I've never liked being in front of a camera.
For most of my life, all my photos taken were either selfies or set up with a tripod and a timer.
My first few memories of having my photo taken was at the ICA building where I was berated for having a fringe so long it covered my eyebrows.
It was a terrible experience.
My shoulders were lopsided and apparently so was my eyes and my face was too square.
I think the combination of my mother shouting at me and frantically arranging my hair combined with the photographer giving me looks of disdain marred my experience of being in front of a camera forever.
I prefer being behind it. And having control.
Rather than to be in front of it and losing everything.
I have a newfound respect for models, especially so after dabbling in the lingerie business because it is one thing for me to post selfies of myself in a bralette and to have to pose in front of a camera with your body in view.
It's also a completely different thing to take mirror selfies with awkward poses and grainy resolutions and to pose for legit (or semi legit) photos that are supposed to look effortless and elegant.
And today, I realised how truly difficult it was.
With our model on vacation and unavailable on such short notice, I had no choice but to put myself in front of the camera for the new launch on Wednesday. #obc
Which frankly, almost drove me nuts.
Firstly, I can't even pose for OOTDs without cringing the fuck out.
And secondly, I don't have your typical hot model body.
Which makes me so insecure, I feel like finding a hole to hide in.
The last time I tried doing a photoshoot with @chenshiqi, we almost cringed to death and drowned in laughter.
Plus, the only way we could get decent shots was to zoom the heck into the bralettes so it omitted all our uh. Fatty parts.
So much for always pushing for body positivity when I can't even look at myself in the mirror and not cringe.
So this time round, I decided to do it on my own.
Daniel has tried being my photographer but even tho he's seen my body multiple times, I still feel awkward having to do those modelly poses in front of him and I think he feels awkward having to hold the camera and ordering me to shift/tilt/bend a certain way.
So for the sakes of our sanity, I decided to seek companionship in my mirror, a tripod and my trustee ol camera.
Just me, myself and I. Learning to love again.
I'm going to share some of the photos I've taken and you can take it as a sneak peek for the new launch coming up.
But more importantly, I want to share about the things I've realised through this short (and amateur attempt) at being a lingerie model.
The 6 things I've learnt trying to be a lingerie model
You may think you know your body inside out, but you don't.
I never knew my body could look like that, until I stood in front of a mirror and contorted it a thousand different ways.
Apparently, when you convince yourself to stand taller, with your shoulders straightened and your chest pushed forward, you can actually look decent.
More decent than you think you could look.
Pop your hips slightly to the left and you might even…look sexy?
I never thought my body could look this way, until I began to search for a beauty I never knew existed.
It hid behind the comfort of postures I knew and adopted as habits. Bad postures that took my beauty and tossed it into the far end of the closet.
But once I explored the way my body looks when you stand differently and move differently, I discovered a new body that I never thought could exist.
It's ok to trust no one.
I couldn't let my husband take photos of me because I felt guilty and ashamed that I wasn't professional or naturally beautiful enough to get into all the poses on the first try.
And I think that's ok.
It's ok to feel uncomfortable around others and it's ok to want to search for your own beauty completely alone.
The first 3 products took me almost 4 hours to shoot (alone btw and I got amateur looking shots).
Most of that time was spent contorting my body into weird positions and looking at myself in the mirror. And the rest was spent sighing in frustration and cooling off the awkward sweat I had managed to produce even while alone.
I was so uncomfortable in my own body, I was awkward being alone, in front of the mirror. Looking at myself.
Sometimes what you feel and how you look are two completely different things altogether.
I used to think I look best with my shoukders slightly hunched and my arms held tightly to my body.
And then when posing for photos, someone told me that putting your hands away from your body helps it look slimmer.
So I think for a long time after that, I assumed this possible of having alien arms that were lifted slightly away from my body and just…dangling there.
So ridiculous looking every single time, yet I proceeded to do it again and again.
During the staged photoshoot, I did that too. Until I looked in the mirror I set behind my camera and went HOLY SHIT. I look retarded man.
Most of the default positions I chose to pose in made me look really bad. My tummy was protruding, my shoulders were really really hunched and my tits looked like they were making out with my tummy.
However, it's magical how just by shifting the way your stand by a tiny bit.
By arching your back and straightening your spine.
You can look completely different.
What you think makes you look great, doesn't always do.
And I think it stems from how we don't look at ourselves enough.
Sure, we might be a narccisistic generation with all the selfies and the ootds, but are you looking close enough?
Especially for the girls who find it difficult to love your own body, have you seen it enough to decide what exactly you don't like?
Because I think if you look close enough, you might find that there are more reasons to love, than to hate.
I realised I was really uncomfortable with how I looked.
Because I felt nauseous after the shoot and ended up having to vomit.
And it made me realise how self conscious I was of my own body. That I was stiff, and completely high strung during the shoot, which was done with myself.
I was stressed out, looking at my own body, even tho I was completely alone.
What kind of messed up am I?
I don't think I relaxed my body for a single second during the time I spent with myself in front of the mirror.
