I'll just put it out there - I do have severe body image issues. Always have, always will(?) I guess that you would call that body dysmorphia? I don't want to necessarily say that I do have it because I've never been clinically diagnosed, but I would say that I do have some of the symptoms. It stems from a lot of taunting and abuse that has come externally in the past, but more often than not it is internally and how I see myself every single day. It's not been so bad as I've gotten older and realized that this is the only body that I have and I should appreciate it, but it kind-of came to a head last Friday before I was going to get these photos done. Anger, frustration, sadness, anxiousness - all these emotions happened within 5 minutes. Why all of these in such a short matter of time?
Yes, it's true. She broke through those negative thoughts, with her kindness and truthfulness to let me get another perspective on how I saw myself in the mirror. I was able to take a few deep breaths, get a hug from her, put on my makeup and see myself through another lense. In just a matter of minutes, my thoughts shifted to positive reinforcement. Her words helped me realize that what I see isn't always necessarily what other people see, and I need to uplift myself instead of drag myself down. This may all seem like I overreacted a little bit, which I kind-of did, but look at all of what it made me realize! The girl in the past who would get taunted + bullied about her weight and how she looked, can now step out of her comfort zone and realize that it's going to be okay. She should be able to love her body no matter what, while still realizing somethings do need to change, but that it will happen when it's supposed to happen. That girl can look at these photos and see a tiny glimmer of someone who is beautiful in her own way.
Photos by Jill Merkel