What places on your body do you hope to see differently?
I’ve struggled with my body image my whole life, and slowly but surely I’ve been breaking down all the hatred I’ve had of the body I’m in and replacing it with love. However, I realize even when I feel I’ve gotten very far in my body love and body positivity I still turn to the scale to tell me how I should feel about my body and then I feel disappointed in myself... even though I know this is a long journey to unlearn all that I was conditioned to believe about weight, attractiveness, body goals, etc. I want to be able to look down at my little fupa, look at my thick arms and not hate them, not want to change them, not see them as a mistake. I guess the best way to describe what I hope to see differently is through this poem I wrote one day when I was struggling with loving myself in this skin:
I want to love myself
as I am right now,
not in ten pounds lighter
not in thinner arms/tighter stomach
I’m learning how to
even ten pounds heavier
sweet muffin top
I will love myself
as I am now, as I exist
in this body, ever changing
some days heavy,
some days light
I believe in this love,
my own love for only me,
this love, ever growing,
I believe it will liberate
This love will make me free.
What hopes do you have that would arise when others see these images? When you see these images?
I hope that when others see these images they feel less lonely in their journey towards self love and acceptance.
I hope that they understand the impact of their fatphobia, and also the impact of their body positivity. And that this encourages them to let go of one and truly center the other.
I hope that when others see these images they know the bravery of the women in these photographs, and also that they can find that same bravery in themselves.
I hope they see that they are worthy of being photographed in the same way, that their body is worthy of being shown off and loved, that their skin and rolls and fat and thickness is beautiful and perfect as it is.
And I hope that when I see these images I feel at peace with every single part, even the ones I want hate. I hope that I realize that there is nothing to fix on the outside, but more so on the inside. I hope we all realize that people don’t need to change their bodies to be deemed acceptable, but what has to change is the way the world looks at, talks about, polices people and their bodies.
What stories do you tell yourself when you see these parts of your body?
I tell myself a story of “hitting the gym” to tone, I tell myself a story of commitment, I tell myself a story of shame for not being more committed to changing these parts of me. I tell myself a story of a woman who would be more attractive without this extra skin on these parts of her body.
Who would you be if you really loved your body?
I would be a woman without crippling insecurities, who wears what she wants and knows that she’ll be loved as she is. I’d be a woman who looks in the mirror and does not judge the “imperfections” society has told her she must fix. I’d be a woman who has one less thing to worry about in her identities, in her existence. I would be able to look at all my past photographs and not judge myself for my body’s weight changes. I would be free, free to be happy with myself. I would be free to just exist in my own body, peacefully.