Showing up for yourself.
The first thing I speak about on this podcast is the idea of showing up for yourself.
I'm a photographer who works to help people get their sense of self back, to help them see their bodies as worthy, to see themselves as worthy of taking up space, and to be able to see themselves through the eyes of someone who sees him with respect and compassion and see all of their magic.
If I was to summarise my capacity as a photographer, it is to be able to look at someone in a room and see them as the most incredible, amazing human being. And because that is how I see people as I walk through the world, obviously holding a very expensive bit of glass and aluminium in front of my face and clicking a button and capturing that comes easily to me- because that's how I view people.
Seeing yourself looked at with that amount of respect, love, and compassion is a different story from the story that many of us tell ourselves when we look into the mirror. And the reason it is really important to have photographs of yourself taken by someone who is showing you respect is because you see so many different facets of yourself. We are very prone to looking in the mirror with a particular mindset, with a particular set of judgments, with a particular story that we attach to it. And what we don't see is all of the other angles with our face and all of the other things that probably all the people who know and love us know well, like seeing those little expressions they might catch or those little mannerisms that you've never even noticed about yourself because we don't observe ourselves that much.
And I have a very unscientific view of the world that people can make slightly more confident life choices when they have photographs of themselves where they think they look a bit hot.
I urge you to create more visions of yourself where you're able to look at yourself with respect. Obviously, if you're in London, come and have a photoshoot with me, but wherever you are in the world, wherever you are in your life, if there are people around you who see you with the kind of love and compassion that you would wish to see yourself, ask them to take some pictures of you. See what they can see that you can't. Because the more of us that show up for ourselves, the more of us that allow ourselves to be seen, the more of ourselves, the more of us who are willing to put ourselves out there, the more people who look a little bit like us might have a chance of feeling like they are seen and like they're worthy of taking space.
I'm sure nearly everybody listening to this would have benefited from someone who looked a bit like them being in a prominent position of respect, adoration, love, and care growing up. When you were growing up and formulating your own opinions about what the world looked like. Imagine if there was just a huge variety of people who were able to feel welcome and cherished and worthy of respect and how different the world would look.
And I want you to take accountability for your place in that because if this big old variety of people who are out there being seen, whether it is on billboards or television, or showing up on social media, or just being welcome on the cover of books, wherever they are. If that doesn't include you, you exclude an element of faces, body shapes, abilities, and skin tones. And maybe insecurities from the bigger picture.
And there is absolutely no doubt in my mind at all that you show that you showing up, we crack open a tiny glimpse of light, of a doorway, of someone who looks a little bit like you or relates to you in some way that makes them feel like there is some possibility for them to feel welcome to.
So I urge you to think of opportunities where you could take that brave, brave step of showing up to be seen. Because the more of us who are seen, the more of us feel welcome.
I hope there's been helpful, and I hope you have a beautiful week. Don't take don't forget to take some time out for some self-care.