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Dear Body – Alena, January 2019

Dear Body – Alena, January 2019

Alena laughing
Alena on a couch
Alena, from USA/Russia

Stretching skin, pulling, expanding, growing. Creating and nourishing life, my body knew exactly what to do. There is so much strength and power in our bodies, the experience is transformative. Thank you, body, for this amazing gift.

Alena top view
Andrea red shirt
^

Alena, from USA/Russia

I took photos of Alena in January 2019. She sent me the text in 2020.

Alena heart on the belly
Alena lying down on her belly

5 myths about boudoir photography

1. Boudoir photography is all about showing sexy women in lingerie or naked.Wrong! Boudoir is a French term, which refers to a woman's private room where she can have all the time for herself. This type of photography is all about being intimate,...
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Dear Body – Andrea, April 2019

I can think of so many stories in regards to my relationship with my body. Some sad, some happy, but I believe the most important thing has been that we are companions. It took me a while to not think of my body as an enemy: too skinny, too easy to...
Thais featured

Thais, February 2019

Amazing Thais, Brazilian Berlinerin, mother of two, architect.Thais brought this swimsuit (photo below) to the boudoir shoot and wasn't sure if it's going to work. She said that since she became a mother she no longer feels appropriate wearing it...
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Styling for boudoir and portrait photography – what to wear and what to avoid

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Eva featured

Eva, February 2019

There’s no better feeling than when you read something like that:“Shout our to my friend Monika @berlinboudoir for making women like me feel BEAUTIFUL!⠀I never thought there was something wrong with my body. It’s a body, it’s the body that made me...

Dear Body – Andrea, April 2019

Dear Body – Andrea, April 2019

Andrea couch

I can think of so many stories in regards to my relationship with my body. Some sad, some happy, but I believe the most important thing has been that we are companions. It took me a while to not think of my body as an enemy: too skinny, too easy to get sick… therefore very used to use different types of medication, etc.

When I arrived in Germany, me and my body, we have begun our journey and I discovered, that I have a sensitive friend.

Sometimes we get mad at each other, but usually we communicate. I know for sure that my outside is the reflection of my inside. I can feel it in every posture and the energy that comes from my body, sometimes strength, sometimes fragility. If I listen carefully, I sense we are really connected and that connection established signals that now I use to know myself better.

Andrea laughing
Andrea, from Chile

Sometimes we get mad at each other, but usually we communicate.

Andrea arm above her head
Andrea red shirt
^

Andrea, from Chile

I took photos of Andrea in April 2019. She sent me the text in 2020.

Andrea pointing at herself

5 myths about boudoir photography

1. Boudoir photography is all about showing sexy women in lingerie or naked.Wrong! Boudoir is a French term, which refers to a woman's private room where she can have all the time for herself. This type of photography is all about being intimate,...

Aphrodite in boudoir

An interview with me from Wysokie Obcasy Nr 12(1128)Above the cover of the printed magazine, below the interview written by Katarzyna Seiler, translated by me into English. If you read Polish you can scroll down to the scans of original interview...
Andrea April featured

Dear Body – Andrea, April 2019

I can think of so many stories in regards to my relationship with my body. Some sad, some happy, but I believe the most important thing has been that we are companions. It took me a while to not think of my body as an enemy: too skinny, too easy to...

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I will talk here mostly about boudoir photography, but majority of these tips you can also apply to any other type of portraits. Hope it help you get the best out of your photos!1. Be natural = be yourself   The first thing that might come...

Selected Among 50 Brave of 2021 by Wysokie Obcasy Magazine

Dream come true thanks to Wysokie Obcasy and Katarzyna Seiler – to be among 50 Brave of 2021 makes me proud, honored and humbled. So many wonderful women and people, changing the world for better! I’m happy I can add my piece with Berlin Boudoir...
Adi Featured

Adi, January 2019

It all started with this photo shoot.I met Adi while working as a graphic designer in a Berlin startup. She's a natural beautiful redhead, talented artist, illustrator and graphic designer. Owner of an adorable ginger cat named Scotch, who doesn't...

Why I started photographing menstrual blood

Why I started photographing menstrual blood

It was a long and cold lockdown winter in Berlin.

Above photo I uploaded to Unsplash and you can use it for free for your project (please credit me if you do!) – you can see it here

I was very very hungry for photo shoots, but it was simply not possible due to COVID restrictions.

I photograph with natural light – big windows and high ceilings are my favorite. And you can get that in Berlin, but my cozy yet dark apartment on the ground floor is not one of them. I presumed I would never be able to take any photos at home, and I made peace with it. But then the lockdown came and I simply couldn’t wait any longer.

At the same time I tried switching from pads to menstrual cup for the first time, and I fell in love with this method of collecting menstrual blood. What I was mostly amazed by was the wonderful red color of blood I collected – so fresh and pure, just like paint.

As I was reading and researching on the topic of menstruation, it made me curious to see what stock photos are available regarding periods. I went on Unsplash – platform where anyone can upload their photos to be used as stock photos for free. I typed in “menstruation” and I saw images of a melting red popsickle, a tampon with red glitter on it. As you can imagine – nothing actually representing menstrual blood was available.

So I decided to create a series of photos with my menstrual blood and upload them to Unsplash. That way anyone, even without money to pay for stock photos, will be able to use images that depict menstruation as it is, without glitter on top.

menstrual blood on bathroom floor

The one you see as a cover photo – my hand with fingers covered in menstrual blood (yes! I don’t use fake blood) in victory sign, became very popular when Scotland announced that menstrual hygiene products will be available for free.

It made me very proud and happy that I could have provided a visual representation of the feeling so many of us had – that menstruation has to stop beeing a taboo and there’s no place for period poverty.

Alena featured

Dear Body – Alena, January 2019

Alena, from USA/Russia Stretching skin, pulling, expanding, growing. Creating and nourishing life, my body knew exactly what to do. There is so much strength and power in our bodies, the experience is transformative. Thank you, body, for this...
Andrea April featured

Dear Body – Andrea, April 2019

I can think of so many stories in regards to my relationship with my body. Some sad, some happy, but I believe the most important thing has been that we are companions. It took me a while to not think of my body as an enemy: too skinny, too easy to...
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Why I started photographing menstrual blood

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50 ways to celebrate all types of love on Valentine’s Day

Originally sent out as a newsletter - if you would like to get such posts ahead of everyone else, please subscribe to my newsletter on the bottom of the page.I know that Valentine’s Day can be cringy as f*ck!But let me introduce you to the way I...
Hana sitting and drinking coffee

Dear Body – Hana, Feb 2019

From a young age, women are taught to mistrust their self-esteem. There are countless ways that society accomplishes this goal but the main offender is the beauty industry. The message from these images is clear: "You should not love yourself...

