As women, so much of our identity is linked to our bodies. I have had several women schedule boudoir before mastectomy surgery with me throughout my career, and each time I am incredibly inspired. It is such an important and powerful statement: unabashedly celebrating your body.

We’ve talked about it before on the blog – boudoir is so much more than just sexy photos! It is so important to cultivate confidence and self esteem in our lives, and exponentially so in difficult times.

After hearing about her friend Mrs. R’s boudoir photoshoot with me 2 years ago, Mrs. L reached out to discuss a shoot for herself. She lived in Houston but wanted to travel up to someone she felt like she could truly trust – this makes me feel so amazing, thank you! I always want to know about why a client want’s to do a shoot, and they usually share with me their concerns, their goals, their excitements, and more. Mrs. L told me she was scheduling a prophylactic mastectomy, or as she made it easier for me to understand – the Angelina Jolie surgery, to remove her breasts before they turned cancerous. She explained that she was more susceptible to growing cancerous tissue because a gene mutation and her polycystic ovary syndrome.

I’ve had women come in before their surgery, and post reconstruction, and I love hearing the way they talk about their bodies. It is such a different type of love they feel for themselves compared to women who may not have gone through a traumatic process like this. I feel like it forces them to appreciate what they have, and own their femininity and all it includes.

Mrs. L, and all of my other breast cancer survivors, cervical cancer survivors, and everyone in-between make me want to fist pump in the air screaming “YES!! FUCKING WARRIOR GODDESSES!!!!”.

We of course had to start our shoot in Mrs. L’s Wonder Woman bra and panty set. It absolutely fits her fun, confident personality to a T, and even better, is a great symbol of the journey she was about to go through. We also decided to finish the shoot with topless photos so she could remember her breasts before they were removed. The gold and black embroidered body harness from Lovechild Boudoir was the perfect piece to showcase her chest, allowing her body and breasts be the focus.

It almost made me get a little misty when we finished her shoot with the single image of her wrapping her arms around herself. It was not meant to be a sexual image at all, but moreso an image that signified the love she learned to have for herself. She also wanted something that she could share with her daughter to show her what her breasts looked like before all of the surgeries.

Thank you so much Mrs. L for letting me share your photos and your story! You’re amazing and I’m glad your recovery is going well!

-Tamara

Hair and makeup by LaDonna Stein

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