POST 50
10/17/2016 08:50 am ET Updated Oct 25, 2016

This 56-Year-Old Is Proof That Women's Bodies Are Sexy At Any Age (NSFW)

This Burning Lotus is still evolving.
The Burning Lotus in 2012.
The Burning Lotus
The Burning Lotus in 2012.

Warning: This post contains erotic imagery and may not be suitable for work environments.

When Texas native Julie H. was about to turn 50, she began posting provocative images of herself on DeviantArt, an online community for artists, following a great personal tragedy ― one that she doesn’t wish to share with the world.

“I posted my images initially [in 2010] as a dare to myself ― again, an affirmation of existence,” says the now 56-year-old model.

But it wasn’t until July 2012 when Julie uploaded the photo above of her holding up a black bra on Tumblr that she became something of an online celebrity.

“The ‘senior ink’ image caught fire in a random way that still confuses and overwhelms me,” she said. “It went from 25 notes to 2,500 notes in a matter of hours. And then 25,000 in a day.”

On Tumblr, a post picks up a note when it is either liked or reblogged by another user.

“I think it plateaued at around 45,000 but by then the image was already purloined,” she said. “But that began to grow my audience, too.”

Today, Julie ― whose moniker is Burning Lotus ― has 92,000 followers on Tumblr.

“I simply see the human body as an amazing machine with many moving parts. And parts is parts. Society assigns value and stigma on what is acceptable and what isn’t,” said the Austin, Texas, resident. She adds that she’s “tone deaf” when it comes to so-called societal norms.

When asked why she goes by the name Burning Lotus, she describes the lotus as a symbol of hope and rebirth, and adds that it represents the power to be whoever you want to be.

“From the muck rises great beauty. Delicate tenacity. The art is a reminder to me that I can and will overcome, rise again, burn on.”

To learn more about Julie’s evolution ― and to see more of her photos ― scroll through the images below. 

  • "I absolutely get more unconditional love and support than I feel I deserve for my 'therapy'. I get notes routinely from
    The Burning Lotus
    "I absolutely get more unconditional love and support than I feel I deserve for my 'therapy'. I get notes routinely from every kind of person that you can imagine that let me know that I inspire them. They like themselves better. I bring them hope about the aging process and/or they are no longer frightened about growing old. They admire my courage, they find me unexpectedly sexy, they now like ink and piercings. The gamut." -- Burning Lotus
  • "So, the haters be damned. I am doing what I do so that I can explore and grow. The accidental bonus is that it seems to reso
    "So, the haters be damned. I am doing what I do so that I can explore and grow. The accidental bonus is that it seems to resonate with others. I’m lucky about the unexpected bounty and uncomfortable and very grateful. Apt analogy for the lotus, no?" -- Burning Lotus
  • "One of the great takeaways from my Tumblr is the number of men and women of ALL ages (18 to 80) that tell me that I give the
    The Burning Lotus
    "One of the great takeaways from my Tumblr is the number of men and women of ALL ages (18 to 80) that tell me that I give them hope and happiness that sexy lives on as long as you own it. I am unabashedly sexual and my age only enhances it. I’m told there is a carnal but elegant aspect to my images." -- Burning Lotus
  • "I’m 56. The offers abound for porn but nothing worth pursuing. I might try stripping if I had the spare time and the s
    "I’m 56. The offers abound for porn but nothing worth pursuing. I might try stripping if I had the spare time and the situation seemed right. I started lifting when I was 54 and modeling when I was 50-ish. I feel like my life really began to make sense around then!" -- Burning Lotus
  • "That balance between carnal and elegance is likely just who I am plus experience and an indifference to public opinion. I fe
    The Burning Lotus
    "That balance between carnal and elegance is likely just who I am plus experience and an indifference to public opinion. I feel badly because my peer group doesn’t feel like it is OK to be that way, and I seem exotic." -- Burning Lotus
  • "I see comments on some of my posts and get notes that I look like Helen Mirren. Possibly the best compliment ever. I don&rsq
    The Burning Lotus
    "I see comments on some of my posts and get notes that I look like Helen Mirren. Possibly the best compliment ever. I don’t think I look like her so much as she projects an unalloyed confidence and sexual energy. Maybe there is some of that there in my images." -- Burning Lotus
  • "I love sex. I love the human body. I am straight and tend to obsess on men’s parts (as it were) but also feel like the
    The Burning Lotus
    "I love sex. I love the human body. I am straight and tend to obsess on men’s parts (as it were) but also feel like there is something so powerful about a confident woman that it almost seems sexual." -- Burning Lotus
  • "Confidence is primal and raw. Let that shit OUT. Life is too short to play it halfway. Work on being a better person and lov
    The Burning Lotus
    "Confidence is primal and raw. Let that shit OUT. Life is too short to play it halfway. Work on being a better person and love fully. And don’t be afraid to be perfectly imperfect." -- Burning Lotus
  • "You can find a state of grace when you believe that the only person that you have to live with for the rest of your life is
    "You can find a state of grace when you believe that the only person that you have to live with for the rest of your life is also a wonderful human being. In all ways." -- Burning Lotus
  • "I think that somehow my images must project loneliness<strong>&nbsp;</strong>although that is something that I rarely feel.
    The Burning Lotus
    "I think that somehow my images must project loneliness although that is something that I rarely feel. I’m an introvert and my need for human interaction is on the low side." -- Burning Lotus
  • "I&rsquo;ve been a solitary soul since I was a child. I continue to be that way. I have a select group of people that I spend
    The Burning Lotus
    "I’ve been a solitary soul since I was a child. I continue to be that way. I have a select group of people that I spend time with regularly and a full time job that allows me to connect with people I genuinely enjoy and understand me very well." -- Burning Lotus
  • "My first tattoo is incorporated into my back piece now but is a Zen calligraphist&rsquo;s version of Om. It is on my left sh
    The Burning Lotus
    "My first tattoo is incorporated into my back piece now but is a Zen calligraphist’s version of Om. It is on my left shoulder blade and a belated 37th birthday present to myself." -- Burning Lotus
  • "I felt like a permanent mark that looked fluid, impermanent and delicate was the perfect statement about change and changele
    The Burning Lotus
    "I felt like a permanent mark that looked fluid, impermanent and delicate was the perfect statement about change and changelessness. Om." -- Burning Lotus
  • "It took me another nine years to wake up and decide I had to have the tiger that currently covers my back, butt and hamstrin
    "It took me another nine years to wake up and decide I had to have the tiger that currently covers my back, butt and hamstrings. I didn’t intend for it to be that big but the artist (Chris Trevino) is not interested in negotiations." -- Burning Lotus
  • "I&rsquo;m a competition power lifter and hold eight American records and 20 state records. I model. I read. I make killer br
    The Burning Lotus
    "I’m a competition power lifter and hold eight American records and 20 state records. I model. I read. I make killer brownies. But those are all things that happened because I chose to overcome the shit sandwich that came my way. I’m just not done." -- Burning Lotus
  • "I have lived in Texas for all but two years of my life. I grew up in a conservative neighborhood but my parents were liberal
    The Burning Lotus
    "I have lived in Texas for all but two years of my life. I grew up in a conservative neighborhood but my parents were liberal Democrats and my mom was something of a non-conformist. Artsy and wanna-be hippy. She wanted to be a rebel but didn’t quite get there. She is a huge influence." -- Burning Lotus
  • "I have chosen to flourish in the face of tragedy. Painfully but positively. The ink is surface. My internal changes have bee
    "I have chosen to flourish in the face of tragedy. Painfully but positively. The ink is surface. My internal changes have been huge." -- Burning Lotus
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