I posted a photo of myself in a bikini the other day on my fan pages on Instagram & Facebook. The focus I suppose on my butt, which I happen to be insanely proud of btw. I see bikini photos as pretty tame, but I know what I’m going to get as far as response when I post a bikini or boudoir shot. I’ll gain some followers. I’ll get a bunch of likes. I’ll get some great comments relating to fitness, strength, sex-positivity, ownership, etc. Those mostly come from women, but not exclusively. I’ll get some acceptable comments from men too, but too many comments from them that are off putting to me. Contrary to what some guys apparently think, “You’re hot!” and “Yes please!” just don’t do it for me, as I don’t think they work for most women. I assure you I don’t seek nor want hotness praise. And I typically can expect a comment here and there (though less so than once before) from someone who is simply out to inflict pain. Not that the desired result is achieved as when you know how trolls tick and why they do what they do, their words don’t tend to mean much. But I’ll use the most recent nasty comment as an example. From a woman who said, “This photo is designed to cater to men. You haven’t changed. You’re still a whore. You’re still sick.” Yeah, welcome to my life. Fun!
So thinking about this last night, and given the inevitable spiteful or distasteful comments that may follow, I wanted to write about exactly why I choose to post such photos nonetheless? I could play it safe. Vanish or at least distance myself from anything that could possibly elicit unwanted response from some. But do you think I’m all about the safe route at this point? I’m willing to take the bad with the good in exchange for being genuine, doing what makes me happy, and getting what I see as my important message out there.
Some would say I don’t have to explain my photos or what I post one bit. And they’re absolutely right. 100%. It’s my life and body and nobody has the right to judge or tell me how to live it or display it! Fully aware I don’t have to justify my approach to anybody. And I typically don’t. But every so often, I explain my motivations. It’s important to me to educate here and there. That’s kind of what I’m all about.
Oh, and I’m sure some assume I post for the attention. Well to some extent, that’s true. (Don’t get too excited you haters out there!) Who the hell doesn’t want a little attention? I do know these photos, whether it’s a bikini, boudoir or nude yoga photo, generate the most interest of anything I post. So….I’m no fool, and I do have a goal of attracting more of a following as the more eyes and ears I can get on my message, the better. So I make no apologies for strategically sprinkling in certain photos and posts that do no harm and portray an important message. You have to remember that I’m a life coach. And guess the topic that comes up most with my clients? Sex & sexual shame. Clients know I won’t judge, and they know I have a sex positive outlook on life. So posts like these tend to be in line with my business, right? Just a subtle reminder to folks of my sex-positivity and no shame in my game, and that I’m someone who may be able to relate and help others who might be suffering silently.
Plus here’s a novel concept, I actually ENJOY posing for and posting these photos. I enjoy the process and preparation involved in capturing and creating a stunning photo. It brings me joy! Imagine that. Remember, I’m an artist so this is right up my alley. Particularly as it pertains to the boudoir and nude yoga stuff. For me, the experience is empowering and feels so very healthy. And at 50, I make no apologies for displaying the results of years of hard work. Always seeking to inspire.
But here’s the most important thing in my book. And it’s all about ownership of my past. It’s what’s going through my mind every single time I pose for or post one of these photos. The idea that some think that because my past involved me using my body, I somehow lost my right to display that same body that I love more than ever today. I feel that, and it’s ridiculous. As if some truly want me to be a prisoner to my past. Yeah, that’s not going to work. So yes, part of the reason why I post these photos is a big F-U to that type of mentality. My rebellious side coming out. I’ll admit I enjoy the image of making my haters squirm. I may regret some of my past, but I don’t demonize it. I don’t shy away from my sexuality, but embrace it fully. Maybe a little over the top to a fault because of the blowback from my past. But I’m good with it. And I say it all the time, if you don’t own your past, I’m certain that it will own you. I’m not going to let that happen, and if I receive shit from the one’s who wish to impose their moral beliefs and judgments upon me, so be it. I know full well by now, it’s their issues at play, not mine.
Thanks as always for listening, Suzy