self-love

First it hurts, then it changes you.

This post is a part of our series “If I Had Listened", in which we're reached out to strong-minded women we admire to tell us about a moment they chose to trust their gut and follow a different path despite other people's opinion. Read more on the blog!

If I had listened to the thoughts of doubt and negativity in my head, I would have never had the courage to reinvent my life.

There’s something to be said about being forced to move on from a relationship that I knew wasn’t working and gaining the courage to start a whole new life that wasn’t in my plans.   

 
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I started the journey of self reinvention at the age of 39 shortly after I received my walking papers from my ex wife. I didn’t move on gracefully.  The relationship hadn’t been working for a long time really so it shouldn’t have been a surprise.  On the outside it looked like I had it all; the great career, a large home, fancy car - the works. But, inside I was empty and unfulfilled. The scariest part was leaving behind this comfortable life that I had built. Would I ever find love again at my age? How was I going to start over as I approached midlife?

A few months into my newly single life I left the pitty party behind and began to refocus on myself. I now had the chance to  live a more authentic existence and I vowed that I would get it right this time around.

What did this mean? Happiness. I was no longer going to do things or be with anyone that would make me unhappy. It was time to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

 
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At the age of 40 I left my high paying corporate job to do something that filled my heart rather than my pockets. I tried new things. I took better care of myself mentally and physically. I travelled on my own. I met the love of my life while on vacation and moved to another province to be with her. I went back to school to learn new skills and another language. A baby soon followed at the age of 42.

I now have a supportive partner who is in love with me and is proud to be by my side. I have my own business doing something that I love. I speak another language and I'm a proud mom of a 2.5 year old daughter that dances like nobody's watching. She's magic. My life is magic. Midlife is magic.

There is this saying that I love and it says “First it hurts, then it changes you.” It’s amazing how allowing yourself to feel and own the pain of hurt or disappointment can change your life for the better.

I’m now a 45 year old sex positive, body positive, queer woman who is living her best life. I celebrate my perfectly imperfect body because it can move and I’m healthy. I nurtured and birthed another human being with 42 year old eggs. How magical and awesome is that? 

Because the process of life reinvention has made me a more courageous and confident person, I decided to start a blog. The goal of this blog is to empower and inspire other midlife moms who feel like they’re undesirable, lost and losing time to rediscover and reinvent themselves. Just like I did.

I once thought that I was too old to start over. I soon realized that even if I had only one day left on this earth, I’d rather spend it happy than with sadness and regret.

People like to say that life is short. It’s really not. Life is long and at midlife you have so much life to live. Why live the rest of your life unhappy when you can live everyday celebrating it?

If I had listened to the negative thoughts in my head that told me I was too old to start over again, I would have never had the courage to reinvent my life for the better. Tackling the fear of the uncomfortable is what lead me to the bliss.

 
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I was consumed by an inner dialogue that incessantly told me I was a “waste of space”.

This post is a part of our series “If I Had Listened", in which we're reached out to strong-minded women we admire to tell us about a moment they chose to trust their gut and follow a different path despite other people's opinion.

We met Eden a few months ago and she was one of the first participants for this project. We are happy to let you know now that she is also about to tag along in the Scandaleuse journey, as we will be combining services very soon. Read her story below!

If I had listened, then… I wouldn’t be here today

Before I embraced myself in all of my authentic glory (weirdness, flaws, and all), I was consumed by an inner dialogue that incessantly told me I was a “waste of space”.

If I listened to this inner dialogue, then I wouldn’t be alive.

 
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My journey towards embracing who I am is a colourful one, but its colourful spectrum is not limited to the pastels and vibrant colours of a beautiful life.

Instead, the spectrum of my life includes dark and shadowy aspects that painted my imbedded need to conform to someone proper, petite, and poised. Someone who “should” fit perfectly into a designated box.

Well, the “rule follower” in me cared what the “rules” were. The rule follower in me cared how I was being perceived by others. The rule follower in me allowed my uniqueness to be dimmed by the rigid regulations of the external reality I faced.

The attempt to conform my wild and extraordinary imagination caused me to feel weird, othered, rejected, and unlovable. My thirst for knowledge and inclination to pursue academics caused me to be made fun of and labeled as a “know it all”. The comparison of myself against bodies that were slender and airbrushed caused me to look at my body with disgust and hatred.

