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Boudoir After Trauma

photo of girl wearing black bra and panties by TK Boudoir

Ashley here, and this blog post is a pretty vulnerable, personal one. Discovering the transformative power of boudoir after trauma was the catalyst that changed my entire life. I want to share it because my story is exactly like the hundreds that we hear in the studio, but we just don’t talk about this stuff in society. I think you’ll feel pretty seen today, and you might just realize that a boudoir session could also be exactly what you need to heal yourself, too.

photo of girl wearing cream off the shoulder sweater and green thong by TK Boudoir

The 90s and early 2000s society really messed with my head

I was born in 1985. That means my formative years were filled with:

Howard Stern asking Anna Nicole Smith to step on a scale and talking about how fat she was.
Tyra Banks telling a very healthy woman that she was the only plus size model there.
Joan Rivers having a show that was literally designed to make fun of what people wore.
Simon Cowell commenting on female singers’ bodies.
Jessica Simpson’s mom jeans being the epitome of “disgusting.”
…and so much more.

We’ve been told for decades that we’re not pretty enough, not skinny enough, not smart enough, not rich enough…

Just. Not. Enough.

So in 2016 when my marriage blew up in my face, I clung to that core belief. I am not enough. And for months, I did everything I could to save my marriage, but the reality is that it wasn’t savable because I was the only one still fighting. So I filed for divorce.

What do I really want, and how do I get there?

During and after the divorce, I spent a lot of time with my therapist dismantling the beliefs that were no longer serving me and trying to figure out the type of life I wanted to live moving forward.

A life of peace. So simple but so difficult to obtain. And my life at the time was complete and utter chaos.

At the time, I truly believed that my value to a relationship was entirely based on sex, and seeing that society drilled into me that I wasn’t good enough, I also despised my physical body. I wanted to feel desirable by men, but I’m not the pretty girl. I was losing the most basic battle with myself, repeatedly, on a daily basis.

I did not love me. And if I didn’t love me, how the heck was anyone else supposed to love me? And the better question…how could I ever love someone else the way they deserved to be loved?

My therapist recommended what?!

So my therapist recommended that I try out a boudoir session. Apparently boudoir after trauma has some pretty transformative power. Being a photographer myself, I called up and booked a session with one of my friends, and I ordered some lingerie. I tried some of it on, felt super uncomfortable, and almost cancelled about 25 times. I even showed up the day of the session with wet hair, asked her to dry it and put extensions in, and I was the hot mess client that nobody wants. I’m telling you…it was a disaster.

Except once the session started, my friend poured love into me. She showed me that yes, my body, too, looks beautiful through her camera. She helped me reclaim my body as something that is MINE, not just for a man’s pleasure. She was gentle with me. She took her time and created beautiful portraits that I will always treasure. She helped me rescue myself from the grips of society and the beliefs that weren’t even mine to begin with.

She gave me the gift of confidence, and I hadn’t even seen the photos yet.

Boudoir after trauma was the catalyst that changed my entire life

I met my husband a few days later. And I don’t even recognize the person I was the day I walked into the studio. I’ve never been so full of joy and peace. I can honestly tell you that not only do I know exactly what I bring to the table outside of my body, but the people in my life are blessed by me healing the brokenness that I allowed society to shape me into. I’m able to show up in ways for them that would have NEVER been possible ten years ago.

I never would have gotten here if it weren’t for the gift of confidence I received that day. I needed the forced vulnerability to create the deep connections I longed for and the peace I sought.

We all do.

photo of girl wearing green panties and ivory off the shoulder sweater by TK Boudoir

Boudoir is special, and it’s a full circle moment for me to come back to the place that gave me so much, even if I didn’t realize it at the time. My boudoir after trauma experience changed everything for the better, and I would love to pass this gift along to you, too.

If this resonates with you at all, dm me on insta @tk.boudoir. Let’s talk about it. You don’t have to live like I was living for another day.


TK Boudoir is a luxury boudoir studio with locations in St Louis, MO & Denver, Colorado for all women seeking to rediscover their beauty, just as they are.

Ready to rediscover your beauty, just the way you are?

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