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Bridal boudoir photography has been something that I wholeheartedly encourage women to consider for many reasons. I’ve detailed these reasons in my posts on why take boudoir photos and boudoir photography tips and ideas, but if I had to distill it down to just one reason, I would say that you should have a bridal boudoir photoshoot because it is a wonderful gift to yourself that commemorates and celebrates the beautiful woman that you are, as you prepare to enter a new meaningful phase in life. However, what if all the messages that you’ve been told your entire life about body image and propriety has led you to believe that taking boudoir photos is over-indulgent, embarrassing, and even tacky? I am all too familiar with this narrative, so I set out to explore and tackle it head on.
As Asian American women, we likely grew up being told that we should hide any notions of sexuality and just be quiet and reserved. Up until my mid-20s, I assumed that taking boudoir photos was something only celebrities did, not your average Chinese girl next door (can you even imagine the scandal?). One of the first steps I took toward rewriting this narrative was getting my own boudoir photos taken in my 20s. True to form, when I showed the photos to my mom, she was so embarrassed and had to avert her eyes! More recently, I had the chance to direct a bridal boudoir shoot, and I wanted to push the envelope by not only having a Chinese American model, but also by having her be a Chinese bride.
The cheongsam, or qipao, is the traditional garment for a Chinese bride, and certain elements of it clearly reflect the modesty expected of Chinese women (e.g., the dense fabric and the mandarin collar, which is basically a turtleneck). What could be sexier than, literally, undoing some of those buttons? I love that these images challenge our expectations. I want Asian American women to look at these photos and see that they can embrace their culture and also be sensual and desirable. We are so much more than delicate flowers who follow the rules and hide behind outdated notions of propriety. We can redefine what it means to be a strong, smart, and classy Asian woman, and a bridal boudoir photoshoot can be one way to express ourselves.
If you’re ready to reclaim your relationship with your self-image, or simply want to invest in beautiful bridal boudoir photography for the fun of it, contact me today to see how we can make it happen!