• Valerie Simpson

Boudoir is about who you are now | Storyteller Magazine

This is an article I wrote for The Storyteller Magazine, published November 2020, with the accompanying images. It was super excited to be the first published article for this magazine, especially since it's a boudoir issue and they typically focus more on lifestyle and storytelling images. I was told to write 'anything about boudoir' so I really felt like I should focus on the importance of doing it right now, in this moment, because boudoir is about who you are now.


2020 has been a rough year on all of us. We have been quarantined, many of us have sheltered in place or have (or still are) worked from home. We have had floods, fires, and a record number of hurricanes. We are still smack in the middle of a political upheaval that has literally divided a nation. And most of us have stress-eaten our way through the entire year, adding pounds and further diminishing our self-esteem and already fragile mental health.

And that's why now is the best time for a boudoir session.

Boudoir is not just something you do as a gift to your significant other; on the contrary – it should be something you do for you. If you want to feel better about yourself, if you want to give your self-esteem a boost, if you want to learn to love yourself, boudoir is the way.

Maybe you just turned 18, 21, 30 - Now is the time. Celebrate who you are right now in this moment. You’ll never be as young as you are right now, you’re learning how to navigate life on your own, you’re young and wild and free. Do the session in celebration of YOU, who you are right now, today. Then look back on it in fifteen years and smile.

Maybe you got engaged, or got married, or eloped. Maybe COVID ruined your giant church wedding, or you’ve rescheduled it three times. Take that gorgeous dress, and those pretty lacy underthings, and do the session. Prove to yourself that nothing can hold you back, you’ll overcome all obstacles to the altar, and you’ll come out stronger on the other side. Revel in that.

Maybe you're pregnant, or just had a baby. Things are changing, your body is different, but it has harbored life and there is nothing more beautiful than that. The sharp angles of adolescence is replaced by the soft curves of womanhood, you’ve grown and supported and loved another human being more than you ever thought possible. See yourself the way they see you; perfect.

Maybe you’ve lost 50 lbs. Maybe you’ve gained 50 lbs. You’ve beat a disease, or discovered one. Love yourself and the remarkable body you’re in, marvel in its strength, its beauty, and its fragility. Love your curves, your scars, and your resilience. See yourself how everyone else sees you; a remarkable human being as beautiful on the outside as you are on the inside.

Maybe you just turned 50, 60, 90 – Now is still the time. You’re beautiful all the time, every day, every age. Your body and uncrushable spirit have carried you through trials, joy, and sorrow. Your body bears the marks of the passage of time and it is still glorious, revel in it and the way its carried you. Love it.

There’s a hundred little reasons to do the session, but the root of it is so that you can learn to love yourself. Self-love comes hard for most of us, myself included, and I quite literally think every single body is beautiful. Get gussied up, have the Champaign, laugh through the session, and then revel in the fact that it is, in fact, you in those images. That glorious, gorgeous person posed in the golden light is you, and walk away feeling glad you took the chance and made the leap. Then go love yourself just a little bit more.

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