20 Best Niche Lingerie & Loungewear Brands – Updated 2022

20 Best Niche Lingerie & Loungewear Brands – Updated 2022

I’m a big lingerie fan and I believe it can do magic to your self-esteem.

Why?

  • 1) it’s hidden under your clothes, so you wear it just for yourself, not to prove anything to anyone else
  • 2) even though it’s hidden, you remember about it and it’s a reminder that your body is worthy of something pretty that doesn’t play any other role than to be pleasurable to you.

Please, do me a favor, and next time you buy new underwear pick something because you like the way you look in it (or since you can’t try it on now, how you imagine yourself in it).

Give yourself this gift of attention, pay tribute to your own sensuality and sexuality. I’ve heard from women coming to my boudoir photo shoots that a visit to a lingerie store can already do so much to make you feel good in your body – it can remind you that your body is not just a mere vehicle for all the thoughts and activities, but a temple on its own – cherish it.

Disclaimer: I’m only sharing here brands that I personally truly like, I’m not getting paid for any of the links.

Aikyou

On their website Aikyou claim: “We think small busts are wonderful just the way they are. That’s why we create our lingerie in absolutely special designs just for that reason: bras, which make you and your small boobs feel feminine and simply great, without any underwiring or push-ups.” They do provide some padding though if you like it.

Bras starting from 59.90€, panties from 29.90€

Ava

A brand from Poland (Polish pride in me growing strong!) that offers shipping to EU and bras in sizes from B to L (or maybe even further, depends on the model)! I love that their designs are so inclusive – the same bra style is available in all these different sizes. Finally my friends with fuller bust can forget about tent-like bra design and embrace sexy lingerie and playful cuts.

The only problem – you might need to use auto-translate mode in your browserm as their website is in Polish

Prices: bras start at around 43€, panties at around 21€

talk under light underwear

Talk under light

They promise soft undewear made of organic cotton using natural dyes that breathes with your skin. “Our garments seek women’s emotional contact with their clothing and with the Earth. A return to valuing what we do and how we do it. It is about loving the world again and loving ourselves.” – a truly mindful approach that’s visible on their photos as well. Plus: they have gender neutral items as well.

Prices: bras starting at 59,90€ for bra/top, briefs starting at 25€

Savara Intimates

It was created by Dutch woman, Eva van Schijndel, after she graduated from the University and despite having “the perfect job”, she found herself wanting to do something meaningful and beautiful. She recalls her morning thought process: “Wake up, shower, walk to my underwear drawer and the challenge starts. Which bra will fit my cloths? Which one has no stabbing wires yet? Which one fit me this moment of the month and is also charming so I don’t have to cover it up for my boyfriend? What kind of material is this, which makes me all sweaty after biking to the office? Who actually made this?”. One day she took a sewing machine and started putting her ideas into reality – and that’s how Savanna Intimates started. Every bra has straps which can be adjusted to your underbust size – goodbye to badly fitting bra! Did I mentions that they’re also sustainable? And feature unphotoshopped images of their wonderfully diverse models? Bravo Savara!

Prices: Slip from 25€, bralette from 55€

Moons and Junes

“Danish brand that recently started their Unapologetic campaign which I love with all my heart: “Many of us struggle to express ourselves unapologetically, especially when we’re dressing down, being sexual and when the two intersect. We encourage you to express your love & romantic life unapologetically whatever it looks like in this present moment.” The photos are bold, steamy and yes, unapologetic – showing female bodies the way they really are. Furthermore, you can explore on their website the #bitsandboobs gallery – a space where women can share unretouched photos of their chest area (join the project if you want!). Did I mention that they also produce colorful, minimal and wire-free underwear that fits all sizes? Well, they do that as well. Every model has photos of women wearing each possible size – so that you really can imagine how it would look on you.

Prices: Panties 39€, Bra 61€

Essentials for Zula

Family-run label – Austria-Thai born designer Delie teamed with her father to create essential pieces that would fit into any women’s closet. Their fabrics are locally sourced, woven and dyed in Thailand, produced by a small team of fair paid seamstresses and tailors. You can choose from wide range of bralettes, bodysuits, active and swimwear. To me their trade mark is the multi-strap look – what they can do with straps is really amazing!

Prices: Bralettes starting at 34€, Leggins starting at 49€

Morrow and Mint

Morrow and Mint brings the sexy mom back! I’ve never seen bras that would make breast feeding so easy, while still looking like a sexy piece of lingerie. Bravo for that! They even have a model fitted for breast pumps!

Prices: Nursing bras starting at 38,79€, bras from 36€, 7-day panties pack 58,19€ (now on discount for 32,33€).

The Nude Label

All pieces are locally made in Valencia, Spain from organic cotton free of chemicals or recycled polyamid (swimwear). “As we love mama earth, our goal is to make the least possible impact on the planet. We do also love the people living on it and that’s why ethics are so important to us. Taking the best of both places, our pieces are made to be as natural as possible and to be worn like a second skin by all kind of people, not just for perfect models.” – yes to that! I love how simple yet creative they are with the designs. And their body positive photo shoots are truly stunning!

Prices: Panties starting from 15€, bras from 35€

Oil Paint Leggings with extra Hip-Bag BOOCHEN

Boochen

Boochen is mainly focused on swimwear, but I wanted to feature them here because of their leggings: wonderful all over prints, made from materials reclaimed from sea waste in a small fair studio in Hongkong. Their products use Lycra® Extra Life –  fibers that protect you from the UV light (SPF 50) and, at the same time extend the life span of the product 5 times!

Prices: leggings for 89€

Underprotection

“We only use sustainable materials such as recycled polyester, recycled wool, lyocell and organic cotton. All our packaging, paper and polybags are either recycled or biodegradable. Most of our products are vegan approved, and if not, it is because it is recycled (wool) or a waste resource (milk). Fair working conditions and fair wages are human rights. Therefore, we only work with certified factories. We love women, of all kinds and sizes, and our goal is to make you feel as beautiful and comfortable as possible.” – when I read that kind of introduction, I know they are my type of brand. In addition they happen to provide a wide range of amazing lingerie, loungewear and swimwear. I’m in love with their colorful bralettes – I can’t decide which one to try out first: the mint, coral or lime.

Prices: Panties starting at 37,50€ (but they have great discounts now), Bras starting at 40€ (also good discounts now)

Underprotection underwear

TomboyX

The founders, Fran & Naomi couldn’t find underwear that any body could feel comfortable in, regardless of where they fell on the size or gender spectrum. So they started TomboyX – size and gender inclusive underwear and lounge wear.And it’s also sustainable! Dream come true if you would like some comfy colorful underwear.

Prices: briefs starting at 17,95€, soft bras for 28,95€, compression top for 37,95€.

