experience

How people's words can have an impact on your mind and body

Language is a powerful tool which brings people together and help understand each other. But unfortunately it can easily be transformed and used as a weapon. Since humans have the tendency to criticize others (because it is apparently easier than giving a compliment), this weapon put in mischievous hands can be extremely painful. It is really difficult to know the impact our words can have on others but is it so difficult to be more careful and taking the time to be aware of it?

 
 

I can say I am pretty confident with my body but it wasn't always the case, especially in middle school. I am glad I choose to go to photography school as it helped me to become self-confident.

I wish sometimes I could be curvier, taller, have thicker wrists, get more tan, have a beautiful skin… but this is my body and I cannot change it, so I decided to cherish it because it is precious and I now don’t give a freaking damn about people's critics.

 
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When your “supposed-friends” show their true colors

I always been really thin: tiny body, tiny bones, boobies which are still hiding from the world (still looking for them!) and for a long time I was ashamed of that. Of course people liked to remind me of it:

-“You look like a garden gnome hahaha!”

- “I should not talk about that in front of you, you are like what… 14?!” (I am 19 dude but thanks-what an ass!")

- “Are you not ashamed of not having boobs?”

- “Are you sure you don't suffer from anorexia?”

… I could keep going on and on.

Most of those awful sentences came from friends or people I knew and every time they broke me into thousand pieces. Until a classmate told me the worst one “your mom should be sooo ashamed for giving birth to an anorexic girl. What an embarrassment!!”.

That sentence was the last one I let putting me down: F**k that! Never again I will let words break me.

Relax, it was just a joke!

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The famous: “I was joking!”… I am pretty sure we all went through that and maybe we did it too without realizing it can be painful for our interlocutor. Do not get me wrong, as a french person I love sarcasm and bad humour that makes me laugh even though it is directed towards my body or my intelligence. Lets take my family as a an example, I saw partners or parents with their kids, pocking each other and making jokes about the way they look, their personality: "Don't take it badly, it was just a joke!” they say.

Yes it was probably… a joke but for some reason that day, those words sticked to your mind. Maybe it wasn’t the first time you heard those words or maybe you were already having a bad day and was feeling a bit down. When a loved one reminds you several time per week “how flat you are”, “how curvy you are”, “how sometimes you can be stupid", even if they say it with a touch of humour, you ended up believing those words and not in yourself anymore.

Yes jokes are funny but do not forget also to tell your loved ones every day how much you love them, how strong and smart they are and how successful they will be.

“Et mademoiselle, t’es bonne, tu baises?”

Disclaimer: Ladies and gents caution, coarse language coming.

Translation: “Yo miss, you're hot, wanna f**k?” (no kidding, I heard those words in the street).

I never really had any problem since I moved to Canada and I wish I could tell you the same for France but I would be lying. You see, France is like Tinder's nightmares in real life. A lot of men have the bad habit to harass women in the street and we heard them all. From “I am gonna eat that ass!", "B**ch I am talking to you!”, “Nice legs, at what time do they open?!"… to “I am gonna rape you!”, when you are victim of street harassment for years, it gets very easy to stress about the idea of going out by yourself. And they say apparently french women are very difficult to approach… - Cough - Really? I wonder why!

The worst sentence a guy told me in Canada was “You're gonna get in trouble with this body!”, I am not gonna lie it scared the crap out of me (I was walking in a very quiet street with nobody else around) but I played it cool and thanked the guy for his “compliment”. At some point he left after wishing me to have a great day.

Please gentlemen, think twice before hitting on a girl and watch your language!

When people make your day

Fortunately, a lot of people have the ability to cheer your day up with hilarious and unforgettable compliments and honestly those are the ones that counts. So for you and exclusively, here are the best ones people ever told us:

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- “You have very nice collarbones!”

- “Your hair smell like sex!”

- “If I have to compare you as a car, you will be a Porsche”

- “Wohh, where did you get those eyes from?!”

- “If we take my friend's legs, this table as my body and my face, would you love me?”

What about you? What is the best/worst/unforgettable compliment someone ever gave you?

Bridal Boudoir

For our Scandals who are getting married, have you heard about bridal boudoir?

It sounds like just a detail to add to your endless to-do list, less important than shoes, flowers and the other millions tasks you need to take care of. As a result, boudoir shots are either overlooked or done very quickly the morning of your wedding if you or your photographer remembers.

 
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WHY NOT TAKE MORE TIME AND BOOK YOUR BRIDAL BOUDOIR SESSION BEFORE YOUR WEDDING DAY?

BRIDAL BOUDOIR = PRETTY NEAT YOU TIME

Let's face it: wedding planning can be very stressful. From finding the best venue to the problematic seating chart (you know, uncle George having a feud with aunt Roberta while your 14-year-old cousin would rather die than sit at the kids table...), it feels like there is no ending.

