The 5 Things My Vagina and I learnt from our First Ever Lingerie Shoot

Yesterday, I did my first ever full-on lingerie shoot. I have obviously worn swimwear and the odd underwear set on jobs, but a lingerie client has never booked me to represent their brand. This has not been a source of great consternation to me because, as I’ve already alluded to, I haven’t always had the greatest body confidence and so standing next to a bunch of lingerie models on a casting is possibly the biggest downer in the world.

11th Victoria's Secret Fashion Show - RunwayOh, piss off…

So I rarely attend the castings. Lingerie models are basically created in a laboratory and churned out – all 32C-24-34 of them. Cellulite, stretch marks, thigh fat – none of these things appear to ever blight them.

mensundiesI think my WordPress is messing up or something, cos it keeps showing a picture of hunky men in their underpants – sorry guys.

Well anyway, I got booked to shoot for Made By Niki and OMG I LOVED it! After a week of praying to the God of natural and magic liposuction to make me wake up magically thinner (I just kept getting ‘out of office’ replies), I actually felt really sexy, confident and surprised at myself that I had it in me.

That’s not to say that I didn’t learn a few things along the way, mainly through abject shame and a sore vaginal area. Let me share with you this hard-earned wisdom…

1) I would like to shake the hand of Joseph Pilates

pilatesI’m kind of like a combination of all 3 of these characters.

I can’t say I went hardcore dieting for the week before the shoot like I should have, because that would be a lie. I managed no dairy, wheat or white stuff (sugar, flour) for about 3 days before (when I suddenly realised the shoot was in 3 days, basically). I also made a vat of Modeltypeface’s chicken soup to keep me satisfied but not put on the pounds.

Any time I needed a bit of spurring on, I looked at a picture of the model I’d be standing next to in my smalls – the ridiculously toned and beautiful Katia Elizarova, and I put the Pom Bears down. Mostly.

Katia Elizarova for Made by Niki LookBook (Fall-Winter 2013) photo shootKatia in more Made by Niki designs

Lastly, I ramped up the exercise – more running (I am lying = wheezy, flat footed jogging) and LOADS of Barre and reformer Pilates at the Klinik. Pilates is amazing for toning you. My stomach was as flat as it’s ever gonna be and feeling lighter yet strong gave me real confidence on the shoot.

2) Turn up with an open mind

I turned up saying, “I don’t do see-through, I don’t do little thong-y stuff, I don’t want to do this or that.” I wouldn’t normally be so negative, but I suppose it was more nerves than anything. Poor Niki was very respectful and said I wouldn’t have to do anything I wasn’t comfortable with, but I could see that I was messing up her shoot.

However, I put on this outfit:

mbn1smlThe slippers were obviously replaced with heels for the actual shot!

And I felt so sexy and amazing that I didn’t care about my list of no-nos afterwards! Niki’s lingerie is empowering and confidence-boosting and I loved the shoot and the team so much that I just felt cool with all my looks in the end.

mbn2I also want this dress so much! Felt like a Goddess.

If I hadn’t wanted to wear anything, I wouldn’t have. But I went with what I was happy with, and found my boundaries to be a bit less stringent than I initially thought. So my advice is to have an idea of what your limits are, and go with what you’re happy with on the actual shoot (don’t feel afraid to stick to your guns).

4) Pose like you’re Miranda, Doutzen and Alessandra all in one

victoriassecretNot that I am remotely comparing myself to these ladies, who have probably never touch a Pom Bear in their life…

Because even if you feel a bit exposed or, frankly, a bit fat when standing by your insanely hot co-model, when you pose with confidence you look amazing.

mbnpolaroidA picture of a Polaroid by the photographer James Burton

4) Get it all waxed off

Ok, I get bikini waxes. I mean, full on practically Brazilian ones. But I am not really keen on the ‘cold plucked chicken’ look and favour more of a:

grasstriangleApparently it’s called a ‘hippy at the front, porn star underneath’ which is a bit cringe.

I’m not saying I’m a…

bigbush

…But I’m also not a…

tinybush

…So anyway, one of the outfits had a knicker bit at the front that was SOOOOOO low. Like….SOOOOOOOOOOOOO low. I put it on, praying for the best…but the prayer was in vain. This meant that I had to have this conversation with Niki, the make up artist and Katia:

“Can you see my pubes? You can, can’t you…”

“Yes.”

