As part of our series on confidence, I decided to do a practical experiment. After all, if you have to overcome fears of public speaking at work, you can work on your self-confidence, but body confidence is much harder to pin down.
Does body confidence mean you have to be a six zero to five? Does it mean you are comfortable getting naked in front of people? Does it mean you love every bit of your body?
During this research – maybe due to search algorithms and targeted advertising – I came across a local company who say they can challenge your body confidence issues and give you a confidence boost. How? A boudoir photoshoot!
Yep, you read that right. The way to feel good about your body is to put it all in front of a camera and have it captured for all eternity.
If you google how to improve your body confidence, you will find ways to change your body. Of course, one way to be more confident is to eliminate what you don’t like.
The secondary tips are to be healthier. This is a growing movement focusing on health as a beauty attribute. We should tell our children it is important to feel healthy, rather than beautiful. To love a healthy body, because it means we can rely on it. To aim for a healthy body, because it is likely it will also look good. So health is good, no argument there. However, it is not something you can achieve quickly or easily, and there are always things you won’t be able to change.
So back to the option of photography: Seeing yourself under a different light and seeing yourself as others might see you.
If you hate looking at pictures of yourself, then this sounds like a terrible idea. But their website looked convincing and the pictures incredible. If you don’t believe me, check out Divine Divas on Facebook or on their website.
So I signed up.
I was going to give it a try. For the purpose of the experiment I went for fairly normal lingerie. As this was a “special occasion” I bought one new one and took one of my favourites. I chose ones I liked, but which I would wear normally. After all, this is about seeing what I look like, not a mannequin.
In the week preceding the big day, I started wondering if Photoshop and makeup are the way to boost your body confidence. Isn’t that what the media and magazines do? Is it even going to look like me? Is the point of all this for me to show off to others? No doubt, the result will look fantastic, but is it a confidence boost to take sexy pictures usually intended for men?
Being a planner, I started overthinking it (I still forgot my shoes on the day). Even though in the end I went for just slightly nicer every day underwear to make a point, I started thinking about what I could wear (and tried on quite a few as well), tried to think whether I wanted to go for a specific style, and kept wondering how I would feel afterwards.
Would I really feel more confident? How would pictures I wasn’t showing around everywhere (yes, they are going on the internet, but I wasn’t going to show them to the next person I interviewed to show how confident I was) going to help? Isn’t it all makeup and lighting in the end? But then, lighting can’t do everything.
Ideas went back and forth in my head about makeup, confidence, social media and distorted images, and whether taking pictures which could be edited was just doing the same as all the fake magazine covers would do, or if it was actually a solution.