How do you react, what happens, when you see these parts of your body negatively?
For the longest time I would pinch and pull and twist myself holding my body in the ways I wished it would be. Why? What for? My body rises like mountains. My stretch marks run like lightning and rivers. I see the stripes and bends of canyons and boulders in my rolls and waves. The earth is in me and I am in her.
I sometimes feel as though I’m in some weird limbo dead zone of body beauty. I'm not thin enough to be “stereotypical beautiful”, but I also feel I’m not fat enough to be “fat girl beautiful”. A lot of thin people see me as too heavy, but vice versa I feel as though a lot of the larger body images that I LOVE are of bodies much larger than mine. I feel I fall in some weird body positivity gray/dead zone. And you know what? Fuck that noise, because there is no wrong way to have a body and no wrong way to be beautiful.
Whenever I do find myself staring into a mirror, just me and my body, and all the negativity creeps in I’ve started holding those places. Cupping or embracing the parts I think negatively about. Then I begin to speak to it the way I would a friend or a child. First in my mind and now out loud. I tell my body how beautiful and strong it is. I tell my body how grateful I am for her. For the legs that take me places. The hips that allow me to dance to music. The buttocks that allows me to take a rest. The round belly and full breasts that make me soft and huggable and ultimately a great comforter (I give great hugs). My arms that lift and create and so much more. And suddenly everything is just a little bit kinder.
What places on your body do you hope to see differently?
Honestly, my whole body. All of this body is me, and all of me is in this body. I have areas just like anyone else that I hyper focus on: my back, my bum, my cellulite, the way my stomach dips over my legs. Anything that seems like it might displease some one else. Except my stretch marks. I actually really love those. I remember, as a kid, seeing them on my mother and thinking that they looked like magic. I loved tracing them with my fingers. I have trouble accepting and loving my body. I often find myself thinking wait no that’s not me.
I want to change that. I want to embrace my body. Love my body. Stop hiding and start showing off!
How do you feel about them currently?
I’m starting to change my attitude, but it’s a long & difficult road. It’s hard to love your body when you’re told for years that your body is not enough. I’m not just referring to the media either, but to those closest to you, from those who love you. It comes from all levels. I'm not wholly comfortable, but I’m learning, I’m loving.
Who would you be if you really loved your body?
The woman I’m struggling to become who owns who she is completely and fully. When you’re not worried about your body and “perfect” image then you/I have the confidence and frankly the time to step into every decision I have . My body is here for me and no one else, and so it should not matter how anyone else feels about it but me, and yet the constant wondering how do I look? What will people think gets to me day in and day out just like everyone else.
What hopes do you have that would arise when other people see these images? When you see these images?
I wanted to be a part of this hoping that others would see my body and recognize their own body within it, faults and all. As we as a culture and society start to incorporate images of all kinds of bodies into the mainstream media I have begun to recognize the great impact of seeing myself in these images and how it is finally starting to feel like I am enough, today, the way that I am in this moment. I hope that this project and these images will continue this thought process for myself moving forward. With all of that in mind, I thought, if photos of my naked & glorious form could make just one other person in this world feel more loving, more respectful, more kind to themselves then of course I need to do this. Of course I need to share and be a part of this movement. I feel almost like it’s my responsibility to do so. I just hope people feel more love, both for themselves and others. I know I definitely do.