What stories do you tell yourself when you see these parts of your body?
There’s a certain duality about the way I perceive myself in regards to my scars. Neither of the two scenarios are particularly healthy. The first is the notion that, if given a choice between unscarred breasts and my own, no one would pick me. Obviously minimizing myself to one detail of my body and creating an automatic comparison between myself and the rest of the world is a negative and small-minded method that continually tears down my self esteem.
So my mind then turns to the hopeful belief that I will end up with someone who loves my body exactly the way it is, celebrates my flaws, and makes me feel beautiful. But the story that’s the most important is the one I see unfolding now that I realize that I’m not standing in a lineup of perfect body parts for the world to compare mine to. I’m an individual who’s “flaws” have a story which in and of itself, is beautiful.
The real story is what happens when I remind myself that the only person I need to be concerned with loving and accepting myself, is me. All else is white noise. It’s my choice how I view my body and my story. Today, looking forward to continuing the journey towards self-discovery, I choose love.
What places on your body do you hope to see differently?
Accepting my body as a whole is a daily struggle. Some days are harder than others but it’s a choice, day in and day out, to be on my own team and love the parts of myself which-up until recent years-I’ve done all I could to hide.
I hope that this project helps me to see my scars from my breast reduction surgery in a different light. I hope to see them as a work of art; fossils that tell a story of a girl who was brave enough to go against societal norms and move away from unwanted, gross degrees of attention because of the way the world sexualizes women’s bodies.
I hope to forget every crude comment about how such a surgery is “a slap in the face to God.” I hope to forget the look of disappointment and bewilderment on people’s faces when I naively feel the necessity to give a disclaimer about the appearance of my body- to apologize for my scars. I hope to cherish on a mental and physical level, the respect I had for myself to be able to prioritize my health over all else and do what was far from the popular choice, but necessary for my own well being.
I hope to have the ability to exercise that respect on a deeper level after seeing the result of sharing and truly celebrating my flaws for the first time in my life.
Who would you be if you really loved your body?
I think we all have the “ideal” image of ourselves in our heads. The one that looks like what society tells us is the way women should look; the confident, stunning, radiant version of ourselves that most of us don’t believe is attainable.
I think I would be that ideal version of myself if I learned to deeply and truly love my body.
Perception is reality and if I’m constantly battling my own home, how can I expect to live comfortably?
On the days that I celebrate who I am and what my body has been through and maintains the ability to carry me through every day, I feel like the ideal me.
What hopes do you have that would arise when others see these images? When you see see these images?
I hope that these images help others to realize what real women look like.
We are not all of the doctored, photoshopped, air brushed, face-tuned instagram barbies we see on every media outlet on a daily basis. We are unique and flawed and beautiful-not despite our flaws, but because of them.
I hope to realize how beautiful and meaningful my own vulnerability is. I hope to feel brave for sharing myself and my story in arguably the most real way I have thus far in my life. I hope to feel proud of how far I’ve come and excited for facing the never ending challenge of self-love and acceptance.