.in the flesh.

~ note ~
Although we all love boobs, some of you may be at work. At the end of this post is a set of nude photos that may not be conducive to your current environment.
~ end note ~

There was a time, in what seems now like the distant past, that I thought of my body in parts and pieces. As segregated fractions to a whole and complete unit. “If you could change one part of your body what would it be?” As teenagers, we contemplated and speculated. Thighs, hips, ass, breasts, arms. We seemed to long for things we could not change as opposed to what we could.

We were taught and told that attaining a perfect figure was more important than becoming a kind and generous person – a person with strength and dreams, a person with incredible communication skills and compassion. We were taught to fit in, through an invisible construct created by someone else for us. I distinctly remember the day I chose not to follow this regime, but it did not make it go away. Instead it taught me how to fight it, how to rise above it, and how to make it my mission to liberate others from it.

I’ve had pretty much the same body shape and size, give or take muscle mass and pubic hair, since I was 16. I recall the time as a young lady I started to show the potential of growing breasts. I was thrilled, as in my mind this was how one became a woman. I begged my mom to get me some bras. Bras that I by no means needed yet and would, funnily enough, never really need. I asked her innocently if there was a cream or something I could rub on them to make them grow. You see I really wanted some. She looked at me as one would when you have to dash a bit of magic from one’s life – like telling them there is no Easter Bunny.

“Oh, honey, no. But more than a mouthful is a waste anyway.”

It took me a long time to truly move past the desire for something I didn’t have and so many other women did. Strangely, I was and am attracted to women with small breasts. I find them cute and lovely and fitting to the body, but could not see this in myself. In this day and age when altering your body is so readily available and almost encouraged, it would be a lie to say I have not entertained the idea of breast implants before. More than once even. Just a slice, a sliver, you know – some under-boob! But that’s where it stopped for me, at entertaining the thought. Never really wanting or needing the action. (I am not against them for the right reasons; I just know it’s not right for me.)

In my insecure moments of my early burlesque career, when I would proudly drop my bra and show my chest for all to see, it felt lackluster. To me. Never to them. They would and do applaud; cheering ecstatically. It is a triumph to expose oneself to strangers, friends and lovers. To yourself even. It’s something I have come to adore in myself instead of fear or dismiss. It was a lengthy process to look at why I had the desire (making myself into someone else’s idea of what was beautiful) to the acceptance and love (embracing my own beauty and ideals) to come to the place I am now.

Beneath my chest, right below my breasts, through layers of tissue and bone; is my heart. The place I feel, think and radiate out from. The place I make all my decisions from. The place I embrace acceptance from, not only for myself but for everyone I encounter.

Lifting my head, rolling my shoulders back and shining my chest to the sky – I am illuminated. On stage when I am finally naked, in an act of courage, art and exposure, I face my audience with joy. Letting them see my heart, my soul and my breasts. I give them everything, and between their clapping hands and glorious smiles they hold me up in reverence.

It is because of them, that I have found freedom. I have the humblest gratitude for this journey we have taken together, unifying the pieces of my body and making it whole.

Last week I was thrilled to do a photo shoot with Rick Legal. (www.ricklegal.com ~ www.ricklegal.tumblr.com). We shot full nude in natural light at Little Miss Risk’s and my home – aptly named “Haus of Boudoir”. I do a lot of nude modeling for life-drawing sessions, spend hours upon hours at the nude beach, and clearly burlesque is my business. But shooting nude is another beast. You have to trust the photographer and open a dialogue about style and representation. Not all shooters are the same; I have encountered and shot with the other kind. But this time, I felt strong and completely comfortable to be shot this way.

Rick is very talented, kind and adoring of the human form. I have admired his work for the last year and was excited when he asked me to shoot. It helps that we both have a similar esthetic – dark, strong, moody and edgy. Below are some of shots we did. I was happy to bare my chest, heart and breasts for him, his camera, my neighbors (lucky them) and the world.

