Is Boudoir Objectifying Women?
Is boudoir objectifying women? Is it demeaning for women to pose half naked in front of the camera? Are you objectifying women by photographing them in lingerie?
My answer, is easily no. But let me tell you why.
The definition of objectification is "the act of treating a person a a commodity or an object without regard to personality or dignity."
First let me say that objectification isn't possible for in my studio. The woman who comes to me for boudoir is in charge the entire time. She pays me to photograph her, and I always ensure to make sure she's comfortable and has a way to speak up at any time she feels not okay.
Because these women are making a direct and active decision to have a boudoir session, they're not being objectified. They can't be!
I would argue that because the woman has taken charge of and is embracing her own sexuality, that boudoir is a thing of EMPOWERMENT, not objectification.
To those who feel as though women in boudoir are being objectified, why do they feel that way? Is it because it's so uncommon to see a woman shown as sexual and have it not be related to porn? Is it because a woman's exposed body = sex? Is it because there's no way a woman would openly show her body without her being seen solely as a sexual object? Is it because sex is seen as wrong?
Look at that definition again. It's saying to objectify someone, you'd have to not take in account any part of the woman's individuality, personality, or dignity. Boudoir for me is literally ALL ABOUT those things. It's all about the woman in the photograph.
Some say, okay but how does being photographed naked have anything to do with female empowerment?
It's because THEY are the ones taking charge of what they're doing with their body. They're challenging themselves to get out of their comfort zones. They're the ones saying "I'm sexy and proud, damnit."
Women are told constantly that they need to cover up their bodies and repress sexuality (examples: "you look like a slut", blaming rape victims based on outfit choices, exposing skin implies promiscuity, "men won't look at you the same after you've lost your virginity", "dress like a lady" ) and there's something that's SO INCREDIBLY freeing about not having to worry about that for like a SECOND of your freaking life. Like I mean, jeez.
A woman's body is a beautiful fucking thing, and when a woman realizes that she can use her sexuality as power for herself and her life, she can accomplish big things. Boudoir CELEBRATES a woman's body, but also her mind, her spirit, and her story.
Expressing sexuality artistically does NOT equal objectification. And until people realize this, I'll keep talking about it.