Erlich Textil

Their main motto is “Do it with love” – love for details, quality, and everyone involved in the creation of the product. Erlich provides on their website extensive information about the clothes: what eco friendly materials they use, explaining the price, introducing the team and giving advice on how to take care of their clothing (all in German though). All your family can wear Erlich from head to toe, but I wanted to focus on their women’s underwear and loungewear: simple and pretty classics in basic colors. All made of organic cotton, modal or linen.

Prices: Bras from 22,95€, Panties from 15,95€

Erlich Textil
Dora Larsen Lingerie

Dora Larsen

“Dora Larsen lingerie is devoted to colour. Each item in each collection features subtly created colours that are unique to us: shell pink, lilac grey, snorkel blue, saffron, moss. Colour can be soothing, amusing, rebellious or uplifting. The magic lies in how the colours are combined.” – we read on their website. And it is true – surprising color combinations turn traditional lacy lingerie into festive subversive garments. There’s statement jewelry, now it’s time for statement underwear!

Prices: Briefs starting from £22, bras starting from £42

Corpus

A brand started by sisters focusing on no-feel underwear and lounge wear made of organic bamboo. If you’re looking for something that you can walk all day and even do your yoga practice, have a look at their website. They get some extra points from me for body positive campaign including women of different shapes and races 🙌 Handmade in Brno, Czech Republic.

Prices: Panties start at 400 Kč (around 15€), bras start at 950 Kč (around 35€)

Corpus (@corpus.lingerie)

The Slow Label

If you’re looking for basic clothes that will last long and you would want to be sure they were made in a sustainable way – The Slow Label is there for you. Their products are ethically made in Bangladesh, and hand printed in Germany. They’re very transparent about their sources – you can easily read the details on the website and learn how each part of the production process is being handled. What do they offer? Everyday lounge and active wear in multiple colors – minimal, made of organic cotton or recycled polyester.

Prices: Bra 38€, Leggins 68€, Sweatshirt 89€ (but they’re on discount now for 75€)

 

Boob Design

“The idea of Boob was born on a cold and windy autumn day in 1999, when I watched my sister breastfeed her newborn son with the north wind sweeping around her bare waist. There and then, I realized that mothers, like all super heroes, deserve the right gear.” – writes Mia Seipel, the founder of Boob Design. I couldn’t agree more! They have patented nursing collection for mothers in all stages, made of sustainable materials 100% tested for harmful chemicals. Plus: you can find articles to help you determine which underwear is most suitable for your stage.

Prices: Nursing bra starting from 49,95€, Soft Support Briefs 29,95€, Nursing Tank Tops from 44,95€

 

Boob Design Loungewear and Underwear for Moms

Coco Malou

Fair lingerie brand from Germany, producing in Portugal from sustainable materials. They offer delicate lacy lingerie and nightwear covering all sizes. Plus: they plant a tree after every set is sold, in cooperation with WeForest.

Prices: briefs starting at 29,90€, bralettes at 59,90€

Brajuu

When it comes to bras, nothing is more important than a good fit! The founder of Brajuu, Melanie, knows the problem from her own experience and decided to create a platform where you could not only buy bras, but first and foremost learn how to pick the right size. Take the quiz on Brajuu website and learn how to measure yourself properly to choose the right bra. Bonus points for showing unphotoshopped women of all ages and sizes in their ads!

Prices: bras starting at 29,95€, briefs from 18,90€.

Girls Watch Porn

The name says it all. Bold, tongue-in-cheek designs for people of all gender from a brand started by best friends, both named Paulina (sic!) in Poland. “Talking about romantic love, like the one seen in American romantic comedies, they concluded that not every woman dreams of a prince on a white horse and bouquets of roses.” Hell yeah, time to express our sexuality freely.

Prices: briefs 69 PLN (around 15€), tops starting from 69PLN (around 15€).

Opaak

These are not just lingerie items, they’re wearable art pieces, so it’s a higher price range. But at the same time you know that it’s sustainable and the company pays fair wages to their workers. “Our production company is female led, based in Romania and employs 90% female workers.” – that’s true feminism! The founder, Agathe D. Muffert speaks about her clients: “The Opaak woman likes her luxury understated. I design for her who looks for comfort, but never at the sacrifice of style. (…) The Opaak woman plays with what she knows. She can not be described in a stereotype and there is no need to put one’s finger on a specific age.”

Prices: Panties starting from 62€, bras from 88€ (but they have nice sales)

Opaak underwear
Alena featured

Dear Body – Alena, January 2019

Alena, from USA/Russia Stretching skin, pulling, expanding, growing. Creating and nourishing life, my body knew exactly what to do. There is so much strength and power in our bodies, the experience is transformative. Thank you, body, for this...
Andrea April featured

Dear Body – Andrea, April 2019

I can think of so many stories in regards to my relationship with my body. Some sad, some happy, but I believe the most important thing has been that we are companions. It took me a while to not think of my body as an enemy: too skinny, too easy to...
victory mensturation

Why I started photographing menstrual blood

It was a long and cold lockdown winter in Berlin.Above photo I uploaded to Unsplash and you can use it for free for your project (please credit me if you do!) - you can see it hereI was very very hungry for photo shoots, but it was simply not...
anekdot boutique underwear Larissa

20 Best Niche Lingerie & Loungewear Brands – Updated 2022

I’m a big lingerie fan and I believe it can do magic to your self-esteem.Why? 1) it’s hidden under your clothes, so you wear it just for yourself, not to prove anything to anyone else 2) even though it’s hidden, you remember about it and it’s a...
clitoris lips

50 ways to celebrate all types of love on Valentine’s Day

Originally sent out as a newsletter - if you would like to get such posts ahead of everyone else, please subscribe to my newsletter on the bottom of the page.I know that Valentine’s Day can be cringy as f*ck!But let me introduce you to the way I...
Hana sitting and drinking coffee

Dear Body – Hana, Feb 2019

From a young age, women are taught to mistrust their self-esteem. There are countless ways that society accomplishes this goal but the main offender is the beauty industry. The message from these images is clear: "You should not love yourself...

50 ways to celebrate all types of love on Valentine’s Day

50 ways to celebrate all types of love on Valentine’s Day

Originally sent out as a newsletter – if you would like to get such posts ahead of everyone else, please subscribe to my newsletter on the bottom of the page.

I know that Valentine’s Day can be cringy as f*ck!

But let me introduce you to the way I see this: as an opportunity to show love in any form you would like: towards yourself, your friends & fam, your pets, the environment, your life passion and of course your romantic partner(s) as well.

I decided to create a list of things, most of them free, to help you discover types of love normally not visible in the popular culture, so obsessed with the initial stage of infatuation.

In my family Valentine’s Day was always about all the kind of love you see around – an easy way in even if your family member was not particularly open about their emotions. It’s Valentine’s Day, so it’s an excuse to be cheesy and express all the love you feel.

As hackneyed as it may sound I believe that love is all we need. Just not restricted to a particular limited way of seeing it.