That's why we believe every bride should take one day to take care of herself and relax: spa, massage, karate class (everyone has their own way to calm down!). A boudoir session can definitely join that list of cool stuff. It's a great way to have fun and think about you and only you.

HERE ARE 4 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD DO A BOUDOIR SESSION BEFORE YOUR WEDDING:

1) YOU'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO DO IT.

Secretly or not, we are 99% sure this is something you've been curious about. What's better than using the fact that you are getting married as a reason to finally do it?

2) YOU'RE GOING TO FEEL LIKE A BAD-ASS

You will definitely leave your shoot feeling like Beyonce. We see it with all of our clients: they first come excited and a little shy, they leave rocking that pavement like it's a cat walk, with their hair is slow-motion. That's exactly what you need. And we all love Beyonce.

3) YOUR PARTNER WILL JUST LOVE IT.

Just picture your partner's blushing face and adorable smile when he/she will see your photos. There is something so special about giving this gift to the love of your life.

4) YOU ARE GOING TO BUY EXPENSIVE LINGERIE/VEIL FOR YOUR BIG DAY.

Might as well make it count. That pair of cute panties you bought for the night of deserves more.

You can even involve your partner for a couple boudoir shoot if you want to try something unique, he/she also needs to relax, in a romantic way...

INDOORS OR OUTDOORS?

Most of the time, it is done indoor,s usually at the bride’s home, friend or family house or in an hotel room. But because we love to offer you something different, your session can be done in beautiful lofts: from bohemiam artsy to moderm minimalist, it's your choice!

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If you feel adventurous, we can take you for an outdoor session. Depending of the weather and your taste, a boudoir shoot can be done in a beautiful garden, in the forest, on the beach, in the water or in even the street, for creative and beautiful images.

ONLY ME, MYSELF & I?

This is totally up to you. Some women like to do it by themselves, others feel more comfortable with someone they know. If you feel like sharing this wonderful experience, here are some ideas:

  • With your partner: Such a great way to bring your relationship to another level of intimacy. Bring your lover and a bottle of wine, we vow to create a romantic atmosphere.

  • With your bridesmaids: those sessions are so much fun and can be very creative. You just need to bring your girls, your lingerie and props and some drinks (yes a bottle of wine works here too) and we are good to go!

WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?

You decide what is the most comfortable for you and the vibe you have in mind. Here are few tips to help you started:

  • Classic: white lingerie, veil, garter  and bouquet

  • Fancy: corset or bodysuit, lace, stockings and heels

  • Natural: simple lingerie, oversize sweaters, knee socks, light makeup and barefoot

THOSE ARE JUST LITTLE TIPS, FEEL FREE TO MIX AND MATCH IDEAS, WEAR COLORS, BRING JEWELRY OR GO FULL NUDE. THERE ARE NO RULES, LET YOUR IMAGINATION DO THE WORK!

 
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Birth Control Pill: A little devil

Disclaimer: In this post I am talking about my own experience and feedback about the birth control pill. I am not a doctor and this should not be considered as legal advice. You should seek appropriate counsel for your own situation.

Ladies and gents (I do have some hope that men can also be interested by that topic!), today's blog post is about my experience with the birth control pill, why I decided to stop it and it's impact on my body 11 years later…

When I Sold My Soul For Beauty Purpose

2007 was a great year: first boyfriend and sexual blooming, beginning of adulthood… This was the reason I started taking the birth control pill, “Jasmin” if I remember correctly. Unfortunately when I was 17, I had a lot of migraines and also a strong acne, “Jasmin” wasn't strong enough for my body. So I decided to follow my gynecologist advice which was to go for one of the strongest hormonal pill, perfect against acne and migraines: Ladies and gentlemen, the famous “Diane 35", let's sadly acclaim it.

Big mistake! But I was young and looking for an easy way to feel prettier. I was really ashamed of my acne, all I wanted was to get rid of it. I just wished my doctors would have told me about the risks and side effects of those pills…

 
Before taking the pill

Before taking the pill

5 months after taking the pill

5 months after taking the pill

 

The Results Were Beyond Expectations

If there is something I cannot complain about, it is the result and efficacy: my acne was gone few months after I started taking it and the migraines were less intense, it was honestly a relief. On top of that, they helped regulate your menstrual cycle and the main purpose of that pill was also a success, I never got pregnant. You got it, I am not complaining about their efficacy against pregnancy. The birth control pill is a great contraceptive as long as you don’t forget to take it. Unfortunately the side effects and risks on the woman body are pretty scary.

But for 11 years I was never aware of those side effects. This is why the "pill” is sneaky: you usually do not feel how unhealthy it is, at least I never felt it.

So why did I stop?

