Raw and Empowering Boudoir

We connected with photographers, Smith & Smith, who are creators of the women empowerment community, Cuddle Bunny Coven. They host traveling boudoir pop-ups all around the nation that help women discover and promote positive feelings about their bodies, exactly as they are.  This boudoir shoot is from a recent Cuddle Bunny Coven and features Sasha, whose intention was to love her body unconditionally.

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Cuddle Bunny Coven Manifesto

We understand that self-love is complicated so we don’t presume to tell you how you should feel, look or be.

We are a coven because:

The world has been using our bodies for centuries reducing us to our basic parts that only tell a fraction of our stories.
Because our bodies are used to sell everything from men’s deodorant to car insurance
Because there is so much scrutiny, shame, attention and competition imposed on our bodies that we want to create a safe space to commemorate, communicate & heal.
Because being in our bodies is being connected to our inner world and we are entitled to explore our thoughts, dreams and pleasures.
Because there is a gold mine of experiences under our skin that make us who we are presently.
Because one dimensional binaries are rules we enjoy breaking.
Because loving ourselves is a revolution
started within to protest a world that wants us to believe we are not worthy as is.
Because nothing is more intimate or powerful than vulnerability
Because our skin holds the cosmos underneath
Because we carry our ancestors history
Because our eyes have seen joy and pain and keep seeing
Because our hair hides the story of our greatest pleasures and insecurities
Because my fucking body is never yours
it’s mine to give, to love and to celebrate.

Photographers: Rabbit Hearted Girls, Alicia Diamond & Perry Fish

Model: Sasha

To learn more about The Cuddle Bunny Coven, visit their site and follow them on Instagram at @cuddlebunnycoven 

Casual Boudoir – A Different Take

Boudoir has it’s stereotypes. Hear from a professional boudoir photographer, why you should ignore all of those notions, and make your boudoir session all about you.

By Colleen Bies, Capture Life Moments Photography

Often when I say the word “boudoir”, people start to imagine overly sultry and erotic poses decorated with corsets, garter belts and fishnet tights. OR – they imagine feather boas and pearl necklaces and the overuse of costume jewelry. Well, here is the thing, boudoir does NOT have to be any of this. It’s exactly who you are at your core. If you are a bubbly person and want that light and fun, playful look, then go for it. If not, then choose a different look that appeals to who you are and what you want to project to the world.

I often push the style of “casual boudoir”, because this style is changing the way we see women and the boudoir industry. Casual boudoir is a form of boudoir that involves a less sensual feel to your boudoir photos and session. The word “casual” says it all. Casual can be slipping into a nightgown before bed or sitting at the breakfast nook in your silk pajamas reading a book. I believe in boudoir as a way to empower women of all bodies and all minds. Let’s not allow boudoir to be an object of a partner’s desires, but an object of empowerment and self-confidence.

I believe in this casual and realistic style of boudoir that allows you to enjoy what you are wearing and feel confident in your outfit selections. Casual boudoir is choosing what you love and what you feel comfortable in, not what society thinks you should wear and look like. We’ve all seen lingerie models in magazines, TV and online. These women are beautiful, too. But, the thing is…the standard they help create isn’t realistic.

Casual boudoir is a way for women to wear things that are realistic and functional in their everyday lives. If your every day is coming home and lounging around the house in your underwear with a t-shirt that says #bosslady…then unapologetically throw that on in your boudoir shoot! Let’s get on a mission to make ‘casual boudoir’ the new face of boudoir. Let’s choose functional attire that not only allows us to feel great and look great, but empowers our bodies and minds. This is the future of women empowerment through boudoir.

Colleen Bies is a photographer and owner of Capture Life Moments Photography. Follow her on social media @capturelifemoments

 

It’s Wedding Season, So Wear Your Boas

When you’re in the thick of wedding planning madness, it can be easy to lose sight of what’s important. One bridesmaid shares how she cleared the chaos to focus on the bride.

A sister of the bride shares how she discovered meaning behind the madness.

By Nicole Fallert

It wasn’t until I found myself dancing on an oceanside dock while wearing a pink feather boa that it really hit me: my big sister is getting married.

The distance between my older sister and me is not only geographical (she’s on the east coast, I’m in the midwest), but also generational. My young self was born while she was conquering elementary school. This woman has always been a step ahead in life, and now here I am priming myself for the day she steps down the aisle.

When the planning, bachelorette weekend and wedding day are all about your sibling, how do you find purpose? This has been the biggest battle (second to endless consultations with the tailor) for me ever since I knew I’d be a bridesmaid. A sibling getting married has an inherent quality that’s much heavier than any other person: you have shared parents, childhood, school and dogs with this person.

Despite knowing her my entire life, I feel an overwhelming need to convince the audience at my sister’s wedding that I do in fact, know her very well. In the age when our family FaceTimes on the weekends and pets our dog remotely, it’s difficult to say she and I have shared a lot of memories as adults. The people attending this wedding will know my sister as an adult, whereas my perspective is rooted in American Girl Dolls, popcorn and ballet classes after school.

