A few days ago, I received an inquiry from a potential client interested in scheduling a boudoir session. She was hesitant when I brought up what kind of products I offer (albums and wall art among them), responding, "Well...I just don't want my kids coming across this someday once I'm dead!"
She laughed after saying this, maybe realizing how it sounded. The biggest worry on her kids' minds when she passed wouldn't be the shocking discovery that their mother was a human with a life and an identity that wasn't centered around packing lunches and wiping noses. In fact, I think finding an album of images of their mother looking and feeling confident and beautiful would be an amazing treasure to find in such a dark period.
Imagine you lost your grandmother--the woman who baked you cookies, taught you to play the piano, sewed clothes for your dolls, told outrageous stories at holidays. A woman you always looked up to, loved, and admired, a truly gentle and kind soul. You're grieving the loss in your family, going through her personal belongings, and you come across a dusty album from 50 years ago filled with...pin-up photos of your grandmother??She's grinning cheekily, rocking a corset, channeling her inner Marilyn with red lipstick and a pair of killer heels. She's young, she's happy, and you're seeing a side of her you hadn't before.
Are you suddenly disgusted by your grandmother? No! That's absolutely crazy! Beyond early childhood, kids eventually become aware that their parents and grandparents have lives and personas that are their own. They existed before the children came along, and have interests and hobbies separate from parenthood. And that's totally okay! In fact, it's healthy for children to recognize that they aren't the end all-be all of their parents' existence. Your kids know you have a butt--it isn't going to kill them if they see a photo of it someday.
In that spirit, I also think it's incredibly healthy for women to have images of themselves around the house, photos of just them. This not only reinforces the concept of a mother being a person unto herself, but also promotes an environment of self-love and acceptance. It's enormously beneficial for children, particularly daughters, to see their mothers show grace and love to their bodies and beings. Every day, young girls and women are flooded by images in the media of what a woman is "supposed" to look like. One of the best possible ways to combat that is to demonstrate authentic and genuine self love at home.
Of course, I'm not saying all your boudoir images belong in front of the whole family...some are just for you, or to be shared with your partner. That's what makes them special! But the truth is, there are far worse things for your kids to come across than a healthy and loving expression of who you are. Of all the things that might hold you back, your children discovering you had the audacity to love yourself shouldn't be one of them.