Updated: Oct 22, 2021
I have been thinking a lot about how the thought of a photoshoot frightens people.
I have been thinking a lot about how scared we are to be seen, to take up space, and off what others may think of us.
The greatest trick the patriarchy ever pulled was convincing us that these thoughts we have, the brutal, unkind, aggressive attacking voices in our heads, are our own fault. Our own problems and our own responsibility. When in fact, no-one of this stuff is yours. You are bombarded a thousand times a day and more by companies, advertisements, false narratives that all tell you that your are not good enough, so they can sell you things. I find it an incredibly useful disruptor to these narratives to try and remind yourself of this. When you are lost in being cruel to your body or the skin you are in - ask yourself - who is benefitting from me feeling like this? Because someone is. And it is very unlikely to be you. Some how politicising it enables me to recenter myself on doing the work to make more space for more of us.
What if you standing in your own light allowed others who look a bit like you, or who see themselves in you, feel bit more welcome? A bit more like they are worth of taking up space?
Next time someone gets a camera out and you feel a bit shy, a bit like pulling a silly face, or outright running away, I dare you to look into the lens with all the confidence of a human being with a human body who is worthy for no other reason than because we all are. Stare into that lens with the thought that someone who looks a bit like you might see that photo and feel a bit more like they have a space in the world. Look into the lens and think the thought “all bodies are welcome”. And perhaps one of the people who look back on that picture and feel a little more like they are allowed to be here, in the body they are in, might just be you.