50 ways to celebrate all types of love

  • Call the family member that taught you how to love and tell them about it.

  • Plan a date with your best friend – doesn’t have to be exactly on Valentine’s Day, but just so that you find time to talk to each other honestly and without time pressure.

  • Use a sex toy and discover how it can bring you pleasure. If you don’t have one – buy one, you totally deserve it, and there are multiple price tiers – you’ll find something for yourself.

  • Watch a movie that shows love normally not seen in popular culture (some of my favorites: Carol (2015) by Todd Haynes, Laurence Anyways (2012) by Xavier Dolan, Rafiki (2018) by Wanuri Kahiu, Gloria Bell (2018) by Sebastian Lelio).

  • Create and send a funny Valentine card to your friend you haven’t seen in a while.
  • Find a quote about love that speaks to you the most, write it down and put it somewhere around the house where you would see it often.
  • Send a “Happy Valentine’s Day” message to someone you know would be happy to get one.

  • Go for a walk and photograph all the graffiti connected with love you can find.

  • Write a love letter to your body.

  • Read On Connection by Kae Tempest

  • Find a poem about love that you like.

  • Cook or buy some food that would bring you comfort.

  • Read All About Love by bell hooks.

  • Think of a friend you lost touch with and try reconnecting with them.

  • Start saving up for something you wanted to get but always thought it would be too extravagant or too vain to get.

Think of what made you happy as a kid and find time to do it again very soon (dancing, singing, drawing, playing a game etc.)

  • Read Dog Songs by Mary Oliver – poems and short prose exploring the human-canine relationship.

  • Organize a clothing swap party – you’ll get rid of clothes you don’t need anymore, make friends and celebrate sustainability together.

  • Read Anatomy of Love by Helen Fischer – a natural history of mating, marriage and why we stray from an anthropological perspective.

  • Create a list of things you thought were necessary in a person for you to love them 10 years ago and compare it with what you think now.

  • Find a way you can volunteer and/or donate to a cause you find important.

  • Create a playlist for love making (with a partner or by yourself) – you can also listen to the one I created: Boudoir Love (see next to this text).

  • Next time you see a trash on your way somewhere pick it up and throw it into a bin – show that you care for the environment.

  • Watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011) by David Gelb, a documentary showing a true passion and love for what you’re doing in life.

  • Call your grandparents (if you have them, if not – any older and wiser people you know) and ask them what do they think love is.

  • Buy yourself flowers.

  • Write an erotic story based on your fantasy.

  • Watch your favorite love scene from an animated movie (for me probably the memorable kiss between the Lady and the Trump in the original animation).

  • Write an erotic story based on your fantasy.

Stand naked in front of a mirror and look at yourself in a loving way, finding the things that make you special and beautiful.

  • Watch your favorite love scene from an animated movie (for me probably the memorable kiss between the Lady and the Trump in the original animation).

  • Reach out to a creative person whose art inspires you and tell them about it – many times these artists have no idea that their work is impactful and be over the moon to learn they actually make your day.

  • Do a workout of your choice and bathe in the endorphins that follow.

  • Become a tourist in your own town – find a place you’ve never been, or never properly explored and walk around, maybe read about its history as well.

  • Support a local business and tell them how much you appreciate them being around.

  • Smile to people you pass on street and don’t get discouraged if they don’t smile back – in Berlin during winter it may come as a shock to them that someone is smiling.

  • Read A Letter to My Dog Exploring the Human Condition by Andrea Gibson.

Think of all the people you love and they love you back and realize that you are surrounded by love.

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Once in a while I would like to share with you some inspirational, feminist and body-positive content: book and film recommendations, upcoming photo shoots and podcast episodes, things that make me smile. You will also be the first to know about any giveaways and model calls. Let’s stay in touch!

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Dear Body – Hana, Feb 2019

Dear Body – Hana, Feb 2019

Hana in blue bra

From a young age, women are taught to mistrust their self-esteem. There are countless ways that society accomplishes this goal but the main offender is the beauty industry. The message from these images is clear: “You should not love yourself unless you look like ____.” It is an incredibly toxic relationship to have with one’s body but it’s unfortunately how I have felt for years. As a teenager, I was mature-looking beyond my years and had a body that everyone wanted to monetize. Strangers, family, friends, all anyone could ever say to compliment me was, “You are so beautiful, you should be a model”.

Although it was exactly what teenage me wanted to hear, it was a slow-moving poison- beauty became the only thing I measured my self-worth by and the only thing that mattered as a result. Forget all of my other qualities as a human being, this was the most important. As I aged, my body developed health problems. I began hating myself because I no longer received as much attention for my looks.

Hana in blue bra laughing
Hana, from US/Finland

It takes serious reflection and work to undo this kind of negative body image.

And find a healthy balance between taking pride in my appearance and basing all my self worth on my appearance.

I have been on this planet almost three decades and the most valuable lesson I have learned is that beauty has nothing to do with my worth. It’s something I still struggle with to this day but I am more confident and at-peace with my body now than I ever was when society saw my body as “at its best”. 

^

Hana, from US/Finland

I took photos of Hana on February 2nd 2019. She sent me the text in 2020.
Alena featured

Dear Body – Alena, January 2019

Alena, from USA/Russia Stretching skin, pulling, expanding, growing. Creating and nourishing life, my body knew exactly what to do. There is so much strength and power in our bodies, the experience is transformative. Thank you, body, for this...
Andrea April featured

Dear Body – Andrea, April 2019

I can think of so many stories in regards to my relationship with my body. Some sad, some happy, but I believe the most important thing has been that we are companions. It took me a while to not think of my body as an enemy: too skinny, too easy to...
victory mensturation

Why I started photographing menstrual blood

It was a long and cold lockdown winter in Berlin.Above photo I uploaded to Unsplash and you can use it for free for your project (please credit me if you do!) - you can see it hereI was very very hungry for photo shoots, but it was simply not...
anekdot boutique underwear Larissa

20 Best Niche Lingerie & Loungewear Brands – Updated 2022

I’m a big lingerie fan and I believe it can do magic to your self-esteem.Why? 1) it’s hidden under your clothes, so you wear it just for yourself, not to prove anything to anyone else 2) even though it’s hidden, you remember about it and it’s a...
clitoris lips

50 ways to celebrate all types of love on Valentine’s Day

Originally sent out as a newsletter - if you would like to get such posts ahead of everyone else, please subscribe to my newsletter on the bottom of the page.I know that Valentine’s Day can be cringy as f*ck!But let me introduce you to the way I...
Hana sitting and drinking coffee

Dear Body – Hana, Feb 2019

From a young age, women are taught to mistrust their self-esteem. There are countless ways that society accomplishes this goal but the main offender is the beauty industry. The message from these images is clear: "You should not love yourself...

