In today's society, the concept of the female body image is one that women and girls all around the world struggle with. Many body types seem unattainable thanks to photoshop editing that we see in magazines and online every day.
For Peterborough's Sara Lunn, the thought of taking a series of boudoir photos with local photographer Stephanie Hayes for the public to see was nerve-wracking. Steph had put the word out she was looking for women to photograph for a boudoir shoot for her online portfolio, and Sara initially jumped at the chance but soon had second thoughts.
"I sat there and stewed about it for a long time," she writes in a blog entry on Steph's site. "I wanted to work with her, but I was torn. One half of me totally wanted to be that girl who looked amazing, fun, and flirty. The other half of me kindly reminded myself that I would have to hide most of my body and there was no way I would be fully comfortable. Surely she would find someone better suited for it (whatever that meant)."
"I have struggled with loving myself for my whole life," adds Sara. "I am not comfortable in my own skin. I can’t remember a time when I was ever comfortable. I have an amazing partner [Ian George, her fiancé] who makes me feel like I am the most beautiful creature on the planet. He also reminds me that no one is perfect and that he loves me because of my imperfections; it’s what makes me who I am."
After trying to think of excuses to back out, Sara ultimately decided to take a leap of faith and go ahead with the shoot.
"When I arrived for the shoot, I met two other women, and as it turned out, we were all incredibly nervous. It was awesome to sit and chat about what our concerns were before the shoot, how we have dealt with our insecurities and what we all hoped to take away that night. It was really great meeting people in totally different places in their lives, but, we all shared similar concerns and fears."
"I was the last one to be photographed and I must admit, it was an absolute blast and would do it a million more times," Sara writes. "Steph made me feel so comfortable and to be honest, I think I was laughing for most of it (when I wasn’t trying to be serious)."
"When I look at my pictures I am blown away. The first picture I saw, I actually squealed out loud and jumped up and down. That is me! Holy crap! I feel beautiful and sexy and most of all – confident and comfortable. That’s all I ever wanted. So to Steph, I say thank you. Thank you for capturing me in a light I never knew existed. It’s wonderful."
"I didn't do this for my fiancé Ian, I did it for myself," Sara tells PTBOCanada. "I did it because I knew it was outside of my comfort zone and I knew Steph wanted to use the photos for her portfolio so I knew more people would see them other than just Ian and myself."
Kudos for Sara for being courageous enough to do this. The photos are beautiful.
View more photos from the shoot here.
—by Aaron Elliott