This summer I had a chance to shoot for myself and really push to develop my style a bit more. It was fun, it was exciting, it was mentally exhausting, but oh so satisfying. One of my personal shooting adventures included a model (Heeeeeeey Cassandra!) who had interesting insight on what it was like to be on the other side of the body spectrum. We hear I'm too big, too heavy , too fat... OFTEN! - Let's get real.. It's most of your excuses now for not coming to see me (ahem.. *cough*) But what we don't often talk about are the women on the other side of the spectrum. And if I said it once, I'll say it again... WE SHOULD ALL BE CELEBRATING WHO WE ARE NOW. And wouldn't you know it? Cassandra believes the same...
"Looking at me you would never think I would have ever gotten made fun of or teased as a young girl. Looking at me you would never think I still have this issue today with other women."
You see - we live in a society rampant with body image issues and body shaming. It breaks my heart to see other women tear down our fellow sisters based on appearances. We have built ourselves on insecurities and ideals. An illusion. I'm no stranger to being made fun of. For being "too" skinny as a child... and as a teenager....and today as a woman. I've even had women whisper when I walk by, "She's too skinny.". I spent my childhood, in torment, trying to gain weight as much as I could to look "normal", but at what price? What is "normal"? There is no normal. Each of us are beautiful in our own way. Skinny or thicker, curvy or lean, we are all beautiful. We seem trapped, destined to see these cycles play out through our entire lives. We hurt each other and we hurt ourselves trying to live up to an expectation. Who's expectation? Obviously not our own. I was surrounded and fed an image of what "beautiful" should look like and so did my friends, my family. Members of my own family would say downright hurtful things in regards to my body. I was told I had a "pancake butt" a "flat ass", that I needed to "workout out my butt." Who says these kinds of things? Insecure people seeking solace in the imperfections of others.
I have since come to believe that my body is beautiful, but I still need to remind myself that I am perfect right now, in this moment, I am worthy. I remind myself that the little girl many years ago would never have cared and would have gone on loving herself completely. I have now taken photos of me from when I was very little and taped them on my bathroom mirror. It's the first thing I see in the mirror when I wake up and the last thing at night I see before I go to bed. Reminding myself that self love is a practice. Reminding myself to be as carefree and self assured as the girl in the photos . THAT is what I wish to bring to the world. I want woman to feel this way about themselves. We must teach ourselves and our daughters new ideals. There is so much body shaming in the world today, tearing the other down for being too big, or for being too skinny, we are all worthy, ALL beautiful.
Love - Cassandra C. <3