On an ongoing basis, I would find myself tightly constricting my stomach with a tensor bandage with the desperate need to morph my body into someone “beautiful”.

I was trying to conceal myself, which was perpetuated by a deeply ingrained desire to be someone “different”, someone “acceptable”.

It truly felt like the parts of my existence were being pulled by its threads, ripped apart, and shattered.  Looking into these tattered fragments of myself, all I could see was someone who was broken, someone who didn’t belong, and (like broken things) someone who should be tossed away.  

 
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The journey towards the reclamation of who I am was not an easy one. My desire to ignore and disobey the toxic negativity that filled my head required me to care just enough about myself in order to step in and survive. I’ll never forget the moment that I decided not to listen, the moment I decided to survive.

One step at a time, I learned to appreciate the beauty of my uniqueness, the importance of my sentiment, and the perfection of my flaws.

I am here, having a human experience and contributing to the world in a way that no one else can because no one else is me. Step by step, moment by moment, I allowed myself to re-invigorate my imagination. Yes, I do believe in unicorns, mermaids, goodness, peace, and love. Allowing myself to indulge in the pleasures of learning new things and expanding my mind has sufficiently equipped me with a unique skillset that helps my clients do the same. Most recently (partly with the help of Scandaleuse Photography), I have decided to love my body the way it is and find beauty in the way that it twists and turns, whilst simultaneously finding deep appreciation for the adventures my body brings me on.

I am so grateful that I didn’t listen. I am so grateful because I am here shining bright like a beacon for others who feel like I once did.

Policing Black women’s hair has been a constant battle many of us have faced.

This post is a part of our series “If I Had Listened", in which we're reached out to strong-minded women we admire to tell us about a moment they chose to trust their gut and follow a different path despite other people's opinion.

If I had listened, I wouldn’t have cut my hair.

I have always played it safe.
Always.

 
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As women, we have been conditioned to believe that long hair is a sign of our femininity. Especially as a Black woman, our hair is sacred. There are so many stories and beautiful memories we have of our individual hair journeys. Unfortunately, there are moments in our stories that aren’t pleasant.

Policing Black women’s hair has been a constant battle many of us have faced.

I remember feeling so excited to get my hair done but then secretly worrying about getting asked questions like “Is your hair real? Why do you change it so often? Can you wash it like normal hair?” Once someone told me, “you can't keep changing your hair like that. It makes you look unprofessional.”

For far too long, I listened. I played it safe. And because I was listening, I was holding myself back from being the sexiest, happiest, and most confident version of myself. 

I never cared much about Rihanna, but I loved how she rocked her hair. At one point she cut it short and I remember my eyes felt like they were falling out of my head because I SO wanted to do that. But I didn’t. Why? For starters, my mom didn’t think it was a good idea. Like I mentioned before, long hair is a sign of being a sensual woman and short hair to some means your edgy, reckless, wild, etc.

3 years later I moved out with my boyfriend. I posted a picture on Instagram of my hair pinned back and I got so many compliments. The one that stood out, encouraged me to make the biggest hair decision ever. “OMG! Did you cut your hair? It looks amazing!”

 
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I remember that moment so clearly. I instantly started scrolling through Instagram for some hair inspiration and came across ‘The Cutlife’. I was freaking out!

I saw so many beautiful Black women with short hair. Fades, bobs, bald...these were my people! Without hesitation, I found the first stylist available and booked an appointment to cut my hair.

There was something so incredibly liberating about feeling my hair fall on my cape. I felt like a butterfly coming out of its cocoon.

Unfortunately, she totally botched it but when I did find the right stylist to fix it, I saw a woman in the mirror I fell so in love with.

My hair has become a signature component of my brand. I feel free, fun, confident, and powerful. To maintain its freshness, it must be cut every week!

If I had listened to what others had to say about women with short hair, I truly don’t believe I would be the version of myself I am today. If you’re reading this and have been debating to try a new look but question if it’s professional enough or to society’s standards, listen to me when I say FORGET WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY! DO YOU! BE YOU! AND LOVE YOU!

You’ll thank yourself later.

I was my own worst enemy until I decided to no longer be a victim

This post is a part of our series “If I Had Listened", in which we're reached out to strong-minded women we admire to tell us about a moment they chose to trust their gut and follow a different path despite other people's opinion.

