Boudoir Party Fundraiser
"Don't be a lady. Be a legend." - Stevie Nicks
In January, I was blessed to be asked to volunteer my time and talent to a fundraiser in support of raising money for women (and their families) dealing with breast cancer. Given that my work is all about women; their bodies, their struggles, their strength, and their power, the project was in perfect alignment with my professional and personal values! I said yes, and am so grateful to have been a part of such a magical day filled with glamorous makeup, rolling around in sheets, belly laughs, and complete utter liberation of the female body. REAL bodies. In all of its shapes, sizes, colours, ages, and "imperfections". We spent sunrise to sunset loving our badass beautiful female bods.
I like to get you feeling good while you read this blog, so if you have a body (that likely includes you), go look in the mirror, check yourself out, and shout to yourself "f*ck yes, I love you", before reading on.
I thought this project would be best expressed by the mastermind and organizer; country singer, realtor, smokin' hot bombshell, and now my friend, Cathy Korpi. Following are her comments on the event and what it means to be involved.
I have been involved in Fundraising for the Kelly Shires Breast Cancer foundation for 10 years now. They raise money to make available to women and men who are fighting breast cancer and who have a financial need they could not otherwise meet.
The foundations biggest fund raiser is an all women Snow Mobile Run held every February in Huntsville. To ride you must raise a minimum amount of money. This foundation is close to my heart because as a young girl I watched my maternal grandmother battle breast cancer and although it was never outright talked about I always knew there was a financial struggle. There is so much not covered by OHIP and in my Nanny’s case, she just went without a lot because that was the only choice she had. I sing professionally so one year I ran a concert fundraiser with an auction and it was a great success.
Then I decided I would look for something else creative to do. I have always been about empowerment, regardless of gender, but especially for women and I believe that our society has sent out idealized and inaccurate messages of what a beautiful woman looks like and when I look in the mirror and around me, I realize almost nobody measures up to the that image that advertising creates.
I believe that any woman regardless of size, shape or colour who owns who she is and accepts her body is beautiful, but I still looked in the mirror and saw all the things about myself that I didn’t like. I could encourage others and truly mean it but would be so hard on myself. I decided that I would do something that would help women see that they are fierce, gorgeous and deserving of self love …...and the love of those around them, not for how they looked but for stepping out of their comfort zone and saying…”this is me…..take it or leave it”.
I decided to host a Boudoir Photo Shoot and to my amazement, I had a photographer and hair and make-up artists jump on board and volunteer their time and talent. I have now done this 3 years in a row and each time, the benefits have been incredible. I raised the money I was aiming for to support the foundation but what was the most humbling and incredible to me was the reaction of the women who participated. From 19 to 70 years old, every size, shape, colour and background….women jumped in. Some excitedly and some with a friend dragging them, but watching them go into the studio with hair and makeup done and seeing how excited they were I was filled with joy. However, watching them come out of the studio after the shoot and seeing the transformations that had happened in some of their hearts and minds truly humbled me. Some of them brought me to tears!
One gal who was carrying baby weight came out saying that she had forgotten how beautiful her body was even with all the extra curves and that she hardly ever let her boyfriend see her naked with the lights on. She said she could not wait to show him the pictures and she couldn’t wait to “leave the lights on” if you know what I mean. Another gal who never wore makeup and was a very quiet shy person came out like a lioness! She said she had never felt so empowered and had never known that side of her existed.
I could go on forever with stories, but I will end by saying that these women honoured my fundraising efforts by participating and then honoured themselves by allowing it to affect them the way it did. That inspired me personally because like many women out there, I carry a very big load in life that had me neglecting certain parts of myself and beating myself up way too much! I came out of my shoot feeling like maybe I wasn’t as “old and ugly” as I had been feeling…..and reminding myself that I had to be as encouraging and uplifting of ME as I seem to have no problem being of other women around me.
I was looking at my pictures with a friend who couldn’t make it to the shoot, and it caught me off guard but also made my heart soar when she commented that the pictures looked exactly like me except that maybe my makeup was a little darker than I wear every day and I realized…..that version of me I see in the photo’s, the one I think is all “glammed up” is actually the woman people see when they look at me and I found personal encouragement and grace in something that I started as a way to raise money and raise other women up. I have had other ladies who attended share similar stories with me.
I hope to keep doing this every year to continue raising money and raising the hearts and minds of those who attend!
- Cathy Korpi
You can find out more about the fundraiser at http://www.kellyshiresfoundation.org
To get in touch about booking a mini boudoir session for the foundation, please touch base with Cathy Korpi about the next availability in January of 2019. There is also a Facebook group HERE where you can connect with women who have experienced the event!
For ANYONE reading this who may be going through changes in their body, please take the time to get in touch with me so we can spend some time celebrating all that you are. I am always always happy to meet for coffee and girl talk.
Love, Light, & Gratitude,