self confidence

Do not let procrastination take over!

Procrastination is a big and scary word, nobody likes to be told or think they are being lazy. But we all know how easy it is to let ourselves go in any aspects of our life: relationship, life goals, business… It does not mean we are actually lazy or we do not care anymore, usually it is something we build with time and without noticing. Slowly but surely we have been developing bad habits and at some point it just hits us, trust me when I say it is an awful feeling!

Starting 2019 with "Panache”

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I wanted to start 2019 in style, so beginning of January I wrote down a lot of new goals in my notebook, I especially wanted to work on being more self-disciplined and I was 100% motivated to achieve it. One of the first one was to travel alone: BAM! Two weeks later I was in Costa Rica by myself, celebrating my birthday and making new friends (I even met a new gorgeous scandal for a boudoir shoot). I came back to Toronto with clearer thoughts, new ideas and ready to conquer the world!

By the way, this feeling happens when you get out of your confort zone and try new experiences. Yes it is scary at first but once it is done, you feel so powerful and confident; you can do everything.

Hit me baby one more time

I kept that fire inside me until about two weeks ago when I started feeling down, unmotivated and not really healthy. Then few days ago it just hit me (and man, it was painful, I felt guilty!): I realized I have been letting myself go for a few months. Yes I was full of ideas and new goals but I wasn't working to make them happen. Business was busy, which was a bit unbelievable for winter time, so I focused on the tasks I had to do, I focused too much on the short term and forgot about long term plans. I have slowly been pushing back projects I was supposed to work on or business skills I wanted to learn. Those bad habits affected not only my business life but my personal one too:

  • I stopped cooking healthy meals (I am a vegetarian so I have to be careful to replace properly the nutrients I don't get from meat anymore), the result: iron deficiency = a week an a half of intense migraines and fatigue.

  • I replaced reading by watching tv shows (Netflix is temptation!).

  • My workout has been the same for the past 2 months instead of learning new fitness and aerial silk tricks.

  • Do you remember my 2019 goals I was talking to you about? Well I haven't opened that notebook since I wrote them in!

To make it short, I STOPPED LEARNING…

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Your brain is a muscle

We always remember to feed our body. If we don't, it doesn't take too much time before having a low energy, headaches, dizziness… But we have the tendency to forget our brain is a muscle we need to take care of. We need to work it out and feed it with knowledge if we do not want to see negative effects on the long term.

When you make your passion a business, unfortunately you can easily lose your creativity, you have to challenge yourself all the time: I am not gonna lie, it can be very tiring… So you take a break, you relax. And it's when you let go too much you start building procrastination. All it takes is to find the perfect balance between work and pleasure. I am not able to remember the last time I watched a documentary, discovered a new photographer, went to an art exhibition or learn something new. I am not a lazy person, I am the opposite: always working hard, curious and motivated. But somewhere and for some reasons on the road, procrastination showed up and stayed warm and cozy.

The first step is to notice

Procrastination's guilt is an awful feeling. So when you catch yourself procrastinating for too long you have to change your activity right away, just stop and do something that feels right! If this step is too difficult for you then ask someone in your loved ones who will let you know if you f**k up. I try to not beat myself up because nobody is perfect but I refuse to use it as an excuse to stay in this vicious circle.

The secret against laziness:

Some of you are probably gonna feel disappointed because I know you are waiting to read an advice which will change your life… Please do not hate me but unfortunately there is no magic trick! You have to force yourself to do stuff! Whatever it is you try to achieve, you have to kick your own butt to be successful. FIND YOUR OWN MOTIVATION.

 
 

Use your brain!

Never stop learning, think, have ideas, keep yourself active, build up your energy and consider your body as a temple because if you are not healthy then it will be difficult to be proactive.

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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?

Heidi, when strength meet kindness

Hello dear scandals,

We all feel how winter in Canada can be tough sometimes, the lack of heat and sun after few months starts to have a negative impact on our mood. So it can be a great idea to take few days out of the country: one of us went five days to Costa Rica and it was incredible. The goal of that short trip was to get away from Toronto and take some me-time… You guys know how hard workers we are and how it is difficult for us to disconnect from work. Well we have to confess, it was hard to not take the opportunity to do a boudoir shoot in paradise and work with a new lady… So we had to do it :)

We posted a message on a facebook group about a boudoir shoot idea and Heidi was one of the first to reply. Even though we did not know her, she was the one who stood out and we new from the start we wanted to shoot with her. What a meaningful encounter: her story was inspiring, we always love to hear about other business owner's experience and life. Plus she has an incredible personality, beauty… PERFECT COMBO!