If I had listened, I wouldn’t have bloomed.

If I had listened to the voices telling me “you’re not strong enough, popular enough, skinny enough, worthy enough, relatable enough”, I wouldn’t be where I am today - powerful.

 
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Over the past 2 years, I have struggled with depression and anxiety. I battled them until I couldn’t bare it anymore. I reached for help, went to therapy, am medicated and try my best everyday to work towards healing. It seems simple to say out loud now but the path was not easy.

I was my own worst enemy until I decided to no longer be a victim. As a victim we listen to the voices in our head that trap us, suffocate us and if we allow them, they can also drown us.

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On my way out of the depths of sadness, my business has become a platform for women. A platform to allow women, like myself, to have a place to share, to know that they aren’t alone, to feel empowered and be surrounded by a safe community. For years, my business was creating and selling jewelry until I found it was no longer my passion. I found myself disconnected and that is when my success dipped. I searched for a creative muse but it just wasn’t there.

My business slowly shifted and this shift happened when I started to share my struggles. The more I dug deeper into healing, the more answers came and the more I felt connected to what I was creating - an expression of growth through a line of t-shirts. Though I do sell a physical item, it is so much more than a product - it is body positivity, a community of strong women and a place for us to heal and grow.

The hard truth is, I am MORE than enough, WE are all more than enough. I am more than a body, more than a mother, more than a wife. I am a mentor, teacher and role model. I am everything I wanted to be because I believed, because I stepped into my power and because I did not listen.

I am my biggest cheerleader but I am also my worst enemy.

This post is a part of our series “If I Had Listened", in which we're reached out to strong-minded women we admire to tell us about a moment they chose to trust their gut and follow a different path despite other people's opinion. Read the first post here

If I had listened I wouldn’t have been able to find happiness and confidence within myself to truly love who I am.

I am my biggest cheerleader but I am also my worst enemy.

 
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There are so many factors in society that contribute to my marginalization. I am a woman, I am from Jamaica, I am of mixed race.

Throughout my life, I have faced discrimination for all the above characteristics, all of which have thrown me off kilter, beat down my confidence, made me questions my identity and made me seriously doubt who I am.

I had times that were so dark and lonely that, unfortunately, only my damaged mind and broken heart were there to keep me company.

It wasn’t until I was able to work on myself, with help, that I was able to realize that it was the constant negative self-talk festering in my mind that was making me crumble into nothingness.

It took a really long time for me to accept that I had the power to be my biggest fan even if I were being my biggest roadblock.

I used to resent the people closest to me for not meeting my expectations and not being there to save me from my mind. But choosing to be in charge of my own outcomes and happiness as opposed to relying on others was the biggest contributing factor to reaching the self-acceptance and happiness that I am working towards today.

 
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I know that I will always be a work in progress and I totally accept that. However, I have now found beauty in my flaws and in my growth. I have stopped listening to the side of myself that constantly wants to hold me back from evolving as the beautiful human I am and I now place the ride or die version of Nathanielle at the forefront.

I was called a failed journalist and copywriter.

This post is a part of our series “If I Had Listened", in which we're reached out to strong-minded women we admire to tell us about a moment they chose to trust their gut and follow a different path despite other people's opinion.

If I had listened, I wouldn’t have founded Salty Woman.

I was called a failed journalist and copywriter, but I was just writing about the wrong subject matter.

 
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I grew up obsessed with Cosmopolitan magazines, desperate to work there one day. My dad said I was chasing fame because how many magazines are there for people to be an editor at? I didn’t have any awards in the category and no network of family or friends or mentors to tap into.

I went to New York and London chasing this dream and when I was finally in the Hearst office writing the Cosmo “look of the day” I realized this wasn’t the end for me.

I moved on to copywriting at some of the top creative ad agencies in Toronto, only to then quickly switch to strategy, taking a special focus on digital and social content. Eventually I built up my own department, my own team, and a whole new line of business working with influencers. I guess you could say I “made it” and all I wanted to do was step away from it all and bartend or something.

After years of fighting to get to where I was, it was the scariest thing telling my dad that I wanted to throw it all away.