Art inspiring art inspiring art.

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35 Comments

  1. Just… omigosh… Lola. These photos. Your heart. Your light. Your entire self. Just… I’m moved. Truly.

  2. Wow girl.

    You just moved me to tears and reminded me of how thankful I am to have finally broken free from society’s beauty standards.

    Thank you for being a constant inspiration. You’re one of the most stunning and radiant women I know.

    xoxoxo

    1. Lola, I adore you. I have from the moment I met you. You are luscious and bold and truly unique. I get that 😉 I’ve been going through my own personal battle with self image and fear of judgment again. I feel as though I’ve “lost my edge” This, has been a gentle and loving reminder that I am, and will be, ok. Much love darling. xoxo.

  3. Tricep dips and syncro swimming toe point. Absolutely beautiful.
    Ironically not 10 minutes ago I was things the same about my own body (and breasts). And you know what? After 31 years I love them. Just as they are meant to be.
    xoxo

  4. Thanks u sweet princess Lola. As a woman your words really resonated but also I know of a man friend of mine who would really enjoy reading this blog at this particular time. Thank u from the bottom of my heart for sharing…

  5. Powerful words and amazing photographs, something we can all take a lesson from, and I know I will take many of these words to heart when thinking of my own body issues. Thank you.

      1. Definitely working on figuring out how to do that, and strengthening my resolve with it all. We all need reminders and encouragement, and you’re doing a wonderful job of that!

  6. I find it most interesting (and I am a man) that so many of us are interested in that empty space between masses (small or big it makes no difference) which is how I defined cleavage. I observe that small breast cleavage is the most subtle and beautiful.

  7. What an incredibly honest and pure post! You are absolutely perfect Ms. Frost. I wouldn’t change a damn thing about you, the innovator and never imitator of the Burlesque scene. Your heart is as beautiful as your sensuous and poetic outer shell you Sassy Siren of the North. New York City will always love you! ❤

  8. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your true words and inner strength. Your acceptance and courage emboldens others when we need it.

  9. The sexiest people are the ones that exude confidence… and the ones that are comfortable in their own skin… this is certainly you lovely lady. I enjoy reading you as much as I enjoy looking at you ❤

  10. Beautiful Lola, my 13 year old daughter is long a lithe, and like you, has small breasts. And most likely will forever. The other girls in her grade 8 class tease her. One day she announced that she liked her thin strong body and small breasts very much. She was lambasted by her peers for two reasons. One, NOBODY would EVER want small breasts, and two, you are not allowed to like your body, you stuck up bitch.
    My daughter was furious, but as a 13 year old, very permeable.

    So I brought her here. To show her a powerful, sexual woman. To show her your perfectly perfect breasts.

    Thank you to you for showing up in the world the way you do. Thank you to Rick Legal for taking photos that reveal, that subjectify, that empower the viewer as much as the model.

    PS my daughter felt so vindicated, free to love her body without impunity. She sat more upright. She said you are strong and beautiful. ‘She looks like me’.

    1. That age is such a hard one and girls can be so cruel. It will change, as you and I both know. Your daughter shows a courage and strength to walk her own path and that is beautifully hopeful. I was called all sorts of things, including a boy. I love my body, what it can do and how it looks, but it was a journey – I know he will prevail, she has you to guide her!
      Thanks for reading!
      xoxo

  11. Well Miss Lola,

    As an admirer of every single ounce of you with or without your clothes on, thank you for your powerful words!
    Hearing so many comments as a teen growing up about my petite breasts, I chose to love myself just the way I was.
    I still look at myself in the mirror after 7 years of nursing my gorgeous children and age creeping upon me, feeling ferociously beautiful and sexy.

    Reading your thoughts, knowing how truly sexy you are makes me hold my head higher.
    Love ya girl!

    1. You’re amazing! Thank you for your kind words and insight into your own feelings and reflections. We can spend time hating it, or embracing it. I choose the latter. xoxo

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