 
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Meet Heidi

Everybody has a story, I think that’s one of the things I enjoy the most about meeting people in Costa Rica. Here we are in this little beautiful country, together, talking and forming friendships, discovering how much we have in common and yet we all have a different back story about what led us here.

Costa Rica, 5 years ago

I went there for the first time to celebrate my partner’s and my 50th birthdays.  We planned a double vacation – some skiing and boarding in Whistler for the first week, and then straight to Costa Rica to learn to surf. Tamarindo….such a neat place! My partner could already surf and had tried it in many other exotic locations, but this was a first for me and I don’t even skateboard or snowboard… Yikes! Well, I survived surf camp and could actually say I could surf afterwards!

That first trip led to another and another and another, at least twice a year, enjoying the beach, training every day, surfing and always pondering eventual retirement and speculating about what little business could be started here to fill a niche.

At first we thought about a coffee shop, or more specifically, a mobile coffee cart – because at that time there were only a couple in town. Needless to say in 5 years there are probably 14 now…. so that was a good pass!

How Gilliepops was born

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One thing that seemed to be lacking was treats of any sort that weren’t laden with sugar or milk and specifically cold frozen treats. Popsicles… Yes, that became the focus and ultimately Gilliepops was born, named after my late daughter, who passed away a few months after our first trip here.

Lots of brainstorming, creative thinking and marketing ideas, and in November 2017 I arrived in town with a bicycle, a cooler, my Vitamix and a couple of giant duffel bags filled with popsicles sticks, moulds, labels and packaging supplies. It was new and exciting, and at times very disappointing and stressful. I ate a lot of tuna and eggs that’s for sure but what an amazing experience! I even added gluten free baked goods to my repertoire and it seems the tourists and even locals can’t get enough of them. It’s awesome!!

Thanks to social media

Business here in Costa Rica is done differently that in North America.  It’s less formal and much of the communication is done either on Facebook or Whatsapp.

Because of the dependency on Facebook for business, I’m forced to check it daily and post often to encourage awareness of the availability of gluten free products here. This is when I saw Fanny's post about her visit to Tamarindo. I sent her a few suggestions, I think because I knew she was from Toronto. When she mentioned being a photographer and looking for someone to photograph while she was here, I jumped at the opportunity – there are almost no pictures of me here because I’m on my own. And what a beautiful place to be photographed.

Its been a couple of years since I’ve done a photo shoot and never when I wasn’t ready to compete (I’m a physique competitor), but I thought it would be nice to be captured as my regular self, my natural self, a little smoother and softer… tan lines and all…! The shoot was amazing – the view from the location we chose was so beautiful and the pictures she took are so flattering and beautiful.

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have met one of the Scandaleuse's team, the time we got to spend together talking an sharing our stories.

 
 

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Dealing with trauma via boudoir photography

A few months ago, we flew back to our home country, France, to do one of our Boudoir Bash in Paris. We met a lot of wonderful Frenchies there, including the exquisite Nora. The first time we talked with her on Skype, she opened up right away about her motivations to do a shoot and her story moved us.

 
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Having someone telling you about her past is quite emotional and this is why we love being boudoir photographers. It gives us the opportunity to work and help people to win back their confidence and even better, their self-love.

We are no therapists but we know that in some cases, photography can help heal consequences of a traumatic event such as abuse, assault, harassment and other traumas who have left you confused about who you can see yourself.

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My name is Nora, this is my story…

“Let's start talking about my fear… I know, pretty unusual for people who know me!

My biggest fear is actually one of my family member, so it makes it really complicated to move forward, to liberate myself from this situation. Even though I haven't seen this person in years, I know that, deep inside, we might see each other again.

Yes, I grew up but I still have that fear to see his face, the way he looked at me, or even worse, to awake those bitter memories of his physical and psychological hits.

All of those years by his side can be summed up with tears and this feeling of helplessness against a man way stronger than me. To me, it sounds like a trivial story, so I tell myself “there is probably worse stories than mine.”

I grew up surrounded with machismo & the “alpha male” spirit. One day I had no other choice but to escape this life. I gathered up my strength and I left. I needed to get away as far as I could from this person, this source of fear. It was love that helped me to take this first step and put a temporary "band-aid” on what was haunting me.

Inevitably, the consequences of this sitution with this member of my family remove completement all of my self-esteem.

Being constantly put down during the first decade of your life makes you forgetting about who you are very quickly. However, time goes by and we try to rebuild ourselves after all, even if we have to put our loved ones aside.

I do not have this person in my life anymore. I have been with someone who listens to me and understands my past, who pushes me to thrive as much as I want for the past few years.

