women empowerment

Jessica on Learning to Let Go and Focusing Energy Inward - Scandaleuse x Shedoesthecity

This article is part of our collaboration with She Does The City & Womanizer, in which we help them feature fierce AF womxn in boudoir photo shoots. We love working with them because they know that getting undressed for the camera is a catalyst for far more than we could have predicted. This article was written and initially posted on Shedoesthecity.

We even have some sweet news for you as they are looking for more Scandals to feature there with a FREE shoot! Reach out to them at erotica@shedoesthecity.com

 
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“After her mother died, Jessica Flaman‘s sense of self shifted considerably. The process of grief has forever altered her, and it continues to play a major role in how she perceives her wants, her path, and her priorities. She is now practicing how to “let go” and loosen the desire to control all aspects of her life. These ideas and more are explored on her daringly honest Instagram account, @conversationsaboutdeath.

We don’t always connect major life events to our body or our exuality, but Jessica draws interesting correlations.

Feelings follow us everywhere; they often become the seeds that birth new ideas and likewise get us looking in the mirror with a fresh perspective. 

SDTC: How did it feel to do this photo shoot?

JF: Having people whom I have never met come into my personal space, see me naked and then tell me how to pose was a huge test in vulnerability, and I think I did a pretty good job! (Note from Scandaleuse: YES INDEED!!)

How would you describe your sexuality?

I don’t think sexuality is something that can necessarily be described, but if I could sum it up in a couple of words: curious and fun. I tend not to take it too seriously.

When it comes to feeling good in your own skin, what advice would you give to your younger self?

Our bodies are our one and only constant companion, here to support us, carry us and teach us as we navigate our way through life.

I would tell her to stop focusing so much on her physical appearance as a way to get validation from others, and instead to focus that energy inward. Chasing love and acceptance is a losing battle because those things can’t really be sought after; they have to come from within and be cultivated on a soul level. Ultimately, I’d tell her to let go of the need to have the “perfect body” because it doesn’t exist, and to instead learn how to see beauty in her strength.

 
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What turns you on?

Confidence, security, emotional intelligence, honesty and a REALLY good sense of humour! Anyone who can challenge me to do better and be better and who can appreciate the qualities that set me apart from other people.

Can you share with us about @conversationsaboutdeath and what inspired it? 

Conversations is a little on-going creative project I started shortly after my mom passed. Initially, I had intended to focus the stories only on death, but while travelling through India, I learned about disenfranchised grief and what a shapeshifter it can be.

By accessing and utilizing the community, genuine connections are made and, in turn, a platform is created for those who have experienced loss to share their stories. 

What mantra or philosophy is currently guiding your life?

There is one saying I came across a few months ago that I am constantly repeating to myself:

“If it is meant for me, I can never lose it. If it is not meant for me, I don’t want it.”

For me, it’s the perfect reminder to let go of what I can’t control, which I often struggle with!

What goal are you currently working towards?

I am working diligently at making Conversations more of a staple in the community. I know I am onto something, I just need to really dig in and figure out what that something is, which is more of a challenge these days because I am studying for my Masters in Social Work at U of T, and that takes up a lot of my time and energy. That being said, I feel very fortunate to have a passion project that is so closely aligned with my background in Art Therapy and Social Work.

What are you most looking forward to this fall?

Definitely going for runs down by the lake, in addition to copious amounts of dog park visits with my new dog, Jake!”

 
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Taking intimate photos doesn't make you a “whore”

On the 2019 list of "things we should have never tolerated to begin with but we have for whatever reason and it definitely needs to stop", slut shaming is at least in the top 5.

A few weeks ago, one of our lovely Scandal messaged us saying how one of her close friends decided to stop talking to her after seeing her boudoir photos online. Long story short, her "oh so scandalous photos" made her look like she was an attention seeker and could not be trusted, especially around said-friend's husband. Mindblowing, isnt it?

We have a universal truth for you: taking photos of yourself in a sensual setting showing partial or suggested nudity does NOT make you a whore, it makes you a freaking goddess. And it might surprise you, but it has nothing to do with any physical aspects.

 
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There are 3 types of people:

  1. Those who are in the process of conquering their fear of something, anything, by stepping out of their comfort zone. They seek Happiness with a capital H and believe it resides in continuous learning and positive challenges in life.

    They know the recipe but haven't started putting the ingredient together yet.

  2. Those who are a few steps ahead with a few life experiences under their belts, thus have already learnt to develop a "no fucks given" mentality and celebrate the fact that they can be who they really are.

    They have built solid foundations of confidence and it shows in everything they touch.

  3. Last but not least: those who don't dare thinking outside the box and, quite frankly, are pretty scared to explore what's happening on the other side of the white pickets fences of "proper" beliefs they -or their environment- have built for them.

Guess which persona usually reaches out to us? #1 & #2. Why? Because they understand that boudoir photography is far from being just pretty photos. It is a set of tools given to you to start or finish the process of embracing yourself.

Gainsome experience points and level up

By embracing yourself, you are taking the chance to live your life to the fullest, according to your needs.

Here is the super important part: by learning to do this, you are demolishing negative beliefs, you become much better at facing obstacles, are significantly decreasing any source of anxiety and you trust your guts. You know what you need and are not afraid to do what it takes to make it happen. In other words: you know your worth.

Suddenly, the path to your dream job doesn't seem out of reach anymore. Or you know you can work your ass off to build the home of your dreams.

You will also attract relationships who will respect, appreciate and lift you up. Bonus: you will know how to do the same to others because you can acknowledge other people's worth too.

Think of it as a major level up. I like to think with each skills acquired in life, we have little "xp" points popping up above our heads like in video games. The higher you go, the more tools you unlock to keep leveling up.

 
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So what if you use boudoir photos as a part of your ongoing growth?

There is something to learn in every experiences you go through. We know that and you know that.

A boudoir experience is just a tool given to you to level up. Grab it, enjoy it a 100%, and take everything you can out of it. For yourself but also others. Because once you do get on the other side of basic beliefs, you will reach your hand out to bring others in too. That's how strong teams are created and changes are made.

So, what persona are you?