Did you know that only 2 percent of women shown in the media are plus size, leaving the MAJORITY of women in this country (with a size 16 average) feeling like their curvy bodies somehow make them less attractive or less worthy of attention than women with smaller bodies? And although the fashion industry and media HAVE made some positive strides towards being more size-inclusive, this can sometimes be a skewed representation, as the majority of plus size models have perfectly proportional hourglass figures. In fact, the models that are often used for plus size campaigns aren’t actually plus size at all, but rather mid-size (typically categorized as being size 8 to 14).
According to a recent article by Eliza Huber for Refinery29.com, the good news is that more brands, like Torrid, Girlfriend Collective, Wray NYC, and Universal Standard, have begun hiring models that better represent the entire plus size range. “Every time I see [Girlfriend Collective] campaigns, a part of me just wants to cry because they use a plus-size model that’s a size 24 or 26 and you can just see her belly and her back rolls and I think: that is what I look like,” says plus size fashion influencer Stephanie Yeboah. “Now, I can see what an outfit will look like on me, and therefore I want to purchase it.”
The same can be said about the boudoir photography industry, as well. For many years, especially in the early days of boudoir photography, you were much more likely to see women with slender bodies featured on a boudoir photographer’s website than curvy women, making it difficult for plus size women to envision how THEY might look in such sexy boudoir poses. Even today, boudoir photos of plus size women are often placed in a special “Plus Size Boudoir” gallery on many photographers’ websites, which only perpetuates the idea that women with curves need to be photographed differently somehow. (Completely untrue, by the way.) This lack of plus size representation in boudoir photography has understandably made far too many women question whether or not they were worthy, or even capable, of having a boudoir photoshoot.
For this reason, ever since The Adore Girls first opened our studio doors in 2012, we have felt a great responsibility to showcase women of ALL shapes and sizes in our boudoir photo galleries. One of our more recent Adore Girls, Miss K. (from Indiana), told us:
“My friend [who is also plus size] told me about The Adore Girls in Nashville. She had been following you guys on social media for a while and at her recommendation, so did I. Every shot that I saw posted of every body size/type looked amazing. It truly looked like a body-friendly place and that was very important to me…Between you guys actually showing real bodies in amazing ways and her shining comments, I knew this would be the place for me, even though I was not a local.”
As a plus size or mid size woman, having a boudoir session and sharing your experience with others (even if you choose to keep your images completely private) not only empowers yourself, but you are also empowering other curvy women to believe in their own worth, as well! This amazing testimonial from Miss R. (Murfreesboro, TN) perfectly illustrates our point:
“It was life altering. I don’t look at myself with disgust anymore. I now see a strong, loving, caring, kind, sexy woman! I am a better role model for my daughter. I’ve learned to walk with confidence instead of embarrassment! I make a point of telling women they’re beautiful or I love their hair or smile. I want to focus on the joy of being a woman and not focus on my weight! Thank you so much!”
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