It then meant I had to have this conversation with the whole team, “Anyone got a razor?”

Then one of the guys walks over and says, “You know, it might be harder to retouch if you shave. So maybe we should just shoot then airbrush…ummm…as…is.”

“I am not having someone retouch out my pubes! I’m sorry but that is my limit! William?” I asked the make up artist, “Do you have any tweezers?”

So basically, I am telling you to go get it all off, because the pain of molten wax on the entirety of your lady garden is nothing in comparison to having to ask a team of people if they can see your pubes whilst you try and maintain a facade of straight-faced dignity. And it reeeeeeally is nothing compared to the pain of running to the toilet and desperately plucking out as much hair as you can manage in 2 minutes.

And walking back out and asking, as your vagina is scrutinised by 8 people, “That ok?”

5) In fact, just abandon all shame

Because it’s entirely possible that, when doing the back ‘bum sticking out’ shot, the stylist may call you to the side and whoosh you round the corner. You may say, panickedly, “Was my vagina showing? Oh my God it was wasn’t it!” And the stylist will likely reply “Well…and your tampon string.”

The end.

cattamponRebecca x

Made By Niki’s stuff is absolutely gorgeous and it’s available here. You can follow her Instagram and Twitter
My beautiful co-model is Katia Elizarova. Here’s her IMG site, her Instagram, her Twitter and her Facebook page
James Burton was the photographer, and here’s his site and Instagram.
The hair stylist was Adele Sanderson
The makeup artist was William A Casey
And here’s my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter



10 Comments

  1. C. A wrote:

    between the cat playing with a tampon and you’re bush pics and description this post is perfection! You know how i feel about bushes… I like some roses on them lol.. but with that said you looked amazing and should be proud of your first ever strip down! hopefully not the last, xxxxx C

  2. modeltypeface wrote:

    I think this is the start of a beautiful new part of my career Caroline!

    If you like flower strewn lady gardens, check out Kate Moss’s in one of my favourite shoots ever!

    http://www.bohomoth.com/2013/01/29/revisiting-kate-mosss-flower-strewn-and-fragrant-lady-garden-for-love-no-9-nsfw/

  3. hartje wrote:

    Yay to pilates and confidence! Great article with some good advice and a healthy and SO important dose of humor!(For my first swimwear fotoshoot another model -who was then 22 and i was 19, so i thought her way more professional and experienced, and yes of course way hotter than me- told me she’d take laxatives before a lingerie shoot. So the day before my shoot i went to a pharmacy and bought laxatives, telling the pharmacist they were for my grandmother while avoiding eye contact. The package said “take 1 tablet at bedtime, so i took three! What followed was a day of the worst stomach cramps i ever experienced, and me running to the toilet after every shot to not ruin the $300 bikini bottoms!)

  4. modeltypeface wrote:

    Oh my GOD!!!! What an awful story – I’d never recommend laxitives as weight loss! So glad I’m not the only one with embarrassing stories…Once I did a shoot in Egypt – white swimsuits – OBVIOUSLY I got a bad tummy. Where was there to go? We were in the desert! Not even a bush to hide behind! I had to just run as far as I could to feel slightly out of sight/sound from the crew every ten minutes….SEXY! Thanks for (over)sharing, it really is nice to know I’m not alone!

  5. Adele wrote:

    Great article Rebecca – I was looking forward to your recount of the tweezer debacle! x

  6. L.R wrote:

    Interesting read. However I am a little disheartened by the advice that having hot wax poured on the entirety of your ‘lady garden’ is peferable to the embarrassment of some professional people seeing something that is natural, and can be easily airbrushed out later. What is it about even a small amount of pubic hair that is so abhorrent? I feel that it is attitudes like this that perpetuate the myth that women must altur their bodies in order to conform to societies standards of ‘normality’.

  7. Katia wrote:

    Hysterical!! It reads more fun, then on the day. Met be we were a little tired, or may be you are just a fantastic writer! Rebecca, I love your articles! Kxx

  8. Katia wrote:

    By the way, I think you are an amazing underwear model. Have no idea why you never wanted to do it before! Kx

  9. modeltypeface wrote:

    Thanks everyone! Glad to have entertained!

    LR: seeing as I go for more of a ‘natural look’ it’s obvious I’m not anti-pubes but as a professional lingerie model, one expected to look a certain way. I was more self-conscious at not doing my job properly than anything else.

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