With time and maybe without noticing it, I was attracted by those women who are self-confident and whom by art, politic and culture were able to accept themselves the way they are. This is how I had the idea to use boudoir photography as a way to heal myself.

 
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The Boudoir Shoot

What an unforgettable experience! A moment of peace where I was able to forget about my problems, all of my "flaws” and more importantly, my demons. It was just a magical therapy!

Posing in front of the lens made me realize that the qualities I was admiring in others were also part of me. I was able to win back what I thought was gone forever and shout out to the whole world “I will never feel ashamed to be myself anymore.

This magical moment had a real positive impact on my life and I don't want to stop here as I have more ideas to keep feeling unstoppable. I have to say it would have been much harder without Fanny and Juliette's help.

“I am beautiful”

Thank you to the man who I have been sharing my life for the past 5 years, it is because of him I am still thriving!


FRENCH VERSION

Je m’appelle Nora, voici mon histoire

Commençons par parler de ma peur, chose inhabituelle pour ceux qui me connaissent je sais.

Ma première peur, la plus grande, est un membre de ma famille. C'est donc compliqué de s'en défaire, de s'émanciper, car même si je ne l'ai pas vu depuis de nombreuses années, je sais qu'au fond de moi nous nous reverrons un jour sûrement.

Oui, j'ai beau avoir grandi, j'ai toujours cette hantise de revoir son visage, son regard et surtout de réveiller amèrement les souvenirs de ses coups tant psychologiques que physiques.

Tout ce temps à se côtoyer durant toutes ces années se résume aux pleurs ainsi qu'à un sentiment d'impuissance face à un homme bien plus fort que moi. Mon histoire me parait banale et je me dis alors "qu'il y a certainement pire que moi".

J'ai donc grandi dans ce contexte de machisme, du "male alpha" à la maison. Un jour j'ai eu la force de m'enfuir loin de cette vie, je n'avais plus le choix, il fallait mettre une réelle distance avec ce qui incarnait cette peur, une rencontre amoureuse m'a confortée évidemment dans cette démarche. Ce qui m'a permis de mettre dans un premier temps une sorte de "pansement" sur ce mal qui me poursuivait. Fatalement, ces déboires familiaux, dû à cet individu principalement, m'ont enlevé toute estime de moi.

Être constamment rabaissé durant vos premières décennies de vie vous font "très vite" oublier qui vous êtes, mais le temps passe et on tente malgré tout de se construire même si cela implique de (se) priver (de) ses proches.

Je ne partage plus ma vie avec cette personne avec qui j'étais partie à l'époque. Depuis quelques années je suis avec quelqu'un qui m'encourage à m'épanouir comme je l'entends, il a particulièrement su m'écouter et me comprendre. Inconsciemment peut-être, je me suis doucement intéressée à ces femmes qui s'assumaient, s'acceptaient au travers de diverses façons (art/politique/culture). L'idée d'accepter mon image et de faire un shooting photo m'est alors venu.

La séance Boudoir

Une expérience inoubliable ! Un moment où j'ai oublié tous mes soucis, tous mes (potentiels) défauts et surtout, tous mes démons ! Ce fût ni plus ni moins une thérapie magique.

En se prêtant au "jeu de l'objectif", j'ai pu constater que ce que je pouvais admirer chez les autres, je pouvais aussi l'apprécier et le retrouver chez moi. Je pense avoir, presque malgré moi, crié aux monde entier "je suis moi et n'en aurais certainement plus honte !".

Ce moment "magique" m'a réellement fait du bien, m'a donné d'autres idées encore et rien de tout ça n'aurait été si parfait sans Fanny et Juliette.

" Je suis belle "

Un énorme merci à l'homme qui partage ma vie depuis plus de 5 ans, grâce à lui je grandis encore!

"You're Pretty For a Girl in a Wheelchair"

Last September we received an email from an incredible and gorgeous woman who push her boundaries and decided to talk to us about her disability. She wanted to use boudoir photography as a gift for her 35th birthday, a way to celebrate and treat herself.

 
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What a beautiful soul!

What a pleasure to receive her email and read about how self-confident and proud of herself she was! Katie is for sure an inspiration and we were really happy when she agreed to share her story. She made her disability a strength in every aspects of her life and we cannot wait to do another shoot with her.

Meet Katie

“I wanted to have a photo shoot to celebrate me finding beauty within my own body.

It took me a while to reach self-acceptance. In high school, I remember there was always this pressure society laid out for us that implied that the definition of beauty was to be thin and flawless. I was also a teenager with a physical disability.