It’s been a year since I walked away from my career in digital marketing. I’ve started bartending part-time, expanded the Salty Paloma business to add cocktail classes and bartending services for private parties and events, and freed up some time to dig deep into myself and find a new venture that spoke to my heart - Salty Woman.

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Salty Woman was born as a passion project to just meet a bunch of women I wouldn’t normally get the chance to meet in my daily life, hear their story and share it.

All I’ve ever wanted to do was tell the stories of women. The full story. Not just the good part, but every inch of it.

I think I really needed to hear it for myself and realize I wasn’t alone in my journey of not knowing where I am, who I am, or what to do. From then I couldn’t help but share the beauty of it all, and now I’ve committed to a monthly series involving an integrated workshop element and speakers. I’ve since then reached out to local non-profits and am working more closely with the Barbra Schlifer Clinic, that provides legal counsel for women survivors of domestic abuse.

They called me crazy for leaving my super successful, super respectable, super comfortably salaried full time job to bartend at 30 years old. Now I only work 4 days a week, never on Mondays, and I’ve never been happier. I spend a lot of my free time for myself, and that includes meeting a bunch of beautiful women in the city. I could do this all day for the rest of my life.

Looking for happiness? Start with self-confidence

You guys, it's summer. The beautiful weather is finally here to lift our spirits. Everything has a gold filter on and yet, you can't seem to fully enjoy it. It happens, you just spent months in the cold hibernating.

It is time to shed your dreary skin and embrace your brand new one full of colorful ideas and accomplishments. The good news? You already have all the tools in you.

Aim for long-term happiness

In case you didn't know, the true form of happiness isn't in the things you own. Maybe you will get those butterflies in your stomach because you just bought that pair of shoes, but it will only last for a couple of hours at the most. The real happiness is something that grows over time, to stick around for your entire life. It’s waking up with a soft and light feeling, and start your day with a smile on your face. And this requires constant work. If you don’t know where to start, we have some tips for you.

 
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Cultivate self-love

If you want to reach happiness, you have to treat yourself like you would do for your best-friend. Be grateful for everything you are and everything you already have instead of focusing on what you think you lack.

Don't talk down or belittle yourself. Your mind and body have been carrying you for a while and if you're still standing, you're already on the right path.

Self-love implies that you can peacefully be alone with your thoughts and don't have to constantly take care of other people. It is putting your needs first because you know you deserve it.

here comes self-confidence.

Happy people can see what they have accomplished, big or small steps. They don't dwell on the past and they don't see mistakes, they see lessons. We all need to f… up a few times to get something right. By learning to grow your self-confidence, you will be able to take the positive out of every situation, pick yourself back up and try again.

You need to learn to celebrate yourself often, to be proud of your accomplishments and most importantly: to acknowledge your self-worth.

If you are thinking “Blah, I haven't accomplished anything", we are gonna slap you silly because we know 100% that it is not true. Shift your mindset, if you made it this far, you have probably been doing something good, and this is what you need to focus on.

Talk to professionals

 
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If you feel like you are too deep in negativity, you may need help, and that's totally okay. Thinking happiness long term and putting all of the efforts required to get to it is a freaking ton of work.

Asking for help from someone who knows their sh*t is far from being a weakness, it’s actually giving yourself a chance and taking a step in the right direction for a better you.

That’s why we actually decided to partner with a lovely mindset consultant to help us elevate you as high as we can, so you can keep going forward in life with a light heart and get the tools to face the curveballs it throws at you.

We will be launching our new program with Eden soon, sign up to our newsletter to get all of the details! We hope to be a part of your journey towards long-term happiness!

Subscribe to our mailing list to be the first to hear about our program!

Let's talk about consent!

Guest post by Eden Wine - Mindset Consultant

 With the advent of the “Me Too” and “Times Up” era, we must learn the nuances of “Consent” so we can best equip ourselves to effectively navigate our relationships.

 
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It’s time to create a clear definition of what consent means to us, and it’s important to:

  • understand our rights when it comes to giving and receiving consent;

  • solidify our true introspective understanding of our personal boundaries; and

  • learn about and respect how to best support other people’s boundaries. 

HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE ALLOWED YOUR BOUNDARIES TO BE CROSSED FOR THE PURPOSE OF PLEASing OTHERS OR IN THE ATTEMPT OF “FEELING BEAUTIFUL”? WELL I HAVE.

