Barbies of Dream Boudoir Toronto

The other day when I was scrolling through social media, I came across this beautiful write up which I am sharing with you here with permission from the woman who wrote it:

“I’ve seen a few men on this platform (social media) criticize the Barbie craze or admit they’re ready for it to go away.  So, let me tell you a story.

In my early 30s, I went to the apartment (for the first time) of a man I was dating.  He had a giant Death Star replica, a Luke Skywalker and a Darth Vader figurine. He was an adult man with toys visible and on display in his home. He wasn’t ashamed or apologetic. His friends thought it was cool.  I thought it was odd but didn’t question it (imagine if a new guy/love interest showed up to a 30, 40 or 50-something woman’s home to find Barbie, Ken, Growing Up Skipper and Midge displayed on a shelf). That’s because it’s acceptable for men to acknowledge their childhood.  It’s acceptable for men to have toys.

Heck, right now, my 70-something dad has a man cave full of model airplanes, a life-sized Batman and a Darth Vader. I think there is a Superman, too.

Girls and women, however, are societally expected to outgrow and move on from our toys. We’re expected to shift our focus from baby dolls to human babies and from Barbie dolls to being real-life Barbies for our boyfriends and husbands. We are expected to mother baby humans and become the dolls we once dressed up while managing critiques of our body sizes, shapes, careers, makeup and wardrobe choices.

I loved Barbie.  I mean, I loved Barbie! But by my teenage years, my collection of Barbies was gathered up and passed on to a younger cousin simply because it was time for me to move on from childish things. But I never stopped loving Barbie.

In fact, I still get excited to see and even visit at stores the Holiday Barbie and all her finery when she comes out each year. I’d have a house full of Barbies if I could.

And why can’t I?

Well…

Women are expected to leave behind our childhoods, that essence of who we were, that time of innocence, imagination and wonder. We are expected to leave behind play and playtime.

We’re not really even allowed hobbies except for those that center around home and family.

This is not the case for men. It’s acceptable to hang on to everything from video games to action figures to bike riding. I feel like every guy I ever dated in Austin would spend hours getting muddy on a mountain bike each week.

For so many of us, Barbie is the toy we had to give up along with our girlhood, our childhood. We not only miss her, we miss the girl inside each of us who still loves her and all she represented to us.  Barbie could be anything and there was a time we believed we could be, too, before life, societal pressures, reality and patriarchy stepped in, hit us over the head with a pink 2X4, took away our toys, made us grow up and told us it was all our fault anyway.”   ~Rachel E.

 

In the enchanting world of photography, there’s a studio, YOUR studio, that celebrates femininity like no other in the bustling heart of Toronto: Dream Boudoir Photography has become synonymous with redefining boudoir and women’s portrait photography. My team and I are dedicated to creating a safe and supportive space for women to explore their femininity, bask in their beauty, and celebrate their uniqueness. We believe that every woman deserves to feel empowered, and our photography sessions aim to do just that!

I’m Alishba, the owner and photographer at Dream Boudoir Photography, where I affectionately call my clients as “DreamGirls.”I n this blog post, I will take you on a captivating journey, showcasing a collection of dreamy photos that fit the flirty and the girl inside us all that we have been reminded of by the latest Barbie movie, a symbol of empowerment, and ever-changing feminine strength.

Unveiling DreamGirls: Redefining Boudoir Photography

At Dream Boudoir Photography, each Dream Girl is treated like a work of art, capturing your elegance and grace through the lens of the camera. The studio has earned a stellar reputation for creating a comfortable, safe, and supportive environment where women can explore and express their femininity freely.

The term “DreamGirls” affectionately refers to the clients of the studio, as you embark on a transformative experience. The photography sessions are much more than just pictures; they are an ode to self-love and self-expression. DreamGirls often opt for themes that resonate with their innermost desires, and even before the Barbie movie came about, the studio has witnessed a trend of clients embracing the magic of PINK! in boudoir photography.

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Barbie: From male fantasy to the Icon of Empowerment

Barbie, the iconic doll from Mattel, has been more than just a toy. She’s a symbol of empowerment, resilience, and limitless possibilities. But that was not always the case — Barbie was always a certain body and skin type that played on the male fantasy and the Western male view of “perfection.” And then things changed — for decades, Barbie has been inspiring girls and women worldwide to dream big and break through societal stereotypes. The recent Barbie movie beautifully captured the essence of this message, reigniting the spark of imagination in DreamGirls.

