While certain brands are feverishly accepting the body-positivity movement with open arms (in a push to appeal to a younger demographic, no doubt), there are still certain companies out there who aren’t quite as eager to associate themselves with the widespread push toward visibility for diverse body types.
Stephanie and Arryn, an engaged couple in Overton, Texas, recently participated in Wolf & Rose Photography’s open call for boudoir shots. The pair took part in a photoshoot with Wolf & Rose photographer Bria Terry, and ended up with some pretty stunning (and sexy) images.
The photos garnered praise when Wolf & Rose shared them to Facebook, and the photoshoot quickly went viral, with over 30,000 likes and 85,000 shares. Commenters lauded the images for their body-positivity, and people were totally infatuated with the love radiating between Stephanie and Arryn.
Bria Terry confirmed that the electric connection in the photos was real. “I’ve honestly never seen two people more in love,” Terry tells BuzzFeed. “The way he looks at her in those photos, that’s an all-the-time thing with him. He treats her like she hung the moon and the stars.”
Unfortunately, the photos proved to be divisive at Stephanie’s workplace. Stephanie says that she ultimately lost her job at Austin Bank Texas N.A. as a result of the viral photoshoot, due to her her bosses’ concerns over the amount of (negative) attention it might bring toward the company.
“(My company) said I was topless and it was inappropriate and we’re a family-oriented company,” Stephanie told BuzzFeed (even though she was wearing a strapless top and bottoms, and the photos were shared on the photographer’s Facebook page, not her own). “There was no defending myself, they had made their decision. I gave over a year to a company that I worked really hard for and then to have them turn on me for doing something so positive, something that I was so proud of — to help myself as a woman — it was hurtful. People were pulling out their phones at work and showing the pictures and that was blamed on me.”
It’s bizarre that the whole thing became so blown out of proportion, considering that this kind of photoshoot isn’t terribly uncommon (and considering the fact that I’ve seen maternity shoots that were more risqué). That this simple act of body-positivity could be seen as offensive in any way is disheartening and problematic.
“It’s just disheartening to me because I feel like home life and work life are two totally different things,” Stephanie adds. “I was a model employee, I was moving up fast. I had a promotion within seven months. This one thing, for me, was the reason I was booted.”