Selected Among 50 Brave of 2021 by Wysokie Obcasy Magazine

Selected Among 50 Brave of 2021 by Wysokie Obcasy Magazine

Dream come true thanks to Wysokie Obcasy and Katarzyna Seiler – to be among 50 Brave of 2021 makes me proud, honored and humbled. So many wonderful women and people, changing the world for better! I’m happy I can add my piece with Berlin Boudoir and showing women’s beauty and power.

Monika Kozub – for showing beauty and power of women without retouching

She started her work on the art project “Berlin Boudoir” in 2019. She decided to redefine boudoir photography and use it to show women that the beauty they consider unattainable, they already have in them. There are no stylists, hairdressers and make-up artists. – Women come to me looking exactly as they are every single day – natural, but they get to decide what natural means to them – she says. The photo shoot is an opportunity for them to be mindful with their body, hug it and caress it. Results of her work the artist shows on Instagram, sharing the body positivity idea. Apart from that she has a podcast “Boudoir Talk” and fights against menstrual stigma. Her photo of fingers put into a victory sign covered in period blood became a hit of the internet after Scotland announced that menstrual hygiene products would become available for free.

by Katarzyna Seiler, translated into English by Monika Kozub

Alena featured

Dear Body – Alena, January 2019

Alena, from USA/Russia Stretching skin, pulling, expanding, growing. Creating and nourishing life, my body knew exactly what to do. There is so much strength and power in our bodies, the experience is transformative. Thank you, body, for this...
Andrea April featured

Dear Body – Andrea, April 2019

I can think of so many stories in regards to my relationship with my body. Some sad, some happy, but I believe the most important thing has been that we are companions. It took me a while to not think of my body as an enemy: too skinny, too easy to...
victory mensturation

Why I started photographing menstrual blood

It was a long and cold lockdown winter in Berlin.Above photo I uploaded to Unsplash and you can use it for free for your project (please credit me if you do!) - you can see it hereI was very very hungry for photo shoots, but it was simply not...
anekdot boutique underwear Larissa

20 Best Niche Lingerie & Loungewear Brands – Updated 2022

I’m a big lingerie fan and I believe it can do magic to your self-esteem.Why? 1) it’s hidden under your clothes, so you wear it just for yourself, not to prove anything to anyone else 2) even though it’s hidden, you remember about it and it’s a...
clitoris lips

50 ways to celebrate all types of love on Valentine’s Day

Originally sent out as a newsletter - if you would like to get such posts ahead of everyone else, please subscribe to my newsletter on the bottom of the page.I know that Valentine’s Day can be cringy as f*ck!But let me introduce you to the way I...
Hana sitting and drinking coffee

Dear Body – Hana, Feb 2019

From a young age, women are taught to mistrust their self-esteem. There are countless ways that society accomplishes this goal but the main offender is the beauty industry. The message from these images is clear: "You should not love yourself...
Berlin Boudoir Xmas Gifts Guide

Berlin Boudoir Xmas Gifts Guide

Originally sent out as a newsletter – if you would like to get such posts ahead of everyone else, please subscribe to my newsletter on the bottom of the page.

I’m happy to present you (pun intended) a curated list of gift ideas.

I spent time searching for small, local brands and people, who do amazing things, but can easily be forgotten when we think of buying gifts. I want to give a big shout out to them – truly making a difference with their talent and dedication. If I would be to pick one main purpose of Berlin Boudoir community is to elevate each other – and that’s what I hope to achieve with this newsletter and this gift guide.

I decided to create 6 gift “personalities“: The Bold & Beautiful, The Explorer, The Art Lover, The Fun Loving, The Mindful Spirit, The Curious – hoping that you will find there gifts for anyone. At the end I attach a list of gifts that keep on giving – charity organizations and ideas that need your support. In the end that’s all what this whole Holiday season is about: taking care, spreading warmth and empowering each other.

The Bold & Beautiful

The Bold and Beautiful
The Bold & Beautiful is open, happy to explore their sensuality and sexuality, likes to be a bit provocative and enjoys beautiful objects. Even better if they bring pleasure!

1. XConfessions – Erika Lust’s powerhouse bringing porn to a new level: stories are crowdsourced, videography is stunning (forget the ultra HD badly lit shots) and the diversity you’ll rarely see in mainstream porn is a given. Subscription based.

2. Badass prints with Lita Guijarro – give these hairy ladies some love they deserve!

3. Bon Appetit panties by a small Polish brand Girls Watch Porn started by two female friends, going against stereotypes and heteronormative understanding of sex and pleasure

4. Sitre – vegan, natural, edible and incredibly velvety feeling sex gel – to use in any situation

5. Vesper – who said that you’re vibrator can’t double down as a necklace? Designed by insanely talented Ti Chang is a strong argument for women taking pleasure in their own hands. And necks.

6. Brush from Sexual Healing – small Dutch brand on a mission to make sex pleasurable for everyone, also people having to overcome their traumas

7. In Her Rooms by photographer Maria Clara Macri – “In an attempt to give women back their nakedness by untying the body from its sexual objectification, the author has travelled the world immortalizing girls of different origins and social backgrounds, naked in their bedrooms.” Bonus tip: You can get it in Do you read me? bookstore in Berlin.

8. Anatomy of the Clitoris poster designed by Bruna Silva, founder of International Women in Berlin.

The Explorer

The Explorer

The Explorer feels best when surrounded by nature, loves to travel and discover the world. They excel at being a tourist in their own neighborhood, finding hidden gems and unique beauty in the ordinary.

1. The Jungle – set of two prints by the local Berlin artist Ieva But

2. Staycation Collection – Emily, the founder of Staycation Collection, will make sure your next vacation is going to be unforgettable with her curated collection of wonderful stays and personal approach. Subscription based.

3. Soap SoopSoop(숲) means ‘the forest’ in Korean, and is the main source of inspiration for this 100% natural, vegan artisan soap made locally in Berlin.

4. Wort & Schatz 2022 desk calendar – beautiful collaboration between illustrator Laura Martin and creative all-rounder Carla Bonomini, this interactive calendar teaches you 12 untranslatable German words throughout the year.

5. Whale Mug from Two Thirds – a cute porcelain mug from one of my favorite sustainable brands.

6. You Better Be Lightning by Andrea Gibson – “a queer, political, and feminist collection guided by self-reflection. The poems range from close examination of the deeply personal to the vastness of the world, exploring the expansiveness of the human experience from love to illness, from space to climate change, and so much more in between.”

7. All-in Planer-Set Wild Flowers by Karoline Kohle – illustrator, activist and propagator of slow living.

The Art Lover

The Art Lover

The Art Lover loves, well, art, as well as anything beautiful and meaningful at the same time. Sophisticated color combinations, patterns, objects with history will make them sigh in awe.

