I’m on a mission to love myself: So I stripped down and tried Boudoir.

By Kelcie McKenney, Photos by Tayanna Harris
This story was originally published in The Pitch.

It’s a Tuesday morning, and I’m naked in front of three strangers.

I’m changing into my first set of lingerie at Tayanna Harris’s Good Bodies photo studio for my first boudoir session. You know, that photo trend where you strip down to your knickers and pose seductively in an effort to feel good about yourself and your body.

“Oh, I love that,” Harris says as I’m draped over a chair, my legs kicked above me.

“Honestly, you look like this devious housewife who might kill her husband and get away with it,” says Katie Camlin, Harris’s photo assistant, who is showing off our shoot on social media today.

It was all I needed for a confidence boost: This faux-housewife was feeling herself.

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Loving Loving Day: How Richard and Mildred Loving Paved the Way for Interracial Relationships—Including My Own

By Kelcie McKenney

On June 12, 1967, the Supreme Court decision on Loving v. Virginia struck down 16 state bans on interracial marriage.

The case was centered on the couple Mildred and Richard Loving. Mildred was an Indigenous Black woman and Richard was a white man. The couple was married in 1958 in Washington—where interracial marriage was legal—then moved to Virginia. In the middle of the night, their local sheriff broke into their home and charged them with violating Virginia’s anti-interracial laws.

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I Publicly Came Forward with my Assailant: One Year Later

By Hannah Strader

Last March, I was sitting peacefully on my balcony at 7:40 A.M., enjoying unseasonably nice weather and a warm cup of coffee. As I always do, I was running through my Instagram feed and catching up with notifications. Moments later, I was triggered and had to set down my phone.

Planet Comicon was coming up, and on the guest list was DC and Marvel writer Jai Nitz. The man twice my age who forcibly kissed me, held me trapped against his body, and relentlessly asked me to kiss him or touch him or have sex with him. I met him in one of my journalism classes at Kansas University, where he was invited to speak as a guest. 

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I Asked My Exes for Dating Advice

By Kelcie McKenney

Dating in your 20’s. It’s a comment that is often followed with a sigh and a smile, both riddled with fond memories and lessons learned—or so I’ve gathered. At 24, I’ve spent many long evenings talking first dates and heartbreaks and love and lust with friends, and I’ve spent even more mulling over them by myself. They did what? He said that? God, I’m so in love. How could he? I can’t tell them. You will learn to love again.

Photo by Travis Young

Relationships teach us more about ourselves than most things I’ve experienced in my short life, and while I’ve learned plenty through my experiences, I wanted to learn more. I’m currently single, still wading through the dating game, trying to find something meaningful that clicks. So I thought: What the hell? What if I asked my exes to reflect on our time together? What if I asked them for dating advice? Continue reading

Badass Babe Alley Gage: Empowering Women with Makeup

By Kelcie McKenney

Women supporting women. That’s one of the many mantras that feminism totes. It’s an uplifting message of helping your fellow sisters out, and as a strong females, that connection and support can fuel a movement.

There are countless women in today’s world that inspire others and bring love and support to the women around them. This new series, Badass Babes, will feature those women.

Our first face is Alley Gage.

Photo by Kelcie McKenney

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