’t eat by a plant-based diet. And I still eat a bit of fish, eggs and cheese.

-Ok you eat fish but don’t you know it is also animal cruelty, fish have feelings! Yes you are right but my first reason in this choice was not animal cruelty, it was sustainability. I never wanted to think about animals suffering in slaughterhouses when I was eating meat. But since I stopped, I now care about it.

I am not against hunters, farmers or meat itself. I am against industrialization, big factories and against all of this waste of energy we consume to produce meat. Oh and also palm oil, but this will be an other topic.

-No meat? Cooking must be sooo boring!!! I am actually having more fun than before. I love transforming regular meal into vegetarian/vegan ones. You have so many way to be creative while cooking. And I feel lucky to live in Toronto because Canada has lot of options for non-meat eaters.

 -I am a man, a real one, I will never stop meat! Good for you my friend… but you’re right we never know... A vagina could grow between your legs if you become vegetarian! Starting a plant-based diet or just being careful with your consumption is not gonna make you less of a man. Lots of male athletes for example don’t eat animal products, does it mean they lost their testicles on the road? Of course not!

I have a friend who told me once “Fanny I will never ever give up on meat, I love it so much!!”, then guess what: he doesn’t eat meat anymore. Please gentlemen, don’t let your fears stopping you from trying. I promise you will still look handsome.

-I truly don’t give a damn of our planet! Well no comment but one day you will change your mind…

Voilà folks, it was just an introduction. We promise to write an other article with more details, tips, advice and recipes (but only if you have been good followers, Green Mama is watching you!)

 With love.

Fanny

Our Boudoir Approach - Between sexual harassment and body shaming

Scandaleuse was born over coffee in Toronto. When Fanny and I first discussed the concept of shooting boudoir, we were surprised at the positive reception from our friends and family. If anyone was going do it, we realized, it was going to be the two of us.

 
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Let's face it, human bodies have always been fascinating, and risqué. Whether it was in the 1920's in Paris where it was forbidden but secretly exciting, or in the 70's to encourage women's femininity, we have always photographed people showing skin. There are no rules, no average, no limits.

When starting Scandaleuse, our main goal was (and still is!) to provide a high quality session in which our models, women or men, would feel completely themselves. No disguise, no theme, just beautiful people in beautiful places. Where did this thing start you may wonder? While we don't have a straight answer, we do have a few pointers.

As simple and juvenile as it may sound : body shaming sucks. Come to think of it, we spend so much time comparing or underestimating ourselves. Beauty standards will always be here unless we break them. You should feel comfortable in your own skin. After all, you only have one. Who's to say that if you are not a size 0, you are not beautiful? Who can tell you what to wear and what not to wear to fit in society? As far as we know, there are no fashion gods, only people with strong beliefs that don't always make sense.

Shooting boudoir photography is our way to contribute to stop body shaming, one shoot at the time.

 
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Here comes our second but just as important trigger to what we are doing today. Growing up in France and living quite a bit of time in Paris, we can officially say that being girls over there is not the nicest feeling on Earth.

Take Paris for example: all of our friends, ourselves included, have suffered from sexual harassment while minding our own business. Between daily insults (or physical assaults in the worst cases), all of us have wondered if this skirt was too short, or if this outfit showed too much skin even if we felt comfortable right before passing the front door.

Once we set foot in London and in Toronto, we realized that this kind of behaviour was not okay and far away from the norm. We have never been bothered by anyone walking down the street in Toronto in 4 years (and still counting!).

That being said, we are happy to say that we took something good out of this nasty behaviour: promoting women. Showing off their bodies by giving them the respect they deserve and make them feel beautiful.

Don't worry gentlemen, we got your covered too. Wellnot "covered" per se. You get the idea!

We are game if you are.