What places of your body do you hope to see differently?
I hope to see the scars and my skin differently. One of the compliments I get the most is about my skin and how “clear” it is. But when I look at the skin, I still feel insecure. I have acne scars on my arms, I have skin discoloration and burn scars. I have stretch marks and irritated skin. My anxiety manifests as itchy, painful pangs all over my skin.
How do you feel about them currently?
I still feel insecure about my skin which is interesting because I’ve had so many health problems that are skin related. I appreciate the shape of my breasts, I appreciate my belly and my hairy arms.
What hopes do you have that would arise when other people see these images? When you see these images?
I hope that when people see these images, they see a part of themselves in my story. I hope that they can appreciate the raw beauty of these images and the vulnerable power of letting people see you bare.
How do you react, what happens, when you see these parts of your body negatively?
My body reacts with anxiety pangs and I used to tell myself “I don’t feel anything” hoping it would go away. Now, I ask myself what triggered the pangs, and I acknowledge the anxiety. I tell myself that what I’m feeling is real and that it is temporary. I go through phases of neglecting my health and then giving my body what it needs, rest, water, greens and fruits. I am learning to change my language of “managing my emotions and anxiety” to feeling, processing and healing my life. As a survivor of child sexual abuse, I used to think my body didn’t belong to me. I felt like powerless and anxious whenever I had to let myself be seen. I felt anxious just existing. In my 20’s I’ve reclaimed my power and I’ve explored the beautiful brown terrain that is my body. This photo shoot is another form of me celebrating myself and my power to heal.
Who would you be if you really loved your body?
I would be myself at my brightest,
and most powerful form.