1. Follow Women wall calendar 2022 by Nadia Linek – 12 colorful portraits and quotes by inspiring women, beautifully illustrated in this limited edition calendar by Polish illustrator living in Berlin

2. Floating Fertility Figurine Pendant – gold-plated silver pendant inspired by a marble Fertility Figure discovered in modern-day Anatalia, Turkey dating back to 5000-4000 B.C. <While some think that these statues represent fertility, others believed that they functioned as “as goddess figures, religious or shamanistic objects, or symbols of a matriarchal social organization.”> Created by Sister – a platform for curated products made by Cyprus-based craftsmen, supporting old artisan trades.

3. Agua by Denisse Ariana Perez – the first photobook from Caribbean-born, Barcelona-based photographer, simply a work of art.

4. The Mirror and the Palette by Jennifer Higgie – hushed away to make space for art history led by men, now female artists are brought back to life by Jennifer Higgie with their “tales of rebellion, adventure, revolution, travel and tragedy enacted by women who turned their back on convention and lived lives of great resilience, creativity and bravery.”

5. Shell serving bowl by Motel a Miio – hand-sculpted limited edition bowl. One of the objects you don’t really need, but want for their beauty.

6. Prima Ballerina Bubbles on Green Print – I love the Polish brand Risk Made in Warsaw as they’re not only sustainable, but think of different body types when designing their cuts. I own this skirt and must admit it stays true to the promise – comfy like your favorite sweat, but looks fancy af.

The Fun Loving

The Fun Loving

The Fun Loving is your go-to person when you want to laugh, see the world in bright colors and forget the long cold Berlin winter. They’ll always have ways to cheer you up, as they simply refuse to have any rain on their parade.

1. Can’t Do This Sober from Very Ugly Plates – a brand started by Polish artist Kamilek Majcher mixing delicious sarcasm and irony with the straight-up kitch of painted tableware.

2. L.E. Maya Tee @elizabetholwen & Yak – Lucy & Yak is a brand that makes colorful non-gendered clothes and features the most wonderful people wearing them in their look books.

3. Fra Lippo Lippie – if you want some color, here it is! In the form of vegan and super resistant lipstick made by Berlin beauty Monique.

4. Handmade polymer clay earrings by Bloom and Boom Studio – local Berlin business, handmade with love by Sandra.

5. Genau Tote Bag by Roy Draws – you might have seen his unicorns if you live in Berlin. Now you can be a proud expat walking around with your own Genau Einhorn.

6. In Loving Memory of When I Gave a Shit T-Shirt by Bad Moms Club – it’s self-explanatory. Wear with joy.

7. Recovering Loveaholic novel – dating in Berlin can be hard, but can be also very fun when told by a talented writer like Serita Braxton.

8. Creative Women’s Circle Deep Dive workshop – if your inner critic is stopping you from being creative, this workshop is for you. Join the safe space guided by Jess, painter and teacher, and see where it takes you.

The Mindful Spirit

The Mindful Spirit

The Mindful Spirit is always looking for the deeper connections between things and people. Prefers looking for questions rather than answers, to better understand ourselves and the world we live in. Believes that slow, mindful approach in life can bring balance and freedom.

  • 1. Garden of Eden by Iza Buleczka – print of a dreamy illustration, which its author describes: “I created Eden for escape. I created it out of a longing for what is magical, afar. For what does not pass, what feels like roots of my heart. This place is unhurried, beautiful and free. A place where I don’t get to decide, where nature has its plan for everything and I completely surrender to it. And I invite you there – so that you can sometimes run into the garden and watch mushroom-flowers, lizards and toucans. You will feel good here, pleasure is the highest good here.“

    2. This Too Shall Pass by Julia Samuel – a wonderful book about approaching any change, transition in life: how to welcome it, and cope with it and find the calm while in the middle of it.

    3. Ocean Wave Leggings by Boochen – comfy and sustainable, made of pre- and post-consumer waste like fishing nets and plastic bottles

    4. Handful Clay Meditation Kit – Anke, founder of Handful writes: “With this kit you are invited to feel the potential of clay as a material to nurture your own body. This kit celebrates the process, not a physical outcome. The reward can be found within you, and the insights you gained. It will make your soul grow.“

  • 5. Bellflower Necklace by Wolf & Moon – delicate pendant made using engraved mirror brass and wood in the small London studio

    6. Slow Down Socks by Girlfriend Collective – made from recycled water bottles

    7. Non-performative yoga practice by Abiola Akanni – set of 8 videos to practice at home. Non-performative yoga is about the process, not the way you look or how well you get into a position. Abiola writes: “As black folx we’ve been conditioned to strive to survive, and perform to show our worth. So much so that rest feels unsettling. This Yoga Journey creates space for us to find comfort in being, instead of validation in doing. By affirming the body and releasing our inner critic we begin to cultivate a state of calm in non-performance.“ One time payment for lifetime access.

    8. Dare to Be Curious card game by Kindred People – card game which helps you get into deeper, more meaningful conversations with people. And it’s so wonderfully designed!

    The Curious

    The Mindful Spirit

    The Curious is always hungry for more: broadening their horizons, seeing and listening more, understanding different viewpoints and learning new skills. This is the person that reads anything – from the list of ingredients on their facial cream to latest issue of their favorite magazine. If they buy something, it’s always a very thought through decision.

    1. Soft and Hard print by Carmen Reina – “I am covered in tattoos and
    sleep with my favorite plush” describes this print the author

    2. Mubi – what I call Netflix for the curious: independent movies and shorts which you won’t see in the mainstream platforms. Subscription based.

    3. Stud earring Daalee – made by the Mahwani family in North India in a small workshop collaborating with Jyoti Fair Works. Buying jewelry there you know you support the next generation of jewelry makers in their own region.

    4. Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez – a must-read to understand the world we live in. Even the order in which our streets are cleaned from snow affects women more than men, as a Swedish city learned. There are no gender-less problems unfortunately. The sooner we understand it, the better.

    6. Candle with Proust’s Madeleine inspired scent – “We created Proust’s Madeleine as a fragrance to underline the ability to somehow simply bend time and break the dichotomy between past and present through smell. Proust’s Madeleine smells likes a warm vanilla paired with earl grey tea and refreshed with a splash of bergamot. Light, airy, with a hint of decadence.“ Bravo Lit Lab Berlin!

    7. Sensuality Gift Set from Eros and Botany – Yoni Pleasure Butter, Nervine Tonic and Ritual Smokeblend – all to bring the sensual atmosphere and help you release the tension.

    8. DIY Revitalising and Cleansing Herbal Mask by Siriously Organic – suitable for all skin types, this set will help you create your own organic mask.