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Embracing Barbie-Inspired Boudoir Photography

The fable of Barbie has always been seen the Dream Boudoir Photography studios subconsciously. My DreamGirls have been the muse to celebrate the essence of femininity. In feminine and flirty sets and colors, what looks like Barbie-inspired boudoir photography, they have always embarked on a journey to embrace the vibrant colors of life, the sense of adventure, and the empowerment of having been through the journey of womanhood.

Let’s take a look at this unique boudoir and women’s portrait photography I’ve created in studios in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area!

1. The Dreamy Pastels

You can draw inspiration from Barbie’s signature color palette and we can incorporate mesmerizing pastels into our shoots. From soft blush pinks to dreamy sky blues and elegant creamy whites, these colors accentuated the grace and charm of our DreamGirls, making each shot an enchanting masterpiece. Soft pastels exuded a delicate and dreamy aura which we can also put in a badass contrast.

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2. Confidence and Elegance

In the Barbie movie, the protagonist portrays confidence and elegance effortlessly. These qualities are beautifully captured during the boudoir sessions. Our DreamGirls are posed in graceful, poised stances that reflected the strength and resilience they carry within themselves while they’re kissed by the softest light to show off the glow of self-love and independence.

As your photographer, my goal is to make you feel like the most empowered version of herself, capturing your pride and inner strength in every frame.

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3. Embracing Diversity

Just like Barbie dolls now come in various shapes, sizes, and ethnicities, at Dream Boudoir Photography in Toronto and internationally, I celebrate diversity everyday! As being a woman of color myself, among other things, I understand the importance of representation. Every woman, regardless of her appearance, abilities, or background, deserves to feel beautiful and empowered, just like the diverse range of Barbie dolls inspire. I have photographed women who are entirely hearing impaired (we conducted the whole pre-session planning and the actual session via written words on our screen), visually impaired (a beautiful mother and business owner trusted me her vision of beautiful photographs with her prosthetic eye), all relationship statuses (I once photographed a lovely girl who had her right broken right before Valentine’s day and we decided to do the session for her on Valentine’s day to redefine the day and I have photographed women in all statuses that come between married, divorced, widowed, poly, you name it!) all shapes, and all ethnicities. It has truly been a real source of joy for me to see these women celebrate the artwork of their bodies in their homes!

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4. The Sense of Adventure

Barbie is known for her exciting adventures and limitless imagination. To emulate that sense of adventure, I have destination photography sessions as well! We can also do local special shoots as well: Be it on a motorcycle or on the beach or both! These shoots invite you all to step into a world of imagination and self-discovery, allowing you to indulge in the thrill of exploring new facets of your personalities.

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40th birthday bride bridal women boudoir photography in toronto pink color blush angel wings dream boudoir fable kissed provocateur

Closing Thoughts

As the proud owner of Dream Boudoir Photography, seeing my DreamGirls embrace their inner Barbie has been nothing short of magical. We have found a beautiful muse in the Barbie movie. At Dream Boudoir Photography, these remarkable women have embarked on a journey of self-discovery and self-expression. The connection between DreamGirls and the iconic Barbie reflects the strength and empowerment that come from embracing one’s uniqueness. Dream Boudoir photography goes beyond the surface, diving deep into the core of a person’s soul, and capturing the essence of who they truly are.

As the camera continues to click and the shutter captures timeless moments of grace and femininity, DreamGirls will continue to inspire countless women worldwide to embrace their inner Barbie and embark on a journey of self-love and empowerment. Through Barbie-inspired boudoir and women’s portrait photography, I aim to empower and inspire women throughout Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area to embrace their femininity, cherish their uniqueness, and celebrate their boundless dreams.

Thank you for joining me on this captivating journey, and remember, you are beautiful, powerful, and deserving of all the dreams you hold dear. Until we meet again, stay inspired and continue shining bright!

P.S. More of a darker theme woman? Well, stay tuned for the next feature on this blog 😉

$200 off your session fee if you

BOOK YOUR PHONE CONSULT TODAY!



