A special weekend post to announce that I collaborated with a phenomenal group of independent brands and bloggers on a project that has been published on The Lingerie Addict!
Cora, the founder of The Lingerie Addict, has been leading a lot of discussions, both on her blog and on social media, about representation in the lingerie industry. It may not have escaped your notice that when most North Americans think “lingerie model”, there is a very specific kind of body they associate with that job title. Even beyond body-type diversity, there are countless groups of people who seem not to exist in many mainstream campaigns: people of color, people of different ages, different levels of ability, with diverse gender identities and sexual orientations. The “default” lingerie model– white, tall, lithe, long-haired, straight, able-bodied, and young– while lovely, isn’t (and can’t) be fully representative of the people I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know in the lingerie world. The people who design lingerie, who sell it, who write about it, who love it, who buy it, who wear it– these people are all hugely different from each other, and I frankly just kind of thought it would be neat to get a bunch of us in the same room and make some pretty pictures.
Well, obviously, we were thinking about more than pretty pictures. I wanted to collaborate with bloggers whose voices and perspectives I respect and admire, but I also specifically wanted to work with other bloggers who, like me, fall outside traditional-lingerie-model parameters. We worked with New York City-based photographer Kristen Blush and makeup artist Lily Sage, along with independent brands Evgenia Lingerie, Between the Sheets, and Harlow & Fox. You can read Rose’s post about the experience here, and you can read Cora’s, with the full photoset, here.
Cora and I have participated in multiple photography projects for our respective blogs, while for Rose and Elisabeth this was their first shoot (and each shared their perspectives over at TLA, so do check it out). I wrote about my first lingerie shoot two years ago, and about the unexpectedly intense emotions that came up when I first saw my photos. Creating a self-image can be a moving, confusing, difficult, or challenging experience–in her post about our project, Rose talks about visibility, about whether a photo or series of photos can (or even should) communicate a profound aspect of someone’s identity. It can be extra challenging when lingerie is involved, especially when most of the lingerie imagery you may have encountered previously looks nothing like you.
I am so honored to have worked on a project that takes the lingerie conversation beyond “pretty” or “sexy”, or even beyond bra fit, which y’all know is my jam. While the four of us are people who are outside the default lingerie model mode, we by no means represent anything near the full range of people who care about lingerie. We were fortunate enough in this circumstance to find collaborators who could equally share their time, talent, and resources to produce a photo shoot. I hope that those who are able begin to or continue to create and share their own images. Visibility enriches. Visibility affirms. Visibility breaks down prejudices. Visibility encourages creativity. Visibility benefits everyone.