    Gifts that keep on giving

    • donate menstrual hygiene products in one of the collection boxes around Berlin – you can find the list here

    • help refugees stuck in the forest between Polish and Belarusian border by supporting Ocalenie Foundation

    Join My Newsletter

    Once in a while I would like to share with you some inspirational, feminist and body-positive content: book and film recommendations, upcoming photo shoots and podcast episodes, things that make me smile. You will also be the first to know about any giveaways and model calls. Let’s stay in touch!

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    Aphrodite in boudoir

    Aphrodite in boudoir

    An interview with me from Wysokie Obcasy Nr 12(1128)

    Above the cover of the printed magazine, below the interview written by Katarzyna Seiler, translated by me into English. If you read Polish you can scroll down to the scans of original interview in Polish or read it here online

    Katarzyna Seiler: How did you come up with the idea for a body-positive boudoir photography of women?

    Monika Kozub: I traveled a lot before coming to Berlin. In Amsterdam, I started working as a photographer offering Airbnb Experiences. I decided that I would use my photography skills I gained from the education at Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow to take pictures of people who came on vacation to Amsterdam. After our walk, they received a set of portraits, a souvenir from the trip. When I started doing Airbnb Experiences after I moved to Berlin, most of my clients were women – very excited to be photographed. You could see that they had spiffed up, pardon my language, and looked fantastic. But some of them felt abashed. To encourage them, I started talking to them.

    I asked why they decided to have a session. They often said that on one hand they felt that they would like to have some nice photos, but on the other they feared it was a stupid idea, as they weren’t models. They kept repeating: “Maybe if I lost five kilos” or “I have a bad hair day” During these conversations, some of them mentioned that they were considering a boudoir session because they thought it would help them break through.

    Unfortunately, if you search for “boudoir session” online, you will see photos in a soft porn style: a lady in a very scanty bikini or underwear,  presenting her breasts or buttcheeks into the camera.

    KS: Rather “Playboy” than body positivity.

    MK: I always think that if you expressed your consent, the photographer agreed as well and you feel good about the style of the photos, then do whatever makes you happy. From my conversations with women and from my own experience, I knew that women have the need to derive strength and joy from their sexuality, yet not on someone else’s, but on their own terms. I found that boudoir photography is a perfect way to challenge the insecurities I knew from my own life. As long as I was wearing clothes that covered my pale skin, imperfections and cellulite, because I generally fit in with the tall, thin, white girl pattern, I felt comfortable with myself. But when I had to take the clothes off, whether in a changing room at school before PE or at a pool, I immediately tensed up. I was scared that everyone would see me taking my push-up bra and it would be obvious that my tits are fake.

    I found that in the boudoir setting you can still fake the way your body looks, but it is very limited. You just show your body as it is.

    The most important, however, was the issue of opening up and reconciling with one’s sexuality, which so far in culture has been appropriated by male gaze, also dominant in boudoir photography.

    I knew from the very beginning that I wanted the women to decide on anything that happens throughout the shoot.

    KS: And how does it look like?

    MK: You only undress up to the moment you still feel comfortable and I don’t push on anything. I do not interfere with how women come to me, the outfits, make-up and hairstyle is up to them.

    Often times, typical boudoir sessions are accompanied by a paid makeup artist, hairdresser, and clothing sets that you can use. I understand the desire to transform into Beyoncé for two hours, but that is not in line with the effect I wanted to achieve.

    Women come to me looking exactly as they are everyday – naturally, but they define what this natural look means to them. They bring clothes that matter to them.

    KS: In one of the first photos on Instagram, you write that you first wanted to test different poses yourself, so as not to offer women anything that would be uncomfortable. You took these photos yourself or asked your boyfriend for help.

    MK: Poses that look good in photos are often terribly uncomfortable. First, I made a board on Pinterest, where I saved various photos. I decided to check them out and see how I actually feel in these positions. I looked at a photo and it seemed to me that a model was sitting comfortably, but actually it turned out that to hold the pose from the photo I had to remember to pull in my stomach and straighten another part of my body at the same time, and that was just too much. My boyfriend guided me: “Here you still have to raise your foot a little, move slightly, straighten there”. I realized that if I started talking to any other woman like that, she would completely lose her head.

    Someone once said that people can forget what you told them, but they will never forget how you made them feel. This is the most important thing for me in the photo sessions.

    I assumed that if a woman felt great, the photos would also be fantastic. The time of the photo shoot is the moment when you can be with your body, stroke it, hug it, look at it and thank it for everything it endures every day.

    This is supposed to be a moment when a woman is not for anyone else but herself. She has to feel connected with her erotic body, because her eroticism is in the background on a daily basis.

    KS: Did you feel that the project will have a social body-positive aspect and will be inspiring also for others, not only for the woman being photographed?

    MK: Initially, I planned the project as a business, because don’t believe in the theory that an artist must be poor. However, I quickly realized that it wasn’t the right way to go forward. Unfortunately, when someone paid me for a session, it often turned out that the model found the photos too intimate and forbade me from sharing them in my portfolio and on social media. I realized how important the story of that one woman I helped with the photo shoot was to me, and that the story doesn’t just end there. That is why I have been building an Instagram account from the very beginning, I want to be where people are with this project.

    I have always been deeply rooted in contemporary art, but I did not like the fact that many art initiatives completely ignore the so-called Kowalski and Kowalska [considered to be most common names in Poland – footnote for English speaking reader]. It’s a very hermetic environment, mostly for those who are already interested in modern art. I felt that it did not suit me at all. As a student of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, I taught modern art classes for high school students who were going to apply for the Academy themselves. Very often they asked accurate questions that made me reconsider the canon of art that was instilled in me when, for example, something is overloaded with theory but doesn’t carry emotions understandable for an average person. Hence my need to implement a socially engaged project where people are already present. For example on Instagram. I didn’t want to take a series of photos that would then be shown in a small gallery to people who are not suprised when they see folds of fat. In modern art, it’s normal to shock, so it doesn’t really shock anyone.

    I want to show my photos to people who still think a woman has to look like the ones in a Victoria’s Secret or Playboy ad.

    Maybe thanks to that I will help them see that woman’s body can look very differently and there is no single canon of what is beautiful, and on the other hand, that maybe someone who until now believed that feminism equals “women with armpit hair”, they will see my photos and notice that feminists are beautiful women.

    KS: I observe a trend, for example on TikTok, that girls have boudoir sessions that are probably more like the sessions you talked about at the beginning, which are then given to the husband or partner as a gift in the form of framed photos or an album. This entire session, underwear and styling are a gift for a man, not a woman. Of course, she also probably enjoys it, but she does it with him in mind and at the end records his reaction when he sees her photos for the first time.

    MK: I can only sigh. On one hand, I understand these women because they were brought up just like you and me. We all grew up in a culture where one of the greatest virtues of a woman is how she looks and how others see her. So eventually there will be someone who tells her: You are beautiful to me. Of course assuming that any woman is in a relationship with a person who finds her beautiful, although I also have heard of a situation when a boyfriend admitted he loved her, only to add that he would rate her looks at a maximum of three out of ten points. But even if there is a person in your life who completely accepts what you look like, or even more, is in love and fascinated by your body, we are still convinced that we are beautiful, because someone else who is looking at us, finds us a beautiful person.

