I grew up in an era of strong women. Mrs Thatcher, Madonna, Annie Lennox, Princess Diana, Bridget Jones – now love them or loath them they were all inspirational. I grew up with a belief I could do anything if I worked hard enough. Unlike my mother’s generation, I did not have to get married and have children – full stop. I could have it all. Now I have plodded on this path for ?? years never giving it much thought until I had a conversation with another photographer a few weeks ago. As we chatted about growing up then V now it became obvious there were some fundamental differences, and could boudoir be seen as being against my feminist beliefs?
Until 1918 women in the UK did not have the right to vote, and then only women over 30 were given the right. In 1928, less than 100 years ago we were given equal voting rights to men. It saddens me, lots of women still do not take up their right to vote. It also saddens me that I can no longer see any really strong women for my daughter and her generation to look up to. Politics are once again male dominated, with lip service to women at election time to win votes – sorry guys I can see through it! Music is male dominated, with women objectified like never before. Perhaps in the Arts there may be some salvation, but on the whole it is quite a gloomy picture.
So I am starting to get on my soap box, get on with it I hear you shout. What has this got to do with boudoir? Well its all about equality and the right to choose. The women who come to me for beautiful pictures of themselves may come for a gift for their other half. But they come because they want to. It takes a strong woman to enter into The Boudoir, but I can guarantee it’s a stronger one that leaves. I have always said a MSB is an investment in yourself. It’s an investment of your time, your stamina (ask the ladies who have been – you will ache), your determination. It is not all about being perfect, but the inner confidence that every one of my ladies has in spades. Boudoir is not a passive, subservient thing, but a powerful self celebration of strong women.
So ladies, let’s be strong. If the world doesn’t provide our daughters with strong women, then we will damn well do it ourselves. Thanks to the strong women of the past we have the power to choose what we do, and though this will not be the same for everyone, this is the basis of feminism. Boudoir is not anti feminist, indeed it could be seen as one of the most self confident, feminist things you can do.
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