Hi there... I'm Erika!
While I won't ever claim to be a blogger (or at least a good one), I've been feeling more compelled to write down my thoughts, plans, and exciting ideas for the future of She Shines.
So here goes one, of many, posts that hopefully engage some of you for a little feedback!
You may or may not have noticed that over the small lifespan of this project, I've attempted to steer away from using the word "Boudoir" as much as possible. It may seem, at its most simplistic, that this is exactly what She Shines is; but that's what I'm hoping to change.
For me, this is so much more than me wanting women to feel beautiful and sexy and empowered by getting naked; instead, I want for my models to "strip down" their insecurities, reservations, judgements, criticisms, and negativity. I want to show them that no matter what society puts out there in the world and what trolls out there want to break them down, beauty is still theirs to own. It’s as if we contain our empowerment to feel beautiful in this little jar and we keep it safe from the world. We won’t put it out there because the jar may break and we can’t catch the pieces to put them back. Or at least open it and let it out there in the world!
While this analogy works with the idea of my models literally stripping down, I'm incredibly sensitive to the fact that a lot of the body image issues start at a much younger age. I spent my youth hiding under huge clothes and ponytails so that I would attempt to never draw attention to myself. A distinct memory I've carried with me for years was a day I felt emboldened to wear a tight shirt. As I passed a cheerleader in the hallway, she made up a cheer about how fat I was. I was humiliated, crying in the bathroom, wishing I could just disappear.
It pains me to think there could ever be a moment in the future, where my daughter wishes to disappear from existence. I can't stop the bullies from spewing their hatred into this world, but I believe I can build a force within each and every model that can't be reckoned with; not even with the most vile and hate filled word vomit.
So now you're likely wondering how I can, appropriately, open up this experience to young girls.
Here's my idea!
As a young girl once myself, I've had my fair share of female role models. Women I've looked up to for different reasons... famous or not, there is an abundance of female influences that have gotten me to where I am today.
So why not be photographed like one of these women? Why not strip away all of that hatred about what we "need to change to be accepted" and embody the spirit of someone who refused to change. Celebrate those who gave a grand old middle finger to every single obstacle thrown her way because of gender identity, race, sexual orientation, weight, body type, heritage, religion, etc. The spectrum of positive influences is vast and incredible! Let's celebrate ourselves by honoring the trailblazers of feminine force and empowerment!
So.... Who's in?!
Let me know what you think below