Here’s how to handle a Valentine’s day break up

AMANDA

 

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Victoria’s Secret Inspired Angel Wings Photoshoot in Toronto – Why I Offer These Sessions

It’s quite simple:

In and of itself, these Victoria’s Secret inspired angel wings are an example of beautiful and expensive craftsmanship. On their own, they are just majestic ostrich feather luxury prop items that spark curiosity and wonder.

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However, when a woman wears these and has her photos taken in these, one or both of the following might happen:

Feeling your own powerful existence

We had a very special session in the studio recently where a lovely woman came to us to cure her heartbreak. She called to book the session because she was feeling hurt and betrayed. Once we treated her with extra TLC, gave her an experience she would never forget, and presented her with her beautiful photos, she broke down in tears feeling recharged and healed.

She saw herself stand tall, powerful, and was able to appreciate her true reflection which was temporarily obscured by the feeling of hurt and sadness.

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She’s looks like a phoenix rising from the ashes!

She brought the full force of her personality to this angel wings boudoir photoshoot and that made these feathers come to life.

Realizing you are as beautiful as you always wanted to be

A mom of toddler twins and a 6 month old was in the studio this week for the angel wings boudoir photoshoot I offer in Toronto. She told me she had never, ever liked full-body shots of herself. But when she saw her photos after the session, 80% of the images she ordered were full body shots! If a pair of these wings is what it takes to make you see your own beauty, then all my investment is worth seeing the smile on your face. Remember, it’s not because of the wings that you are beautiful. It’s because of you the wings come together in the picture.

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So, really, this is not so much about the fact that Dream Boudoir Photography owns a pair of one-of-a-kind wings. It’s about you being a Dream Boudoir Photography DREAMGIRL who makes these inanimate come ALIVE.

The pride of my photography and my studio is not these wings. The pride of my photography is being honored with the trust women like you put in me to capture you — and I cannot wait for you to grace these wings with the gift of being photographed on you.

See you in the studio xo

 


Secret to women’s health? A Girls Trip, Says Science

Guy drama, the time commitment children take, high-pressure jobs, and overall exhausting demands of the world that we live in — the cure to all of it is to take some time out for yourself. There is nothing better than a change of scenery with a group of women who know how to have a grand old time!

So right now is the best time to grab your girls and start planning an epic and luxurious girl’s trip! And to top it all off, all of this is confirmed by science!

Here are the top 5 reasons how a girls’ trip can improve women’s health:

Your Sanity Depends on It

According to research, when you spending time in friendly social settings increases your oxytocin production. Oxytocin is called the “love” hormone because of which we feel good and joyous every time we are with our loved ones. This increase in oxytocin strengthens all of your relationships and is also responsible for reduced pain (like forgetting the traumatic labour and birth pain the second we hold our babies!). Spend more quality time with your girls, get super healthy — what a great deal!

Stopping yourself from creating close friendships is actually bad for your health:

When we lack meaningful interpersonal interaction and relationships, it affects our health as bas as having ¾ of a pack of cigarettes. DAILY. Holy! This was revealed in a study conducted by Harvard researchers!

Consider it Self-Care because your girls will protect your heart. LITERALLY!

You might be making time to do yoga a few nights a week or giving yourself pedicures with Netflix on Sunday nights is your jam. Whatever self-care ritual might be your calling, it is equally important to spend meaningful and close time with girls who get you!

The same Harvard study states this in no uncertain terms that spending caring and happy time with a close circle has shown improving health all around, “for example, they’ve found that it helps relieve harmful levels of stress, which can adversely affect coronary arteries, gut function, insulin regulation, and the immune system. Another line of research suggests that caring behaviors trigger the release of stress-reducing hormones.”
A healthy heart and a happy gut — let’s go grab that wine on the coastal Santorini, girlfriend!

Your girls know you best


No matter how lovely your romantic relationship is with an amazing partner who really seems to “get” you, the understanding and insight that comes from a group of women who have lived experiences you can relate to has a deep, irreplaceable value. Especially if it’s friends you have a long history with, it means you can be 100% yourself with them and never have to worry about being judged or rejected. The feeling is purely amazing.

