In the old mill

Posted at 21:56 on 1 Dec 2011 by Pandora / Blake

Tags: art nude, Body positivity, featured photos, Photos, shoot writeups

I recently travelled up to Manchester to shoot with the lovely Phil Mairs in a fantastic studio located in an old industrial mill building. We had great fun exploring some evocative art nude (he wanted a sort of "abandoned" feel to them - oh no! As I'm sure you can imagine, I didn't like that idea one bit) and even some spanking-themed photos.

I'm still a bit shy about doing this sort of photographic modelling at the moment. Although I'm a bit happier with my body now than I was earlier this year since I started working out a bit more intensely and improving my strength, my body seems determined to stay a size 12-14 without resorting to unhealthy starvation tactics - which, sorry, no - and I do still struggle with the idea that I should be more slender than that.¹ My current plan is simply to carry on getting fitter and trust that as long as I'm healthy and strong, over time I'll learn to accept whatever shape I end up. Improving my upper body strength is proving very satisfying in itself, so it's not all foolish vanity!

Anyway, Phil was great to work with and very affirming, and although I felt a bit nervous and out of practice I really enjoyed the shoot. The resulting photos included some beautifully atmospheric images which I liked very much, and with his permission I wanted to share some of them with you:

1. I confide this sort of thing because I think it's important to talk about it. This stuff affects everyone. Porn performers can have poor body image; thin people struggle with this. People you think are attractive can still have poor body image. Please be gentle with me about this topic. Several people have left well-meaning comments telling me effectively to shut up and stop fussing. If it were that easy, if there were a switch I could flick, I promise you I would have by now. I know you mean well but the result is that I'm feeling told off, dismissed, and it's making me very reluctant to talk about this in future. I know I'm being irrational; in many ways I have great self-image and a lot of self-love, and it varies from day to day. But my ongoing struggles, where they exist, are real and it's not possible for me to just turn them off because you tell me to.

I try to be upfront about body image issues because I think it's a systemic problem and it's worth talking about. If you want to help, don't tell me to shut up and stop whining: fight body fascism where you encounter it. Buy porn starring fat performers. Complain to advertisers, TV and film producers who only use skinny models and actors. Support people fighting for body diversity in our media.

Okay, rant over. Thanks for the compliments. I know you mean well.

Comments

Well i like you just the way you are so hush!! Not very eloquent i know, but true....

Amazing photos, some of the best I ever remember you posting, beautiful all.

Paandora,

Beautiful simply Beautiful!!!!!!!!!:)

Be Safe,
Bryan

You have THAT figure and you are dissatisfied? You should be spanked ;-)

A good counsellor or life coach could help. I had a similar problem and had councilling was the best thing - it took a couple of attempts to find the right one, but towards the end we were using shamanistic magic to dispel a negative state of mind and replace it with a postive one.

It can change your perception of yourself, giving you the tools to manage (and change) what you are unhappy with and not get overwhelmed or upset.

Counselling does not mean that you are weak or flawed. It means that you are experiencing pain, and taking steps to remedy it and you move from a painful place to a much better one.

All I can say is I've been there, done it and it worked and I recommend it to anyone who has self esteem/body issues.

Sandy:

A good counsellor or life coach could help. I had a similar problem and had councilling was the best thing – it took a couple of attempts to find the right one, but towards the end we were using shamanistic magic to dispel a negative state of mind and replace it with a postive one.

Interestingly enough, a major feature of my first year with Pandora was using NLP & magical work to help her with body image and eating issues. It worked; but as with any significant mental issue, recovery carries on, every day, rather than stopping once 'achieved'.

Pandora:
Proud of you for talking so frankly about it, beloved <3

Regularly :)

Sandy:

A good counsellor or life coach could help. I had a similar problem and had councilling was the best thing – it took a couple of attempts to find the right one, but towards the end we were using shamanistic magic to dispel a negative state of mind and replace it with a postive one.

Interestingly enough, a major feature of my first year with Pandora was using NLP & magical work to help her with body image and eating issues. It worked; but as with any significant mental issue, recovery carries on, every day, rather than stopping once 'achieved'.

Pandora:
Proud of you for talking so frankly about it, beloved <3

Quai,

Thank you for this post and the vulnerability and therefore the trust you have shown us as your readers/audience. I also struggle with body image issues even though I don't model and I'm a man. So I can certainly relate. The dilemma that arises out of revealing this is that those who support you and care for you offer reassurances that you are not sure you can trust because you know they want to support you. I find that for me, knowing that strangers with no stake in my feelings finding me attractive is the most reassuring, yet I feel weak somehow for wanting something external to myself that I can't control.

