When Stephanie and Arryn stripped down for a couples’ boudoir photo shoot in September, they didn’t anticipate the reactions the intimate pictures would generate.
While many reacted positively, applauding the Texas-based couple’s confidence and chemistry, others were far from kind in their responses.
Stephanie said in a BuzzFeed report that she was fired by her employer — Austin Bank Texas N.A. — after the photo shoot. The bank told her “they were ‘concerned’ about how many people would see her photos and how it would reflect on the company,” the report quoted her as saying.
The company said the photos were inappropriate, adding that they were “a family-oriented company.” While the company said Stephanie was topless in the photos, she said she was wearing a swimsuit bottom and a strapless top that is worn with backless dresses.
“There was no defending myself, they had made their decision,” said Stephanie. “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.”
“As a company, if they feel what I do outside of my job is going to jeopardize their business, that’s fine. It’s just disheartening to me because I feel like home life and work life are two totally different things. 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,” Stephanie told BuzzFeed.
After the photos — shot by Wolf & Rose Photography — became public, Stephanie used the reactions to spread a message on the need for body-positivity. She was engaged to Arryn in February.
“Over the years, I’ve come to accept that I am always going to be considered plus-size. I push myself out of my comfort zone by wearing clothes that I love. I walk around with my head high, smiling, and show no shame in myself,” she told HuffPost.
While some people thought the company was unfair in firing her for what she did on her time, there were many who said women who are slim “have been fired for the same thing before”, or that the company took the “right call”.
The photographs have had more than 64,000 reactions on Facebook and over 10,000 comments.
The boudoir photographic style features intimate, romantic, and sometimes erotic images of its subjects, who do not regularly model.