When I was 14, I suddenly became well endowed in the derriere department. Now, given the location of this development, I was completely unaware of its existence. I only came to know about my “ass-et” because of my male peers. When walking down the hallway of my high school, adorned in a school uniform, I was consistently greeted by unsolicited slaps, grabs, and fondles. I wasn’t even able to acknowledge this new part of my body before it was claimed by others and objectified. Since this was one of the first experiences I had in my developing body, I was trained to think that this behaviour was acceptable.

As a young teen, I was quickly learning that it was okay for me to be caressed without consent. This, however, is not true.

We, as humans, have exclusive rights to our own bodies.

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It is our fundamental obligation to define boundaries for ourselves and to feel comfortable and assured when voicing such boundaries. We are not owned by anyone and no one is entitled to us or any part of us. In fact, the right we have to our own bodies is grounded in and protected by law.

HOW ARE OUR RIGHTS PROTECTED?

The Constitutions and Criminal Codes of many (if not most) developed countries have specific and designated laws that are geared towards protecting the sanctity of consent. Now, I’m no expert in the laws of the world at large, but I know Canada very carefully preserves the notion of consent into its legislation and case law. For example, section 273.1(1) of the Canadian Criminal Code dictates that sexual activity is ONLY legal when both parties consent and where “voluntary agreement” is obtained. Both parties means BOTH parties. In fact, the “two to tango” phraseology has never been more apropos. Sure, there will be nuances in courting and dating when flirting plays a role though subliminal and subtle body language, but that does not dismiss the importance of ensuring that BOTH parties are consenting and, even more than that, consenting the WHOLE time. 

LET’S THINK ABOUT AND DEFINE OUR BOUNDARIES AND RESPECT OTHER PEOPLE’S BOUNDARIES TOO! #PlatinumRule 

Consent is truly grounding yourself in your beliefs and saying “yes” when an activity  (any activity really) feels right without a shadow of a doubt. This could apply to any sexual encounter or even as something as simple as a hug.

For all people alike, the onus is on us to:

  • know and learn our boundaries;

  • feel secure and confident in our ability to voice our boundaries; and,

  • to inquire and respect other people’s boundaries. In the end, it is each of us who have exclusive rights to our own person and it is our obligation to protect such rights with the entirety of our being.

DISCLAIMER

Eden Wine is presently a non-practicing lawyer. She was called to the Ontario Bar in June 2018 and has since been a member of the Law Society of Ontario.

The content of this article is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. Readers of this article are advised to seek specific legal advice by contacting independent legal counsel regarding any specific legal issues. Neither the author, nor Scandaleuse Photography warrant or guarantee the quality, accuracy or completeness of any information in this article or on Scandaleuse Photography’s website. The content of this article is current as of the original date of publication, and should not be relied upon as accurate, timely, or fit for any particular purpose.

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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"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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The Unstoppable Project

Here it is. One of our most nurtured projects is finally seeing the light of day! Let’s welcome: The Unstoppable Project.

 

Because every woman deserves to be herself loud and clear. Special thanks to Florent Magere who created this awesome music and Jonathan Delgado for animating the tag lines for us!

 

Don’t feel like reading? You can watch the making-of video!

What’s that now?

Scandaleuse is in its second year now and one of its main purpose is to encourage women to be openly proud of themselves and to stop caring about other people’s opinion in their everyday lives. About a year ago, Fanny and I started to hear multiple sentences which just didn’t sit well in our minds.

“I could never show those, I am a lawyer”
”I love these but my family/friends/husband/boyfriend would totally disapprove, I don’t want to make them upset”
”People are going to think I am a slut”

We are advocates of the “no hell given” movement. We truly believe you should be able to do whatever you want and whatever makes you happy. It is safe to say that absolutely all of our clients leave their boudoir experience with us feeling happy, confident, strong and determined to make their world their oyster. Some share their photos right away, after a slight hesitation, others cannot go pass the potential judgement from others.

The sad truth? as women, we work a lot harder to build a strong reputation. And There is a risk of being taken less seriously from coworkers, friends, family members if some of these pictures were to see the light of day.