It’s hard to make out time to hangout with your girls but you will have no regrets

We all wish we had more than 24 hours in a day, so it is understandable how daunting of a task it may seem to getaway for a girls’ trip. But it’s not impossible! Pop a mini vacay in your goals for the year, maybe plan a special night one week to hit the best restaurant, go out for ice-cream and pizza like your used to in high school! Or even host a little potluck at your apartment. All the minor details of how to do it will disappear and everything will fall into place once you are committed to taking out time to plan new adventures and taste new wines with the very best of the girls group there ever was!

What’s more? We have taken away all the planning off your hands anyway! All you need to do is grab your tickets, pack your bags, hop on the plane, and meet us in SANTORINI!

Yup, you read it right.

This September, all my Dream Boudoir girls are off to Santorini, Greece for a luxury GLAM VACATION like no other! Check out the details here and let’s enjoy the very best of what the Island has to offer us!

Boudoir Photography Can Heal Sexual Trauma

One of the biggest reasons I am such a strong advocate of women taking ownership of their sexuality is my own #MeToo experiences.

TW: Sexual assault, trauma

I was 9

My friends and I were waiting outside our all girls Catholic school in Pakistan for the school bus to take us home when this man showed up on a bike, whipped out his dick, masturbated in front of us, and left the scene. He returned several times over the next few years. None of us reported to our teachers because we knew we would be blamed for a. knowing what a penis is and b. looking (without wanting to) long enough to know what he was doing. We knew we’d be blamed before we even knew what victim blaming was.

I was 13

I went shopping with my mom for Eid in Pakistan during the last few days of Ramadan (although I’m an atheist, Eid is a family celebration) when this guy groped me. My mother went ballistic and shortly the mob had taken over to teach him a lesson. I still didn’t know what consent was.

I was 15

A classmate confided how her 17 year old sister had to be given “medication” (read, drugs) a month into her marriage because she was afraid and not ready to have sex — but her family and his family thought it was necessary to consummate the marriage so they sedated her so her husband can have sex with her (read, rape her).

I was 17

I in the doctor’s office in Pakistan for my medical evaluation for my student visa to Canada because I had just secured a full ride scholarship to a private boarding school (United World Colleges) when this doctor draws the curtain asking my mother to wait on the opposite side while he takes my shirt off, asks me to lie down on the table, and fondles me while heaving for a good two minutes saying he needed to check for any lumps. Mind you, I was 17 with no familial or personal history indicating any kind of cancer in my family. The doctor was a Canadian-embassy-appointed panel physician.

Checking for breast lumps was not a Canadian embassy requirement for visa application. My mother knew something happened, might even have seen some of it, and I was quiet the rest of the way home but we didn’t say anything to each other or to any authorities lest it jeopardizes my visa application without which I would not be able to afford the same standard of education because I came from a family with extremely limited resources. Interesting fact, though, I was asked by the Canadian visa officer about a month later when I went for my final interview how come my parents were allowing me to travel across the world alone at 17 when in my “culture” that’s unheard of. I had to stop myself from rolling my eyes and simply answered that both my parents are elementary school teachers and they understand the importance of education.

I did get my visa, btw, though it was almost a week delayed from when I had to be on campus.

I was 19

I went to a party on my college campus in Indiana. It was the first semester of my freshman year. We were a couple of months in. The soccer team captain had been staring at me in the cafeteria the past few weeks but I ignored it. That night, at the party, I had one too many beers. I remember briefly dancing with him at the party but the party ended abruptly due to loud noise complaints. Since most of us were underage, there was a bit of chaos as everyone tried to rush out of the premises and back to their dorms. I remember the senior soccer team captain escorting me back to the dorm since his room was in the same hallway as mine.

