Lockdown may have left many women lacking confidence about how they look, but they are getting their body mojo back by booking naked photoshoots.
Bombarded daily by images on social media of ‘perfect’ bodies, and having spent a lot of time on Zoom and taking selfies over the last six months, it is hardly surprising that many of us have found ourselves obsessed with our ‘flaws’ and feeling less than fabulous about how we look.
It is no secret that calls to helplines and support groups concerned with body image increased during lockdown, and a body image survey conducted by the Mental Health Foundation for Mental Health Awareness Week in 2019 revealed that over a third of adults have felt anxious or depressed about their appearance.
Alexandra Vince, the pioneer of naked photoshoots in the UK and founder of FYEO® Portraits is not surprised, she said: “If you stop and think about it for a moment, does it come as such a surprise? Have we not all, at one time or another, looked in the mirror and hated the image staring back? I think that following lockdown more women than ever are questioning how they look and sadly feel unhappy with their body image.”
“They have spent time scrolling through their Insta feeds and comparing themselves to other women and celebrities and that has really damaged their body confidence.”
This week celebrity Nicola McClean posted a naked portrait of herself on Instagram, and during lockdown there has been a trend for women wanting naked pictures of themselves both as a confidence boost and to send to partners.
Alexandra added: “It’s all a matter of being aware of who you are, the enormous potential you hold within yourself and the ability only you have to accept your size and shape and, instead of criticising every spare inch of flesh, changing the way you see yourself so that you see your best you – the you everyone else sees every day.”
That’s exactly what body confidence expert Alexandra has been doing in her photography portrait studio since 2002. Alexandra has photographed thousands of women, teaching them all new ways of seeing their beautiful natural bodies. Her studio experience promises to increase your body confidence by ten times, with sexy, sensuous and sensitive body portraits using her expertise in posing and professional lighting.
She added that the process starts with unwavering self-belief: “We have all seen the trend for celebrities to post naked photos of themselves on social media, and there is no reason why ALL women can’t do the same! We encourage women to believe that your body is everything nature intended it to be, and to relax into the shape you were given and embrace its qualities. Stretch marks are your ‘tiger stripes’ which show power and strength, and your weight doesn’t define who you are – whatever you weigh you are beautiful.”
For 43-year-old Lesley, the naked photoshoot experience was a life changer and helped her become more comfortable in her own skin.
She told us: “For me, For Your Eyes Only® has been a life-changing – and very much life-affirming experience. I’m in my forties and have spent my entire adult life being overweight. In the last few years I’ve managed to shift some of the weight, however, I won’t lie – booking in for my photoshoot was the scariest thing I’ve ever done, and if I hadn’t paid up front I would’ve backed out for sure! I booked the photoshoot as a secret wedding gift for my then fiancé (now husband). I’d never done anything like this before and I still can’t believe I went through with it, but it turned out to be one of the best days of my life! On the day of the photoshoot I found the staff so welcoming, despite me feeling extremely self-conscious (and clearly used to nervous clients). I was really grateful that my photographer took the lead from the start, giving me full instructions, but, as the shoot progressed, I felt my self-confidence growing and was able to ask questions and suggest a few ideas of my own. For the shoot itself I splashed out on new underwear (including the set I planned to wear on my wedding day and my fiancé’s rugby shirt, which I had to smuggle from his wardrobe unseen!). Despite my initial doubts about how good I could ever be made to look, I absolutely loved the experience. I ended up thinking that even if I hated the end results, the actual shoot had still made me feel a million dollars. After the shoot I was flying, but keeping it all a secret was a killer. On the morning of our wedding I got a close friend to hand-deliver a special book of photos, and I’ve since been told that when he opened his book he was absolutely speechless with delight. At the altar his second words (after telling me how beautiful I looked) were in whispers about his photobook! That alone would have made the whole thing worthwhile even if I hadn’t enjoyed myself half as much as I did. You can tell from the smile on my face in the photos that I was feeling relaxed and comfortable – you just can’t fake expressions like that. I’ve had my favourite photo framed and hung above our bed – in it I’m lying on my back naked, stretched out with my arms behind my head – the curves are incredible! Thanks to my FYEO experience I’ve quite simply become more comfortable in my own skin. I see myself differently as a result of the shoot, and I know I look and feel better than I have ever done in my life.”
Alexandra added: “Remember there is no ‘ideal figure’, we must stop the negative body habits and instead focus on our best features. If you feel like you’re ruining your life with the obsession to lose weight, if you’re binge eating or eating to fill an emotional void, take a step back and ask yourself why? Think about it: how long does the happiness last when you do this? Do you feel better for long afterwards? Chances are, the answer is no. Instead, take a look around you at all the attractive women who are a variety of shapes and sizes. Remind yourself: there is no one ideal. Ask your partner/friends/family what they consider to be your best body assets – chances are you’ll be surprised at their answers. Write them down somewhere and check the list again, standing naked in front of the mirror every morning before you start your day. Focus on each feature. Say aloud what they liked about it – this helps to reinforce positive feelings about your body.”
To find out more about the FYEO® Portraits experience go to www.fyeoboudoirphotography.com
NOTE TO NEWSDESK
To interview Alexandra Vince and for high res photography and case studies please email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 01491 881881
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