As you may know, two years ago I became vegetarian and it is now important for me to take care of my body and be careful with what goes in and out. It is my way to feel confident and respectful of it! Stopping the pill was obviously another step towards taking less chemical, since I did not want extra hormones in my body anymore (If you wanna learn more about this topic, I found this very interesting article).

To make it short, the birth control pills is a combinaison of two hormones: estrogen and progestogen, that eliminate ovulation and prevent pregnancy. It changes your natural hormone balance, tricking your body into thinking it is pregnant all month.

I also never like having to take a pill every day because I have sometimes forgotten to take them (oh and I guess reading about those women who died from blood clotting in their legs, sudden blockages in their lungs, bleeding in their brains and chest pain before death, did help me with that decision…) Anyway, in January 2018, I took the decision to change contraception and go for a non-hormonal copper IUD. I went to my family doctor to talk with her about that decision, her advice was to stop the pill and wait until my next period to have the IUD inserted. Which I did…

Another big mistake, I should have never ever stoped the pill right away! In one month, I went from 11 years of intense synthetic hormones to natural ones. Of course it was a shock for my body, my doctor should have told me about it. The consequences? I developed a strong acne in a couple of months and my menstrual cycle was all over the place. I feel like a teenager again and I now have a lack of confidence because of that acne. It has been less than a year I changed contraceptive and my body is slowly getting use to it, but it will take few years before the level of acne decrease.

 
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Why I like non-hormonal contraception

First of all, big shout out for the Copper IUD, it is so convenient. I am not gonna lie, the insertion was painful but it lasted only a couple of minutes and I do not have to worry of getting pregnant for the next five years. What if I want a baby in two years? The doctor will just take it out!

My body has changed a lot since I switched birth control method and I have now “real” and natural cycles, which includes unfortunately: cramps and irregular, heavier and longer periods. But it also had 3 positive impacts that are really worth it: I am feeling less emotional, my sex drive increased a lot and I am more lubricated (don't laugh, it was pretty frustrating in the past!).

I have no regrets of that change and do not plan to go back to birth control pills. There are so many contraceptives on the market, you should not have any problem to find the perfect one for you. Talk with your doctor or gynecologist about it and most important: do your own research.

Now go make love and viva la sexualidad!!

 
 

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We can never be too careful: Boudoir Photography

Boudoir photography is such a great experience to try at least once in your life. It is the best way to get intimate and sensual photographs of yourself. It's a great exercise to feel more comfortable with your body and posture, as well as putting your boundaries down for a moment in front of a stranger.

Since this type of photo shoot is closer to sensuality or eroticism than a regular headshot session, it sadly has the tendency to attract ill-intentioned people who use boudoir photography as an excuse to assault women. This is why it is important to be careful when you book your session.

It is sad that we have to take so many precautions but this is the kind of world we live in. And we will tell you everything you need to know so it never happens to you!

 
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You have less risks with female photographers.

I am sorry gentlemen I am not saying you are all the same, I know a lot of male photographers are very respectful to women. The goal of this post is not to put every men in the same basket, I just want women to feel comfortable when they're about to stand in lingerie or naked in front of photographers.

I have been working in the photography industry for 10 years and I have never heard stories of women assaulting their clients. Unfortunately, it seems to happen with some men and I am not only talking about the relationship between male photographers and women clients: 9 times out of 10, when we get an inquiry from a man, they turned out sketchy. For example, some have asked us to dress up sexy so they can feel turned on during the shoot. We have never gotten any bad emails from women.

Professionals are a go-to

We didn't spend years to learn our craft just to have a piece of paper to look pretty on a wall. Photography is a real career and doesn't only require to press the trigger.

So please, I am begging you, hire professional photographers who have a proper website, social media and reviews. Stop going on Kijiji or Craiglist to find the person who will take intimate pictures of yourself in his basement. This is how problems start most of the time!

 
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Safety first

It is really easy with the internet to pretend to be someone else. As mentioned above, some men uses "boudoir" photography to get closer to women and get them to pose them naked in very sexualized poses. Sometimes, it doesn't go any further that just bad taste, but in other cases, nightmares have happened with women getting assaulted.

This is why it is important to meet your photographer face to face in a public place, a proper photography studio or at least on skype (actually this rule should apply in our every day life, we can never be too careful!).

We personally always, always, always meet our potential clients before starting anything. We have refunded a deposit because we did not feel safe. Plus it is pretty nice to talk about your photo shoot around a cup of coffee and pastry, isn't it?!

Also, know that you should be allowed to bring someone with you. If the photographer says no, leave, it's a red flag.

Last but not least: we know pricing is a big factor when choosing your photographer and it is why some women go for cheap photography services without thinking of the risks behind. Don't you think it will be better to postpone the shoot to save up what you need and get breathtaking photographs of yourself and a proper boudoir experience?