I remember being at a mall, shopping with my friends and someone saying to me “You are very pretty, for a girl in a wheelchair”. It really got me to thinking that not only does my physical features go against social norms but so does my disability.

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Have we built up such an image in our heads about the ideal look of beauty that we can’t think outside the box?

Why is there a box in the first place?

Why is my attractiveness contingent on the status of my abilities?

Years pass, my body changes, as naturally as a woman’s body would do. I started to carry myself with more confidence as time went by. I made a decision a few times along the way to choose a healthier eating lifestyle.  My weight fluctuated here and there, but I continued to maintain a positive image of myself and I chose to become more active.

As a young woman with a physical disability, exercising routines had to be modified. I started including weekly swimming sessions, seeing a physiotherapist to see how I could optimize increasing my range of motion, and I use a hand bicycle three times a week. In addition to exercise, I found and implemented a diet that suited me, personally. I was able to eat healthy and still eat the foods I enjoy.

Now that I was on a good path, it was time to focus on pampering myself.  Display to the world, how I am feeling on the inside.

“Yes, as a curvy woman with a disability,

I embrace and celebrate my sexuality.”

But I wasn’t always brave enough to share it openly on such a public platform. I am ready to challenge what people expect.

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I am Katie, I’m thirty-five years old, single, curvy, sexy and beautiful.

Thank you, Juliette and Fanny, for helping me to bring out a side of me I wasn’t sure existed. I have a feeling the journey has only just begun…

“You are not invisible! You are worthy!” 

A big part in making my decision to do a shoot comes from this breathtaking piece of poetry by my dear friend Forest Blakk: SWIPE RIGHT

 
 

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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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Kiss your body insecurities goodbye

Isn't it a great feeling to feel the positive evolution in body positivity? Do you guys see it too? From articles I read or friend's conversations, I have the feeling that people and especially women are more self-confident. Man, how powerful is that?! Even though we still have a lot of progress to make, we are slowly getting there.

The importance of confidence

Most of the people I meet know about their qualities and are confident about either their sense of humour, their kindness, their intellect… But I have never met a single person who is in love with 100% of his/her body. We always feel judged, always have the impression people are looking at us. Do you want to know the truth? People don't care… or at least most of them don’t (honestly who cares about judgy people). If you love the way you look and accept what mother nature gave you, it will be easier to conquer the world: being self-confident shows charisma which is a powerful quality to be successful in life.

I never said it will be easy

I am not 100% confident and writing this blog is making me think about the parts of my body I do not like and why I don't like them. Our past traumas are usually the reasons why we are so picky with ourselves.

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There are two things I do not like about my body. The first one is my wrists (oh gosh I know it sounds stupid but it is a fact). I see them so tiny and I never been able to like them. Not that I am ashamed and try to hide those wrists but I never felt confident about them. Why? If you have been following us for a little while, you may have read the blog post in which I was writing about my teenagehood and how photography changed the way I see myself. I was a skinny and insecure teenager and kids in my middle school were mean so I got a lot of insults about anorexia. Their words still resonate in me sometimes.

The second thing I do not like is my recent acne. Last February I decided to stop taking my birth control pills to switch for a non hormonal birth control device because I want to take care of my body, go for something more “natural” and stop ingested those crappy hormones. Well I wanted to go natural: I got acnee… Yay! (unhappy smile). Two months after I stoped those pills, I developed a severe acne and felt awful about myself. I totally lost my confidence and sex appeal. Why? Same as previously written, it reminded me when I was fifteen and brought back all of those bad memories.

How to change your mindset

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The only way to accept those parts of your body you like the less is to look a them, stop hiding them and talk positively about them. When I look at my wrists I stop telling myself they are too skinny, instead I decided think and say loudly they are cute. For my acne, I try to not use make up to cover the pimples. Every time I look at myself in the mirror, I look at every pimples and tell myself it is not so bad and they will eventually disappear with time.

You can also learn how to highlight and showcase your imperfections. the good news is that it could be fairly easy: you just have to decide to change a negative mindset to a positive one.

GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK AND GO LOVE EVERY FREAKING INCHES OF YOUR BODY!

We were nudists for 3 days

We took 3 days off this week, in Tiny Ontario to relax at our friend's cottage. A short and sweet escape by the lake, more than deserved! We hiked, relaxed, had some wine and for the first time in our life, we went swimming and laid down in the sun all NAKED.

 
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THE FIRST STEP WAS EASY TO TAKE

From the moment we put our first step on the wooden dock, we knew it would be all about relaxing and taking time for ourselves. There was cottages on each side of where we were staying but no neighbours. So I had a loud thought: "I think I will be topless today!" and here we go taking off our tops and enjoying the sun. It took us only an hour before removing our bottoms and trying nudism for the first time.

