Last week my therapist/life-coach emailed me some books to read and a few other suggestions for heightening my self-esteem, especially to target how I was feeling about my “ever-changing” menopausal body. Totally baffled by her first suggestion – “Buddha Photos,” I concluded her voice-to-text app must’ve garbled her words and she’d actually meant to say “Boudoir” Photos.
Oh. Wow. Really? Me gain confidence strutting around and modeling my own underwear — so dull and boring, even Victoria wouldn’t think to keep it Secret? Quite possibly! I mean c’mon, never say never, right? Besides, what is it about a camera that makes something like this feel so alarming?
I soon found that it was what lurked behind the camera…. a live male photographer, that caused me to panic. But again, no worries — he immediately introduced his female assistant as my “Personal Posing Coach.” I promptly nicknamed her “The Naked Lady Whisperer” because whenever I attempted to emulate her moves, (which inevitably involved excruciating lower back and extreme derrière positioning) she’d lean into my ear murmuring, “1-2-3… Ready… Arch!”
Each time I tried and tried, but could not raise my eyebrows any higher.
During her additional choreography motions, (which trust me, would require a Cirque Du Soleil performer to ask for a spotter) the male photographer would loudly exclaim in his unusual accent, “Perfecto….Super Saxy!” and then click his camera hundreds of times appreciatively while she’d blush. Feeling grateful that this was at least heightening someone’s self-esteem, I considered leaving them alone together while I snuck out for lunch.
After getting into what they both referred to as “my makeup and hair” the entire photo session was now focused on morphing me into this “Super Saxy Woman” – i.e. the Innocent Girl Next Door, the Femme Fatale, and the Barely Legal Secretary. I wanted the emphasis to be more on the amazing props but they both kept an eagle eye on my body parts instead. “Point your feet!” Naked Lady Whisperer hissed into my ear, “Makes your legs appear longer and gives your photos polish.” Ugh…if only I’d thought to paint some on my ugly toes.
“Stop smiling with your teeth. Don’t say cheese!” they both shouted in unison. “Just slightly open your mouth, and look subtly suggestive.” When my stomach loudly growled, I thought it subtly suggested, “Order a large cheese pizza!” but I might’ve misheard it.
It quickly became obvious that for me to part my crimson chapped lips in what looked like a natural occurrence would take more of a miracle than Moses to part the Red Sea.
“Never mind…Go back to saying cheese!” they both shouted in unison. And that was the closest I got to pizza.
For the grand finale, they wheeled in a glossy black Steinway grand piano as Naked Lady Whisperer showed me the expected pose … gracefully straddled across the keys, blonde hair flowing, toes pointing, back-bending into what looked like the McDonalds’ golden arches.
Sure thing! I marveled at her flexibility and then immediately demanded a less strenuous instrument from their prop room. “Gosh! Wouldn’t my therapist/life-coach be extremely proud of my newfound assertiveness?” I thought out loud. “After all, didn’t advocating for yourself raise your self-esteem?”
When the day came to view my proofs, I summoned my therapist (whose idea this entire fiasco had been in the first place!) to assist with narrowing down the selections for ordering. We both agreed the one of me sound asleep (with my lips somehow subtly parted — yay!) holding a shiny brass Saxophone was indeed “Super Saxy.”
But it was at this point in the process when my confused therapist turned to me and confessed that there hadn’t been any typos or autocorrects in her original email. “Oh really?” I asked somewhat surprised. “But why would you have written ‘Buddha Photos?’ That makes no sense.”
It was then that I learned that the Buddha is always at peace with his rounded belly and she wanted me to look at lots and lots of pictures of him so I’d have a healthy role model. Oh brother!
Just so the day wasn’t a total loss, I ordered a 20 x 28 inch framed portrait of my favorite camera angle – a zoomed-in close-up of my naked left big toe, pointed and arched in all its glory. And looking extremely provocative.
In fact it provoked me to finally get a much needed pedicure!
Ladies: Have you or would you ever try boudoir photography? Men: What’s your opinion of receiving it as a gift?