Which is why I was so stressed I ended up activating my gastric, the nausea and the vomitting.
Which made me realise how ridiculous that was.
I was so afraid of my body that I couldn't bear to look at it and take pictures of it?
That's really kind of…sad isn't it?
I spend so much time trying to build a brand that promotes body positivity.
And I can't look at myself and model my own products without having to throw up afterwards.
So I'm thankful that this pushed me over the edge and helped me realise how much I was afraid of my own body.
I always knew I didn't love it completely, but today I saw clearly, just how much more I need to move in the direction of accepting my own body.
I developed a suspicion that no one magically looks this good.
You can have the body of a supermodel and still feel tiny and small inside.
There I was, alone in my room, and still feeling self conscious as heck.
What more the models who do this for a living and have their bodies scrutinized by multiple sets of eyes?
I begin to develop a theory that humans are hard wired to feel insecure, and that everyone feels uncomfortable in their skin to some extent.
That this burn I feel on my cheeks and the discomfort that rides in my belly. This feeling I get while trying to pretend to be a lingerie model?
Everyone feels it.
Some day, some how, some where.
Everyone has their moments.
And it reminds me to be kinder with my words, and more generous with my compliments.
Ending off this list with my favourite picture of the lot.
I know it shows my butt and I know there's a little line there which shows where my fats fold, but this is my favourite picture.
It says a lot considering how I never wear underwear that sits on my hip. And I am really self conscious about my tummy.
I love this photo because I was convinced that I could not take any decent photos of this itsy bitsy underwear. (But I did!)
And also because of that line.
That crease on my body.
That little fold that reminds me that I am not the typical lingerie model and that
I don't have to be.
I don't have to be anyone else, but me.
I was looking through poses online before I started the shoot and I tried to burn them into my memory.
Both hands over the head, with legs slightly parted.
Hips tilted to the right with one finger twirling a strand of hair.
Finger on the bottom lip and a hand tucked under the bosom.
I hoped that by assuming these positions, I would morph into someone worthy of being in front of the camera.
That I would become someone else.
But it didn't happen.
With frustration and alot of stretching, bending and simply waving my hands around.
I found poses that worked for me.
Maybe I didn't want to be someone else afterall.
And hopefully, with a little bit of help and a lot more time spent in front of the mirror,
I'd be happy looking exactly like myself.
Even so, with these 6 things, I'm hesitant about putting these up here and admitting to to all these things that make me feel…vulnerable?
Which is why I'm posting this late at night and hoping I don't change my mind.
So scary to be so open, but so…weirdly liberating too?
Why am I so afraid to post these photos?
It's morning now, but I remember how sleep found me with much difficulty last night. And I remember looking at the thumbnail images of myself in lingerie and going…
Is this too much?
And I realised maybe I can add a number 7 to this post.
Society expects you to behave a certain way, look a certain way and speak a certain way.
But very frankly, screw that.
What was I afraid of?
The people who would see the photos and go
"Eeyer, like that also want to be lingerie model"
"Showing off her boobs again 🙄"
"Can I report this post for indecency?"
To be honest, lingerie has always been a shady topic for alot of women.
Even if it shows as much as a bathing suit and isn't intentionally modelled to look provocatively sexy, there's always this stigma about showing your body in it.
The number of collabs that I've been rejected for just because we're a lingerie brand and because "I don't want to talk about my knickers on a public platform" are astounding.
Yes, it's a personal choice, but it's also mine to share about it.
And you don't know how much courage and self acceptance it takes to post such photos.
So before you whisper behind someone's back or leave a distasteful comment, remember that we open up a part of ourselves to share these.
So please be kind.
And to the girls who choose to share their bodies with others, be it through try ons, OOTDs, motds or just selfies,
Remember that you are not what they say you are.
I've been called really weird and nasty names after starting this business. And some have taken to taking my photos and reposting them with the intention of hurting me.
But please remember that you are more than that.
Am I feminist? Do I think that we should all strip off our clothes and show off our bodies?
Do I think it's a must to do so in order to prove that we are comfortable in our own skin?
No. Not at all.
I believe you can do whatever the hell you want and you should do whatever the hell you want.
If you think the best way to worship your body is in private and for the ones you love, do it.
If you are comfortable enough to share pictures of it, clothed, unclothed, openly, anonymously, do it.
If that makes me a feminist, anti-feminist or just human, then so be it.
You do what you want to do, and if someone tells you no, you do it anyway.
As the night draws to a close, I'd just like to say thanks for reading this and for leaving comments!
It seems you girls need no reminder to be generous with compliments and kind with words 🙂
I just wanted to end off this post by sappily saying that while I have not met most of you in real life, the snippets you guys share give me glimpses into your character and beauty.
If you have scars, whether from life, or from yourself, I hope you'll find a way to see it as beautiful way in which your body has decided to heal itself.
If you have imperfections, I hope you'll be able to see them as the universe's way of making sure you're easily identified and that you're different from everyone else.