The first ten minutes were a bit difficult to adjust, especially because of the fear of having neighbours going in their backyard and seeing our little white butts. But once you decide to not give a damn, it is just 100% enjoyable.

SUCH AN EPIPHANY

If you have never tried it before, you cannot imagine the feeling of the wind and water everywhere on your skin, on each part of your body. Such a feeling of freedom!

We were never really attracted by the idea of being naturist, first because the breasts' skin is very sensitive and the idea of having it exposed in the sun wasn't attractive. Second, we are not used to walk around butt naked and taking the risk of being seen by potential strangers. But holy guacamole, we have zero regrets. We spent half of our time in our birthday suits and we loved every minute of it!

 
 

LET'S THANK BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHY

Being boudoir photographers and helping people feeling comfortable in their own skin, change the relationship we have with our body. It is not something we would have done a year ago, even though we saw our mothers being topless on the beach in France many times (yes it is super popular back there). Thanks to the media that sexualized the human body, we forgot the human vessel is just a protection for our organs and sometimes you need a good reminder: it is not all about sexuality!  

There is nothing to be ashamed of

Another reason why it is not common nature to walk around butt naked is because you are putting yourself in a very vulnerable position. You can't hide behind a flattering bathing suit, everything is out there. It takes a lot of work on yourself to face your body that way because of your own standards, but mostly because of other people's eyes. Our advice would be to start as privately as possible, so you can start feeling comfortable with yourself first. Then, if you feel like it, try it maybe topless with people you trust. And then keep going. Don't miss out on such a nice feeling. It literally changed the way we will tan from now on.

I feel reconnected with my body and closer to my wild side. Being naked does not make you feel more vulnerable, it is an amazing way to feel badass and free. And to avoid those nasty tan lines.

 
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You can let your hair be.

Get ready for this universal truth: we all have hair. Everywhere. And you've probably heard at least once in your life "you should remove it", "it's gross", "why do you care?" "all natural baby!" "Aren't French people hairy anyway?"(oh wait, that one is for us eheh). It's time to unleash the truth.

We get asked quite often by our clients, men & women, if they have to shave or not before their shoot. So here it is:

 
 

Is it better to be shaved/waxed entirely before your boudoir session (or anything in life for that matter)?

No. Hair or no hair, it doesn't make one single difference. It's that simple. And if people are telling you the opposite, don't work with them. And it is because of a very simple reason:

the decisions concerning YOUR body belongs to YOU and you ONLY.

And that goes for everything concerning your body: tattoos, hair colour, piercings, you name it.

 
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Why are you doing it to begin with?

Here is the second gigantic tip that will help you for the rest of your life:

These decisions you just took about your body? They have to be based on your opinion, not others.

Meaning that if you choose to get waxed every 3 weeks or not, it should be because it makes you feel great that way and not because you feel like you HAVE to do it.

Story time: a few months ago, we had a wonderful photo shoot with Léa Castor in Paris. She stopped removing her hair a couple of years ago now, because she realized that she wasn't really doing it for her, but for her lover at the time. She said that she wanted to start loving her hair the way it actually is, even though it is quite difficult, not because she thinks it looks ugly but because of the society. She felt like people will juge and criticize her.

When we first talked about her session, we really wanted to showcase and do close-ups of her hair to tell the world "hey see, it's not bad at all!" but it turns out that we just focused on her like we always do. And guess what?

No one actually noticed her hair and for the few photos where you could actually see it, it just looked great. not "eeeew" like some people can think. Isn't this super cool?!

So what if we just stop caring about what other people think and start taking care of our hair the way WE want to?

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Don't be embarrassed about your hair

When people ask us if they should get waxed or not, there is always a weird feeling of shame flying in the air, like it's such a nasty little secret.

Truth is: if someone is judging you or giving you attitude because of hair and any other aspects of your body, you are not the problem, they are

Isn't it about time for people to be able to treat their bodies the way they want to and say it loud and clear without feeling embarrassed?

A little recap for the road:

  • Decisions about your body are only yours to make
  • Don't let others influence these decisions.
  • You don't have to wax/shave entirely if you don't want to.
  • There is no reason to feel gross, ashamed, embarrassed about your hair. It's actually pretty useful to protect your body but that's another story.

So hair or no hair, if you feel comfortable and happy, it's all that matters. You will look beautiful either way.

PS: From what we've seen and our experience: French people are definitely hairier than Canadians and honestly, we don't care.

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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