LILLIAN CHARLES

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BOUDOIR | Honoring This Shell

On Thursday I stripped down in front of (a female) Facebook friend whom I'd never met in person. And let her take pictures of me. It was exhausting and invigorating and the thoughts that ran through my head leading up to and then during the shoot were overwhelming, to say the least.

When Whitney initially asked if I would want to pose for a new portion of her business (boudoir) I immediately said yes! Iโ€™ve wanted to do this for years, for a variety of reasons.

  • I believe in wearing beautiful undergarments because it feels better than wearing raggedy ones.
  • I believe in embracing the body at all stages.
  • I'm single and honoring my shell for me.
  • I want to set this example: you do not have to wait for a partner to start embracing your inner and external beauty. In fact, getting in touch with it now will prepare your heart for "your person" when you meet him or her.
  • I believe in Self-love and honoring.
  • I appreciate the anti-body-shaming attitude behind the art of boudoir.
  • Capturing the beauty of the female body is an age-old art. I grew up with nude sketches around my home, sketches composed by my paternal grandmother. I always wondered what it would feel like to pose for such an art form.
  • What we put closest to our hearts in terms of clothing is just as important as the layers we wear for all to see. The message we received with that base layer of clothing is huge!

And then the fears and doubts dropped in and shouted at me. A few times before the project took place, I found myself in tears

This entire process was an unexpected challenge.

I took constant inventory of the thoughts that arose. Thoughts about others' reactions, my thoughts about myself and my looks, all out for display in the most vulnerable way I can think of. I spent a decent amount of time hunting for classy, beautiful, well-fitting lingerie for this. For myself. For this project that honors me, right where I am. At my current weight, my current age, my current breast-size (no kids, no implants.) There were times when I was frustrated with my body, my shape and my lack of a "nice rack." And then I thought... 

Lillian. 
be grateful for where you are. 
there is no shame in your stretch marks. 
there is no shame* in your small chest.
this body is yours to appreciate, to honor. not punish.

*I take zero issue with breast implants and believe that if you have the power to make a change that brings you greater self-confidence, do it! 

these (small) tatas?
they're healthy, cancer free boobs.

WHAT a celebration.
What a reason to show gratitude instead of grief. 

The next time you get all shame-y and miserable about your body, breathe into gratitude. Acknowledge what is working for you, literally and figuratively. Your body is giving you a lot to be thankful for and working in ways that are truly miraculous. Your shape is uniquely yours. At the end of the day, the shape of your body is of little importance in comparison to the health of your body

A constant conversation.

So, alongside of breast cancer awareness posts and efforts... can I challenge you to find gratitude for your beautiful, cancer-free body?

Will you take inventory of the icky thoughts, acknowledge them and then say to yourself, "I am thankful for ____ part of my body. It is healthy. It is whole. It works hard for me"?

Will you join me in correcting the verbiage you hear your friends use when they get down and out about their boobs (big, small, droopy, whatever?)

Will you put your hand over your heart and say, "I honor this body because it is complete and whole and I have so much to be grateful for"? I hope you will.

I hope you will find the joy and satisfaction in bringing love to your body throughout a month when we honor those lost, when we acknowledge the fight being fought and celebrate the women who have come out of a long hard battle, cancer free.

I honor you. I love you. 

p.s. isn't it only fair for my clients to see me in my underwear since I see them in theirs everyday?! :) 

LILLIAN CHARLES3 Comments