    Recently I started listening to Caitlin Moran’s More Than a Woman book, which I am a huge fan of. Moran says that for her the subversive moment was realizing that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Anyone can say that something is beautiful.

    Moran suggests that we have to go a step further – not only to be the “beauty” someone else decides on, but to be the “beholder”, the one who decides what is beautiful. This reminded me of one of my therapy sessions during the first hard lockdown. I’m dealing every day with the topic of body positivity, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have moments when I would like to get the exact same advice from someone else that I often give to others. There was a point when I was starting to feel bad about myself.

    I looked in the mirror and didn’t like what I saw. I shared that with my therapist and admitted that I didn’t know if it was caused by sweatpants I wore every day or that I wasn’t wearing any makeup for quite a while, but I was convinced that such things shouldn’t have an impact on me. The therapist made me think about the myth of Aphrodite. We have the story depicted in numerous artworks: Aphrodite born out of the sea foam, everyone else looking at her and seeing the most beautiful woman in the world.

    My therapist told me that in the original myth when Aphrodite was born, there weren’t any audiences clapping and telling her how beautiful she was. Aphrodite was born in solitary and began to look around and point on the beauty she saw around her. This made her the goddess of beauty.

    Her appearance didn’t matter at all. I combined it immediately with what Caitlin Moran wrote: in the moment you stop focusing on begin an object of beauty for someone else’s gaze and judgement, and put yourself in the position of a judge, you flip the perspective. You no longer have to show these photos to your husband to prove to him you are beautiful. You can have these photos taken for your own sake and tell him: “I think I’m beautiful.”

    KS: Which stories from your photo shoots you remember the most?

    MK: A photo shoot of the woman, who at that point in time, was the oldest woman I have photographed. I was so happy that a woman over 50 is willing to get such photos taken, and more over – she thinks it’s going to be an amazing experience for her.

    I knew that I have in front of me a woman ready for a breakthrough in her life, yet she was still a bit shy and closed off. I have my own way to lead the session. The model is not undressing immediately. First we talk. If I see that the woman is closed off and insecure, I try to ask what she loves about her body, what she likes, which body parts she was always happy about – just to go beyond the too well-known scheme of women reciting what they hate about their bodies. Then I ask what kind of music they would like to hear in the background. This way we can evoke specific emotions without talking about them too much. That woman said: “You know what, Madonna released an album recently. If she can be so sexy, open and happy about her body, and I’m almost her age, then why I can’t be like that as well?.” We put on the latino sounding track from Madonna’s last album and suddenly I saw a transformation of a person who focused on others her whole life, giving them priority before her own needs. She told me that even the experience of going to a lingerie store to buy a bra for our photo shoot was a breakthrough for her, and a first step towards change, as she was wearing mainly bras that were comfortable, not sexy. Throught this sensual dance to Madonna’s music I saw how a strong, confident woman emerges. I later talked to her daughter and she admitted she noticed that change as well.

    KS: Do you see photos similar to yours in German media? In Poland, unfortunately, even if the media uses the slogan “body positivity”, realistic images of the female body do not follow it.

    MK: In Germany, or at least in Berlin, such a thing wouldn’t fly. There is a need to change even among the brands I work with. Unfortunately, it still often comes down to having one plus size person or, as I call it, a curvy model. I don’t like the term plus size, because it means that there is some “size” and the rest of it is “plus”.

    I once read an article on authenticity in the world of marketing and fashion. It explained that this industry will never choose to show authenticity. That the revolution must start elsewhere – among people who will not accept that such a limited selection of body types is portrayed in advertising. Advertisers will always aspire to the unattainable. They are selling dreams. It’s not in their best interest to show you something you don’t have to aspire to. Perhaps this is an element that we can only break down by changing our minds and showing in spaces like Instagram or other social media or even a movie industry the whole spectrum of what a body can look like.

    KS: Apart from the photo shoots you also have a podcast “Boudoir Talk.”

    MK: I’m often labelled as a photographer, and on one hand I’m fine with it, but on the other it’s a simplification. I consider myself an artist, who uses photography to talk about certain issues. But sometimes I user other media as well. Recently I created my own Instagram filter. These filters usually change your appearance, but I made one that doesn’t change the way you look, only adds a flower crown on your head hand drawn by me.

    One of the most important aspects of feminism is for me captured in the phrase “pass the mic”. When I’m taking photos, it’s me pressing the shutter and I can’t escape the fact that it’s world seen through my eyes. I decided that to enter a deeper level of telling other people’s stories I need to quite literally pass the mic and give them space to share their story.

    When I started doing my podcasts, there were not that many similar ways of talking about body positivity. And the conversations at the beginning of my photo shoots were simply phenomenal. Women frm Brazil, Venezuela, USA, Helsinki or anywhere else in the world – each f them had her own story. Unfortunately what was common for us all is the experience of a very opressive culture, that claims you’re never beautiful enough, and in which your boyfriend feels it’s OK to ask when you’re going to get a boob job as your breasts are too small. I wanted these stories to be heard.

    Not all my podcasts are interviews, some of them I recorded on my own. Among them the first one in which I explain the term “boudoir.” It has a very symbolic story. It became popular in the enlightenment period as a term for a special room for the lady of the house. But unfortunately it wasn’t a woman’s equivalent of a gentleman’s office. It was a room where a woman would go and sulk undisturbed, as it’s even part of the word: “bouder” means to sulk or pout in French. Basically men have given women a room where they were supposed to sit in silence when they have their moods. That’s when I decided I’m going to turn it inside out. This boudoir that was meant to silence a woman and become a closed space to pout far from a man, I want to turn into a loudspeaker with which women can talk freely about their issues. Every woman has a place where she can simply shout out what is important for her, what she has learned. That’s the new boudoir and boudoir talk.

    ^

    Written by Katarzyna Seiler, translated to English by Monika Kozub

    Alena featured

    Dear Body – Alena, January 2019

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    Dear Body – Andrea, April 2019

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    20 Best Niche Lingerie & Loungewear Brands – Updated 2022

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    clitoris lips

    50 ways to celebrate all types of love on Valentine’s Day

    Originally sent out as a newsletter - if you would like to get such posts ahead of everyone else, please subscribe to my newsletter on the bottom of the page.I know that Valentine’s Day can be cringy as f*ck!But let me introduce you to the way I...
    Hana sitting and drinking coffee

    Dear Body – Hana, Feb 2019

    From a young age, women are taught to mistrust their self-esteem. There are countless ways that society accomplishes this goal but the main offender is the beauty industry. The message from these images is clear: "You should not love yourself...