I’m imagining a membrane, and on one side are the guests who attend weddings to be pleased, expecting there to be no rain and the open bar to never close. On the other side are the guests who provide meaning to the event. This side is where a wedding can be a growth experience. Guests reevaluate themselves through their relationships, other guests and the couple. This space is my destination.

Getting to that point of sensitivity has not been easy, but here are a few ways to celebrate your sibling:

  1. Have a guestbook printed for the couple, featuring photos of them and creative writing prompts for attendees to answer during the event. For example, “In 25 years, (insert names) will be…”
  2. Allow your sibling to describe their ideal wedding day to you. This way you clearly understand their expectations.
  3. Curate a getting ready playlist for your sibling. This extra effort will make them feel appreciated and excited.
  4. Do what you know. Use the talents you already have to make the couple feel special. For example, if you can sing, then do so at the rehearsal dinner or if you really like fashion, give them a special gift.
  5. Toasts can feel daunting and vulnerable, but it’s important to show rather than tell why you care about the couple. Don’t take up time apologizing for your bad speech, which is a common habit. Rather, share an anecdote with your sibling and their spouse, funny or sad, that reflects your relationship with them.

I’m becoming increasingly aware of how steps like these can provide success and happiness of another person. I have a lot of energy that is propelling me toward that special space on the other side of the membrane.

This membrane is permeable. Toasting and holding bouquets is easier to make meaningful when it’s also fun. For all siblings of brides and grooms, younger and older, the wedding day can be your moment too. If you make your sibling shine, so will you. Abandoning self-consciousness, be thankful for the day and perhaps wear a boa.

Nicole Fallert is a digital marketing intern at Burgundy Fox. Follow her on social media @nflrt6789.

Movemeant Foundation

At the core of Burgundy Fox are two main principles: celebration and empowerment. My journey towards finding self-love has come in peaks and valleys. Throughout the highs and lows, I can distinctly recall the times when I felt my strongest. Whether it was the summer I went from loathing to loving running and logging 30 miles a week, or the year I transitioned my career into a brand new industry as an early startup employee, I felt the most confident when I pushed myself against my ‘edge’. These two instances are completely distinct and yet related. There is a undeniable connection between mind and body, when one is inspired and working at optimal levels, the other follows suit–I believe this mind-body alignment is key to empowerment. You cannot have an empowered body without an empowered mind, and you cannot have an empowered mind without having the utmost love and respect for your body.  Burgundy Fox’s mission is not only about celebrating all bodies, but working towards empowering women and girls mentally and emotionally. Because this is so central to our  mission, we decided to allocate a portion of profit to organizations that share the same goal. For every box delivered, we donate 10% of proceeds.

Thanks to you, we are able to make a sizable donation our first month into operation. I searched for non-profits with a mission I believed would resonate with the Burgundy Fox community, and I was thrilled to find Movemeant Foundation. Immediately, their mission spoke to me:

We believe that every body is meant to move and that through movement, we can enable women and girls to find self-confidence, self-esteem and positive body image that leads to physical, emotional and mental well being for the rest of her life.

Movemeant offers body-positive, self-confidence building tools, resources and experiences where fitness and physical movement is the gateway to her feeling powerful in the skin she’s in–including curriculum in underserved public middle schools, scholarships to partake in athletic programs, and events that draw attention to physical movement as it correlates to mental and emotional health, such as Dare to Bare, the nation’s largest body-positive fitness festival, which takes place in San Francisco and New York.

This is exactly the type of program I wish had been available when I was approaching my teen years. With 2 immigrant raised parents working overtime, both the budget and time for me to participate in sports or have an open dialogue around body confidence wasn’t available. Growing up, I saw both my sisters experience their own unique struggles with accepting their physical appearance in a world with a binary view of beauty–being exposed to an alternate view in a peer environment, could have changed a lot. Active in 10 public schools, Movemeant’s middle school program facilitates smart, body-positive curriculum that fosters discoverability of the many ways our bodies can move.  With a focus on the most formative years of a girl’s life, their curriculum addresses the critical need for emotional, social and physical development for girls, with topics ranging from social media’s impact on beauty ideals to body diversity and genetics. Discussions occur in a casual environment, with an overlay of creative, contemporary physical programming, such as hip hop dance, cheer dance, yoga, zumba—even kickboxing.  Their curriculum results in greater self-confidence, the birth of teamwork and community, and a cultural shift of dialogue around beauty ideals.

You can learn more about Movemeant Foundation at Movemeant.org and register to attend or volunteer at their upcoming Dare to Bare in San Francisco on May 20, 2017 here.  I’ll be volunteering myself, I hope to see you there!


About the Author

One time (11) copyLeslie Wong is the Founder of Burgundy Fox, a subscription lingerie brand on a mission to celebrate all bodies and empower women to love themselves. Burgundy Fox strives to create a more inclusive shopping experience and a kinder message about beauty for women now and in the future.