Miss S

I meet Sarita at a talent-training day, where I photograph the new talents headshots for the agency. We clicked straight away and had some amazing conversations about bodies, sex and self –confidence. Sarita also has an amazing business as a Somatic Sex Educator.

A few weeks after the training, I asked Sarita if she would be interested in a photography session with me and be willing to share her experience with you all. So we got together to have this session and below is her experience.

Why did you initially want to shoot with me?
Well I try to be naked as often as possible, because I feel like the more I see my body, the less judgemental will be about it. Sort of like systematic desensitisation! So a boudoir shoot is a great opportunity to do that. And because I knew you a bit already, I knew you would make me feel comfortable and safe. I have been hesitant to do these shoots before because there is always that worry of, “Is this person going to make me feel good about myself, or am I going to come away in tears?” No matter how confident you are in your own body, it can still be a horrible experience if it’s not done with the right person.

What was the best part?
How casual and easy it was! I was a bit shy at first but after a while I didn’t even feel like I was naked, which is great!

How has it changed you?
I am definitely more confident in front of a camera now. I have my own lingerie blog but since I take the pictures myself, it’s a very different feel. Giving that power to someone else was scary at first but when I warmed up a bit I just sat back and let myself be the star of the show (which I don’t often like doing) but it felt divine.

Would you do it again?
F**k yes! I would love to do an outdoors one someday!

What’s your favourite part of you?
I want to say my face – because it the best tool I have for expressing my emotions, but I’m going to go with my ass. My whole life I have envied thin girls who had no hips or butt and then suddenly having a big butt became ‘trendy’! So for all those years of feeling like having a big butt was a bad thing, I’m going to make up for it now by loving my jiggly ass.

Biggest insecurity?
I feel like this is a bit cliché, but definitely my belly. Our culture has such a fascination with flat stomachs, and it’s just not realistic for everyone. So I try to be naked often and let my belly be round, because let’s face it, I love rice and pasta way too much to give it up for the sake of other people’s standards of beauty. Also check out those paintings of women in the Mughal times, or Greek statues of women – they all have a little round belly and they rock it.

Quote/Mantra you live by?
Question everything.

What’s your biggest body or self love struggle and how do you combat it?
Because I’m a short curvy girl, and I don’t always associate with being a ‘girl’ in the traditional sense, I struggle with the fact that my body doesn’t always match up to how I want to look: androgynous, tomboy, queer. There’s this idea that androgyny has to be tall and lanky and thin. I resent that, so I combat it by creating my own way of looking, dressing, and holding myself. You can convey and lot through attitude.

What does positive body image and self-love meant to you?
Positive body image for me means allowing yourself to be whatever it is you want to be, while making sure you let other people be whatever THEY want to be too. Self-love goes hand in hand with making sure you don’t bring someone else down at the same time. Everyone is different, everyone is beautiful.

Is there anything else you would like to share?
Ideals of beauty and attractiveness come and go with time. You may or may not fit into whatever is currently the ‘in thing’. And it’s exhausting always trying to keep up. So instead of trying to meet that standard, find what you love about yourself, and be unashamedly you.