The next thing I remember, trying to get his heavy and muscular body off my naked body and muttering my Nos to him. He ignores and turns me around and proceeds to rape me. My dorm building was a newer one so it had suites with semi-private bathrooms. Each bathroom was connecting two rooms. His fellow athlete from the other room enters his room through the bathroom door, sees what’s happening with me feebly trying to fight him off, laughs and says, “**** (his name), you asshole.” Turns around and walks off. I see an opportunity and turn around and summon all my strength to say, “I don’t like you, I do not want to have sex with you.” He stares at me in disbelief, says, “you don’t like me? Fine. Get your stuff and leave.” He turns around and pretends he’s fallen asleep. I grab my dress from the floor which I don’t remember taking off, put it on hastily, grab one earring I was wearing but couldn’t find the other one, grab my boots and my underwear in my hands and dash out of the door back to my room where I call my best friend over to tell her what had just happened while I tried to soothe a few bruises I had sustained on my inner thighs. The next morning, a friend of his meets me in the coffee shop and talks me down about his slutty I was on the dance floor and that I started dancing with him when I had never even spoken to him before. I pretty much lost my shit and lectured him on slut-shaming.

I didn’t go to the school or any authorities to report because I had no idea what it would mean for me, my family back in Pakistan, and where to even begin asking for help. I didn’t go open with this story until a couple of years ago.

I was 21

I was in Chicago for the night because I had an early morning flight to Pakistan for summer break leaving from Chicago O’hare. I put up a status on my Facebook before leaving for Chicago that I’ll be coming over and if there’s any friends out there who would like to hangout. A friend who I’d known since we were 14 (because my first date ever was a best friend of his), messages back that he’s moved to Chicago and would love to meet up. He also hooks me up with a good deal at an airport hotel where a cousin of his was a manager. I feel excited that I’ll get to see him after almost 4 years. He generously offers me a ride from the bus stop when I get to Chicago. His cousin comes along too. We all go for dinner and drinks. The next thing I remember, I’m naked in bed with an awful, awful headache and nausea while two men are all over me, one fiddling with a condom. I stand up abruptly. I push them off and pull all the covers on me while my head is still throbbing. I demand an explanation and I tell them I will call 911 and report them which will get them deported. They start crying and begging how they come from poor families and it took their entire family’s savings for them to come to the US to go to a community college.

I was in pain, confused, and realized I have a plane to catch in 8 hours. I asked them to leave the hotel room. I lock the room as soon as they leave. I stumble into the bathroom and see 3 used condoms in the trash can.

I felt disgusting and ashamed. I rip almost an entire roll of toilet paper to throw on top of the trash can to hide the condoms and I proceed to take a long shower. I call a close friend and tell her what happened. I called another friend on the way to the airport to tell what happened. Both of them asked me to report it right away but all I wanted to do was leave Chicago, get on that plane, and run to my mother. I text the guys where they confessed and “apologized” about raping me. I figured I will show this to the police. 30 minutes later they text saying I consented and they didn’t rape me. I was furious. I just got on the plane, never spoke to them again, and was gone from the US for another 3 months. Only after coming back I started looking into sexual assault survivors and the what to dos for reporting — I didn’t know you shouldn’t shower. I didn’t know I had a non-police route of doing a rape kit and having my testimony on record and deciding later what I wanted to do with it. I didn’t know. And I was not a dumb or stupid girl. I was a scholarship holder top of my class student — I was ridden with self-doubt in that moment.

I was 24

And newly in what’s now my current loving relationship when a family friend decides to pin me against the wall while Ali had gone to the bathroom, and tries to feel me up while I have my hands up in the air and demanding him to clear off. There were people in the house including his own wife and while a couple of them said, “****, stop being an asshole” while laughing (btw, why always this sentence?!), no one did anything in the moment. I ultimately had to touch him to push him off and his reply, “aren’t you an atheist?” He was later on reprimanded by the family and profusely apologized. But despite reluctantly forgiving him, I haven’t forgotten this and it has since left a kind of bad taste whenever I do interact with the said person — although he has never, ever crossed a line with anyone that I know of since that day. I am not defending but merely explaining how things can be complicated and repeated interactions doesn’t mean the wrongs were corrected.

And none of this is counting casual sexisms, cat calling, and other instances.

THIS is why I believe YOU.

And THIS is why I continue to fight for women and their empowerment and their liberation.

THIS is why we must raise better men.

THIS is why we must speak out.

THIS is why we should be the kind of parents children can share this with knowing that we will believe them.

THIS is why we need real life Olivia Bensons.

THIS is why we must keep fighting.

THIS is why when Trump mocked Dr. Ford, he mocked ALL WOMEN, EVERYWHERE.

This is why we must fight.

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