Do your own research

The good thing with internet is you can track people to see if they are serious and professional.

  • Read the reviews people leave on google, forum and other websites. It will give you a good overview of the person and the company.
  • Don't hesitate to ask questions to your photographer and tell her/him if you feel anxious. Your photographer should care about your feelings and do his/her best to reassure you. If the photographer doesn't really reply to your questions, keep them unclear or doesn't explain to you how the session will go, then go with someone else.

Trust your instinct

Either you go with a female or male photographer, there is one think you should always do: FOLLOW YOUR GUT!! 

The human body is very powerful for this and we are most of the time able to feel when something or someone is wrong.

If you have a bad feeling about the person who is going to do your photo shoot, don't go through with it.

 
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The recap:

• Avoid Kijiji or Craiglist.
• Always meet with your photographer(s)
• Check the company's reputation with reviews or referrals.
• Have a contract signed and the details of the session laid out before the day of. Everything has to be crystal clear.
• Bring someone with you or let someone know where you will be and when you'll be done.

Stay awesome but more importantly: stay safe.

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How photography can change the way you see yourself

Today I wanted to write about me, myself and I. It can sound a bit pretentious but this is not the point of this article. I am going to share with you a part of my life that was pretty difficult with a life experience that happened 8 years ago. 

Believe it or not, it’s not because I have a Boudoir photography business that I always felt in harmony with my body. Let’s go back in time and see how photography helped me to feel more self-confident.

 
When you are 15 years old and you look like 11!

When you are 15 years old and you look like 11!

 

Middle school was rough

If there is a period of my life where I don’t want to go back, it is definitively middle school. I hated it, even if I met one of my best friend then, I don’t have lots of good memories. You are still young, but yet old enough to care about other people's opinions. It was pretty much when my self-esteem went "hasta la vista baby!".

When I was a teenager, I was very thin. Too thin. Some people told me I was anorexic (you know how children can be mean!). I come from a tiny little family and I took everything from my mom side: small boobies, not tall, thin bones. We could have been a lilliputian family (the only interloper is my butt, my mom got it too, I truly don’t know where it comes from!). I was and I am still a pretty short person but on the top of it I had buck teeth. Not because I was sucking my thumb, no I wanted more than that, I was sucking 3 of my fingers (at the same time!). Then of course I got braces at the age of 15.

When you are in your teenager phase, you are way more vulnerable and you take all of the negativity from others as if it was the truth. Even if I never felt ugly, I had no self-esteem for several years because of all of the tough teasing I got from others.

Apprenticeship, the beginning of freedom

Long story short, middle school sucked and I was happy it ended. What hapepned after? Well, before we start, just know that, in France, you have 3 options after middle school: you either go to high school, university or apprenticeship. I went for the last one because I wanted to learn a profession and get a paycheck. It works like this: first you need to find the field where you wanna work in, second you find a business ready to hire you and then a school who teaches the profession you choose.

I have done 7 years of apprenticeship (2 years of dog grooming, 2 years of sales and 3 years of photography) and every year was one more step towards freedom and self-development.

 
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The time I won back my self-esteem

When I started my first year of photography school, I was still a bit shy. My arms were often crossed and my shoulders were tense. I remember my classmates telling me to relax and put my shoulders down.

When you learn photography, you also have to learn how to pose. It is very important to understand how modelling works if you want to be able to guide your model in a better way. The first times as a model was tough for me. I felt awkward, stupid. It was so not natural and I was afraid of smiling. Then there is a moment, you decide to take it as a game, an experience that happens few times in a life. After a few times, you start to relax, smile more naturally, pose by yourself and you take off your clothes more easily.

For me it was pure freedom, especially when I saw the results on the screen. I was like: “oh man, I look gorgeous, is that me?!”

The final step of my self-confidence goal, was to pose fully naked, which I did! Trust me, once you put down your vulnerability and your clothes, you feel ready to dance naked in the street!

As a photographer, it has been a while since I met someone who loves 100% of his/her body.  Even me, sometimes I catch myself thinking that I would like to change a physical part of my body. But what is the point of those thoughts?

 
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Here is a good exercise

Find a mirror where you can see yourself, from your head to your feet. Go naked and look at every centimeters of your body, even your intimate parts. Start to think about what you like in yourself, don’t let negative thoughts coming through.

Then everyday you are facing a mirror, take 5/10 min to think about the parts of your body you don’t like and for each of those, start telling yourself out loud that you are beautiful, those parts are awesome, it is not a big deal to have something physically different, that it doesn’t change the fact you are strong, smart, sexy and pretty. It sounds silly and ridiculous but trust me it does work if you work on it daily. Telling yourself something positive everyday will help your brain to believe in it.

And you, what is your story?

With love,

 
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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