In the interest of sexing up my website a little bit (and also, just for fun), I’ve added some little photos here and there. You’ll notice themes of lace and soft lighting, curves of skin and peekaboo poses… and of course the fact that they’re all me. So now it’s clear that I have an exhibitionist streak – no surprises there, I’m sure, given my choice of writing genre! – as well as extremely pale skin, thanks to genetics and the cloudy, rainy, magnificent Pacific Northwest. Naturally I am only sharing photos that don’t include my face, just in case we work together. (I don’t think we do, but you never know! Ditto on the tattoos. I’ve cropped all my tattoos… though if you know where those are, chances are also good we don’t work together, though we may be enjoying a relaxing beach vacation together!)
Now, a little history: these photos come from a wonderful afternoon my husband and I spent in Portland with a professional boudoir photographer. For us it was fun, but also a celebration of our bodies – as they really are at this particular moment in our lives. I haven’t been shy about my body for years; most of the time I am perfectly happy to dance around naked (weather permitting). Made for some fun times in college, and lots of skinny dipping. However, as confident as I feel about my body, and as comfortable as I am with it, I realize that many people – especially women – are not.
Society has a way of telling women, subliminally or overtly, that they are insufficiently beautiful. Surely everyone has had the experience of staring in the mirror and feeling dissatisfied with their looks. This happened to me all the time, especially when I was younger. My breasts were too small, then too big, then not perky enough. My waist didn’t have enough dip; my hips were too narrow; I wished my butt was bigger, or my legs curvier. I used to sigh and wish my lips were fuller, or my eyes wider, or my nose shorter, or whatever. It doesn’t really matter, because at the heart of it is the feeling of inadequacy, of not being pretty according to the standards we set for ourselves – or, I should say, that society sets for us.
Gradually I grew out of this. In all fairness, I am lucky to have a body type that is generally admired in this country, in this decade, in this part of the world (nobody would have looked twice at me in the Italian Renaissance, though!). But that’s not why I got over it. It comes from looking at yourself clearly, seeing your body as a unique work of art, and claiming it. Claim your beauty. Nobody else can do this for you; you have to decide you are beautiful. And once you do, you will be.
Boudoir photography is just one way to claim your beauty, and have it validated through art. Erotica is another way: I am attentive to this, and write characters – male and female – of various body types, celebrating the deep capacity for beauty, sensuality, pleasure, and love that lies in everyone. True beauty has no body type. It has no skin color. It has no weight, no shoe size, no 34-25-36 measurements, no haircut. It is ageless. Beauty is always there, just waiting to be claimed. You are beautiful already.
So take it, claim it – it’s yours.