34×34 #6: Do a pin-up photo shoot. (I’m hot. Who knew?)

This one can also be classified under “Adventures with Vouchers.” Last spring I bought a voucher for a “boudoir” photo shoot for the low low cost of GBP18.

But it played out in typical fashion. I waited until the last minute before the voucher expired and then found myself forced to go to an appointment the same day I called for it or else lose the opportunity to use the voucher.

I’ve been wanting to get pin-up shots for a long time (I believe it was on the 31×31 though I obviously didn’t get to it), but I wanted to curate it to perfection: sexy librarian, with a corset, thigh highs, the perfect cardigan, nerdy glasses and a book.

Oh, and I wanted to lose 10 pounds before the illustrious day. I wanted to look perfect. Duh.

Instead I found myself running around Oxford Street an hour before my appointment, scrounging to buy ANY sort of lingerie, thinking about the massive breakfast followed by pizza I’d eaten two days before, the endless shovel of chips into my mouth in this blessedly fry-happy country.

I tried on several bustiers and corsets and slip/nighties, and none of them fit the vision in my head. My love handles projected, my boobs strained unattractively against the fabric as I prayed I wouldn’t rip anything pulling garments back over my head. I settled for a kind of black sheer loose camisole with a built in bra and straps for thigh highs. I didn’t love it. It made my chest look weirdly pointy.

And I was worried about the thigh highs – my thighs are my horror zone. The last time I tried on thigh highs (ten years ago, and admittedly drug-store cheap) they dug into my flesh creating two matching oozy muffintops.

Not sexy.

But I was out of time and had to settle for what I could get. I showed up at the studio in Covent Garden sweaty from running around central London and terrified out of my mind. I figured if the pictures came out badly – if I looked fat, lumpy, flabby, jiggly, and generally ugly, if my thighs overtook the rest of me as they do in my nightmares – I could always buy another voucher and try again later after losing that ten extra pounds that won’t let me go the same way I won’t let go of cheese and beer and carbohydrates.

I walked in and this young woman named Charlie immediately put me at ease, chattering away cheerfully, swapping travel stories, and artfully slapping some makeup on my face that made me feel enhanced and dramatic without spilling into “glamor shot,” if you know what I mean. (If anyone in London is considering doing this, I used For Your Eyes Only, and Charlie is a star, request her).

I showed Charlie what I had brought to wear, but mentioned I didn’t mind the underwear I was wearing, and maybe if we didn’t use the negligee I could return it (student budget, yo). So we started with what I had on, which meant I finally had to strip down in front of a complete stranger.

You know what? It was easier than I thought.

I am more comfortable in my body than I realized because I took off my jeans and top without blinking. When she asked me if I wanted to do any shots topless, I thought, why not? and shed my bra immediately.

Charlie pointed me to a large platform and started a litany of instructions – arch your back, point your toes, hands here, balance on the top of your head. She did it sweetly but there was a military precision involved. I didn’t mind. I like being bossed around. The poses were actually pretty painful, and I wondered if the strain from holding them would show through in my face.

When we had finished and I had put my clothes back on, Charlie showed me the best shots.

I was floored.

I thought, Oh my God. I’m pretty.

I have never looked at myself and felt so good – so sexy, so beautiful, so powerful. Even my thighs looked strong and sultry rather than like tree trunks. Me, with my ten pounds of extra love, in my cheap Target bra and Victoria Secret panties, no corset sucking me in, no gauzy fabric covering my least favorite bits.

Just me. And I am beautiful.

The most obscene part of the experience was the cost – the photos themselves were not included in the cheap voucher for the shoot. Buying even digital prints is excessively expensive, but I swallowed my fears and got out my credit card. How often will I have a chance to remind myself that I am attractive in such a literal way? When I am 80, I am gonna look at these pictures and say, Damn. Yes. That is ME.

I’m not dating anyone right now. These pictures were for me and me alone. That feels kind of nice. I’m glad I don’t need a boy to feel sexy. Maybe someone will be lucky enough one day to see them all. And I do think that guy will be very, very lucky.

But for now I’m content to peek at them whenever I’m feeling “less” or “not enough” or out-and-out ugly.

I can look at them right now and think, Damn. Yes. That is ME.

So as usual the experience didn’t fit the vision in my head. The shots are “boudoir” not pin-up. I never got my corset. I didn’t prep and preen the way I wanted.

I would not change anything about this experience, or these photos.

Or me.

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Categories: 34x34, London | Tags: , , , , , | 13 Comments

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13 thoughts on “34×34 #6: Do a pin-up photo shoot. (I’m hot. Who knew?)

  1. Damn, girl, I’d do you!!

    And seriously, this is so beautifully written and the shot is so gorgeous and I love you so much that I got a little emotional. Can I share this with my duck ladies? We could all use some self-assurance in our lives.

    Love you, you hot, gorgeous sexy mama, Maayan

      ************* http://www.maayanschneider.com Maayan on Free and Cheap NYC Check out Maayan’s Music Minute! IMDB: Maayan Schneider on IMDB Blog: Maayan’s New York Minute

  2. Twnklshy

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this! You look fabulous and sultry, lady! You are so brave. Keep doing awesomely amazing things so I can live vicariously through you.

  3. Oh wow that is absolutely gorgeous! I totally wish I was brave enough to have a photoshoot like that! 🙂 If you don’t mind me asking.. why did you decide to do it in the first place? 🙂 xx

    • Thanks for reading! I did it because feeling attractive is something I struggle with, so I wanted to do something that would push me off the cliff as far as facing my fears and insecurities about my body. It totally worked, sexy is not something I generally feel but now I have a little ownership on it. I totally recommend you do it if you get a chance.

      • Awwh well good for you! 🙂 It looks totally incredible! And I’m really tempted to look into it 🙂 xx

      • You definitely should I got a voucher through Amazon Local or Time Out Offers, I can’t remember which, and they are offered fairly frequently. I’m a pretty nerdy bookwork myself, so it was good to break out and remember I have a body not just a brain, and it’s not too shabby. x

  4. bethhoffmann

    that is insanely inspiring–thank you for the great post!!!

  5. This is so inspiring, Meg! I’m so proud of you. You look gorgeous – but even more important, you obviously FEEL gorgeous.

  6. I love this post very much. You are beautiful inside and out – always have been.

  7. EddieB

    Meg ,
    Glad to see you finally figured out what your friends have known all along. You are beautiful ! That’s a reason to smile. 🙂
    EB

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