Of course you know I'm someone who cares about you, but I'll give my honest opinion anyway. I find you quite beautiful the way you are. And I'm not talking about the deeper internal beauty which you certainly possess. I'm just talking about your physical aesthetics. You're a person that I have trouble looking away from, because you match my tastes almost exactly.

Now having said both of those paragraphs, I hope you find your way to loving your aesthetic as well. It sounds like you're on the path to doing that and I'm happy to support that in any way I can.

Best Regards,
Quai

Sandy:

A good counsellor or life coach could help. I had a similar problem and had councilling was the best thing – it took a couple of attempts to find the right one, but towards the end we were using shamanistic magic to dispel a negative state of mind and replace it with a postive one.

Interestingly enough, a major feature of my first year with Pandora was using NLP & magical work to help her with body image and eating issues. It worked; but as with any significant mental issue, recovery carries on, every day, rather than stopping once 'achieved'.

Pandora:
Proud of you for talking so frankly about it, beloved <3

I can definitely relate to your feelings, Pandora! I've got a preference for small, round bottoms, slim figures and slender legs. But my own figure is different. My hips are much broader than my waist, my bottom is bigger and not really round and (like many women) I'm suffering from cellulitis on my legs. The thing is, I could starve myself to death and it wouldn't change a thing about my waist to hip ratio or the cellulitis.

For me the key is to stay true to myself, in several ways. First, I don't deny my own preferences and I don't try to change them forcibly. They are there and I think that's okay. When I'm taking pictures or making clips, I try to present myself in a position that makes my body look beautiful in my own eyes and a light that reduces the visibility of the cellulitis, because I feel sexier then. And in my opinion there is nothing wrong with that, either, especially because the pictures make me feel good about my body.

At the same time I try to take good care of my body (without obsessing about the parts I'm not so happy with) and to feel happy the way I am. And I am aware that others have very different preferences. Ludwig, for example, likes my waist to hip ratio and he doesn't care about the cellulitis at all. For him, I am beautiful the way I am, and it is wonderful to know that.

That said, I really like your new pictures, especially the first and the second one. In the first picture the light makes your skin shimmer almost golden and your bottom looks great! And the second picture is very beautifully composed indeed! The knee socks are sweet and the look in your eyes is stunning as always. :-)

If it helps, I think you're beautiful. If it doesn't help, I still think so but won't bother you with it.

You are beautiful, did you know that?

*blush* Thankyou, that's very kind.

I know from editing many photographs of myself which were produced/directed by me that I don't always photograph well. It's a real treat to work with a photographer who gets flattering results first time.

Cheers hon :)

Thankyou! I do pure photographic modelling very rarely these days, but when I do I always remember how much I enjoy it. Even better when I like the results :)

You have delightful curves!
Fred

Cheers hon :)

Thankyou! I do pure photographic modelling very rarely these days, but when I do I always remember how much I enjoy it. Even better when I like the results :)

Lovely Pandora, you look in superb shape, Anna Gx

Thankyou! I do pure photographic modelling very rarely these days, but when I do I always remember how much I enjoy it. Even better when I like the results :)

Absolutely beautiful. The photography and You especially. I am over 60; as I age I have become more appreciative of the mature female body. Maybe others prefer skinny teenagers. I'll take the mature. Personal preference, would have like to see a nude by Phil Mairs of you from the front. YOU ARE LOVELY!

When I wrote the "you're beautiful" comment, I hadn't read your text :-) Only when you added the footnote did I read what you wrote.

I think you're the Robert Crumb-woman type (as in http://keishahuxtable.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/adam-and-eve_crumb-1.jpg). If I would have to think of an adjective for you I think it would be "daunting".

Whenever I look at a woman, I consider what it would be like to live with her. It's a weird habit, me being married with children and everything. Still, I have this habit. In your case I think it would be physical bliss. Psychologically it would be more complicated though, maybe.

Ah yes, and I like your colored socks a lot!

you have fantastic body stop doing yourself down about body size .love your work btw xx ps sorry to nag

I'll repeat what I said the last time you posted nudes - you have the sort of body favoured by Renaissance painters such as Titian. It still looks great on the Venus of Urbino, and it still looks great on you.

Looking at this comment again, I can see how it looks like one of those 'stop whining' comments. I'm sorry, that wasn't my intention. I meant to reinforce your own positivity. But I can see that this might come across in the same way as telling a depressive to pull themselves together, and I'm sorry for that.

I love this photo series. Beautiful and imaginative, thank you for sharing!

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