“I see myself through others eyes and I am made anew” Do you know where this comes from?
Tsk, tsk, if the answer is no, as it is on the homepage of my blog right up at the top. They are my words and reflect what taking and sharing my self portraits has done for me. Exposing myself in this way has forced me to confront the truth of my body. It is far from perfect, I am 43, I have had 2 children and for a large chunk of my adult life I was extremely overweight. All those things have left their marks on me. Some of them I love and embrace but others are, even now, are hard to accept.
I have always tried to post images that reflect the truth of me, both how I look and who I am. Yes I have been known to crop images for various reasons, usually because I want the image to show a certain quality, feeling, atmosphere etc and I would be fibbing if I said there were not some unflattering images that have ended up in the trash but overall I feel that I have ‘told the truth’ but it is not always easy. So when I read this piece; Versions of Ourselves by Exposing 40 I could completely identify with her thoughts.
I think one of the things I have learned though is that it is OK to an image crop sometimes or to throw away the ones that just make you shudder because there is nothing wrong with being kind to yourself and focusing on the joy of your body, both how it looks and how is makes you feel. Posting candid self portraits is not meant to be a harrowing exposé (unless that is your kink in which case, knock yourself out) but an opportunity to learn something new about yourself. There really is absolutely nothing wrong with playing to your strengths.
What I have learned is that one should never be afraid of focusing on the best bits. Discovering how a certain pose or position shows of the sensual curve of your hip, the way your hair curls around your collarbone, how the stockings frame your bottom, the delicate detail of your nipple and so on, allows you to find a new appreciation in the details of your body. We all too often focus on the negative of our body, the parts that make us unhappy. Clearly there are personal benefits in learning to accept and love those things but giving yourself the time and space to see the details of and know your body that little bit more intimately is a powerful thing because dissecting yourself in such a manner allows you see bits of yourself you never noticed before, you learn to love and appreciate them and the more you do the more likely you are to make peace with the bigger picture.