When she walked into the photography studio, the light was just right, her favorite music was playing and Fiona Hu felt powerful. The boudoir experience she booked represented a shift in her energy. One she truly needed.
Managing a cancer diagnosis and heartbreak left Fiona feeling like she needed a healing experience. She was drawn to boudoir photography and, when researching with a friend, found Boudoir by Nomi.
“There’s a certain energy that comes off her photos,” Fiona says. “I love seeing her work pop up in my Instagram feed. I love the diversity. There are people that look like me and people who don’t. She showcases the beauty in every body.”
Immediately connecting with Nomi on the phone, Fiona felt comfortable the moment she walked into the studio. From getting her hair and makeup done to vibing with Nomi about outfit choices, Fiona felt like she was with family. And it was important to her that these new friends understood what was going on with her body.
When Fiona was diagnosed with tongue cancer three years ago, a squamous cell carcinoma, it had spread to her lymph nodes leaving her with a feeding tube. Part of the appeal of a boudoir shoot was showing her full self.
“Having the feeding tube is the most clear sign that something is going on with my body,” Fiona says. “I’ve always tried to be honest about what I’m going through with my cancer and to normalize the fact that it’s happening.”
The experience allowed Fiona to embrace and her body, medical device and all.
“Nomi has this vision to see the beauty within you and bring it out in these photos,” Fiona says. “It was strange for me to see myself in this way I’d never looked at myself before. I just wanted to stay and soak in all the energy. I left feeling really comfortable with myself. That feeling stayed with me.”
Even with additional challenges coming her way, Fiona says knowing the photos exist and that there’s more to come for her is powerful and important. She also plans to share the photos on her Instagram feed, allowing a healing moment for herself to become healing for others.
“It’s important to put my feeding tube out there,” Fiona says. I’m not afraid of anyone seeing that side of me. For people going through something similar, I want them to feel comfortable sharing it. Because it’s not part of the mainstream narrative it can make you feel alone. I want to highlight that you can still live a ‘normal’ life even though you have things that are not always visible to others. If I can share and make just one other person feel more comfortable, more capable of reaching out and talking about what’s happening with them, that would make me happy.”
She also hopes the friends she’s shared her photos with book an experience of their own.
“I want everyone to have this moment of peace with themselves and their bodies,” she says.
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