And that’s killing us. Why sharing photos of you in a boudoir set up, in which you feel fantastic and beautiful, should have an impact on anything else in your life? There is nothing wrong with those photos; it is the people who are too narrow-minded who create the actual problem.

So we gathered our little army of Scandals…

All from different backgrounds, different paths and careers. All badass in their own way. Women who decided to say “screw it”. Women as determined as we are to stop the hypersexualisation of the female body.

We don’t know about you, but when we see these women, we don’t doubt their abilities to keep rocking their lives because we just saw them half naked. If anything, we applaud them for owning who their really are.

 
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Becky is still a kick-ass business owner, Caitlin is still a qualified environmentalist, Victoria is still a talented goldsmith and Sonia’s talent as a super mom is still off the charts.

Now remember: Showing your true self should complement your image, not compromise it.

Watch our making-of below!

 

Before we end it here, let us go against the comment we know we will get…

”Yeah but you don’t need to put yourself outhere naked to prove that, ugh, there are other ways”

Yep, you’re right. But we are boudoir photographers so we use our skills and our work to defend a matter that we care about. If your talent is to bake cookies, you are welcome to start your own campaign with pastries. Just make sure you share it with us! Bisous, bye!

 

We can improve your sex life.

It's getting hot in here (so hot!) …
Now that we all have this song stuck in our heads, tighten your seatbelts and hold on to your panties, we are going to talk about sex and how a boudoir session can actually help improving your sex life.

Sex should be good.

Thanks Captain Obvious.

Whether you are sexually active (or not), with a partner (or not) and you are just curious, we can assure you that sex definitively has some perks. If you do it right, with consent (always), with someone you can trust, it's one of the best adventures in life. For some, it comes easy - no pun intended - for others, the road is a little bumpy, and guess what? It's totally fine.

If there is one thing to know about sex in general, is that you need to feel comfortable in order to fully enjoy it.

 
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Our bodies and minds work a certain way, and usually if your mind isn't at ease, the rest won't follow. Especially for the ladies it seems (yay). Have you ever had your entire body wanting to seriously get intimate with a specific person and no matter what you do, it's like there is a "NO PASARAN" sign by your vagina? If so, you know what I am talking about. Conclusion: happy mind = happy sex time.

You come first

No pun intended, again.

We are going to let you in on a little secret here: to be fully comfortable with someone, you have to be comfortable with yourself first.

We have received many inquiries from women saying they are sexual beings and yet don't come off that way even though they want to. They see themselves in a way that they are not comfortable with, which leads to them feeling the opposite of sexy and thus, they never let go.

Spending your intimate time with your partner wondering if he/she finds you attractive is definitely counter productive. Especially since 99% of the time, your partner does find you extremely attractive, because hell, you probably wouldn't be sharing sheets if it wasn't the case. And honestly, life is way too short to think about turning the lights off of hiding any parts of your body during sexy time. Focusing your energy on something else will only be beneficial. (And if you are dealing with the last 1%, run, that guy/girl is a douche, doesn't deserve you and you don't want to be there.)

 
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What the hell does it have to do with boudoir then?

As boudoir photographers, we change the perception you have of your body. Yes mam. When do you get the chance to see your entire naked/half naked body from every angle? Never.

You only see yourself from one point of view and depending on your mood, that view can seem terrible because we all know we are our worst critics.

Trusting a professional and getting a chance to see your body the way it is, in beautiful setups, flattering poses and gorgeous light is a huge step towards self-acceptance. Of course, if you go with someone who is going to edit the hell out of you, it is kind of killing the purpose, which why we don't change bodies during our sessions as discussed here. The goal here is to see the real you. And to start loving it.

And then what?

Then, reality is hitting you in the face, in a very nice way, like a warm summer breeze.

Seeing your photos will trigger different very positive emotions such as "is that me?" "oh god I didn't think I could look like that" "I would have never thought of that". You will start seeing yourself completely differently, and you now have a little reminder (aka the photos) of how great you look when you are feeling down. Hell, I look at my photos here and there too!

From there, you can make peace with yourself. Suddenly, you don't want to turn the lights off. You feel like trying new lingerie from your wildest dreams. Your first reflex isn't to hide your breasts when you are with a partner. You are not dodging your reflection. You are letting go.

And guess what? Letting go leads to the best orgasms. Isn't it what we all want? Now go have fun.

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