(this post was written for Self Portrait Challenge, but I enjoyed so much I needed to post it here also, and include my picture for october's theme)
When I hear about this month’s theme, I got excited about the possibilities. I could choose one of my many pictures with favorite dresses or nice haircuts or the right colours to go with my skin. I thought of such amazing lines and decided to start a photo session with my wardrobe in order to test the best look for me. It all seemed great. I could almoust read the words in my mind get up together. It would be great!
Until last week. I attend to Fronteiras do Pensamento, a project of seminars and classes with intelectuals and researchers and people who think about the world as it is, and how to enhance it, from all countries. I’ve been attenting to this lectures since the begining of the year, and it’s been great. I mean, I thought it was just great. Until last week. Until I had the opportunity to hear Camille Paglia and her astounishing ideas about the image of women throughout History, and the effects on our self-image today of the images several cultures have been making of women and how this image has changed since the early ages of manking.
And then it hit me. We are not just what we are, or what we think we are. We’re, also, either we like it or not, a social construction, a desire of fulfill the current cultural concept of what a woman should be, or, being specific, should look like. And how amazing it is to be aware of the influence - mostly negative, by the way - that we suffer from television, magazines, concerts of pop artists, the fashion industry, advertising, and basicly anything that intends to send out a message.
We don’t realize it, but we buy it. We buy this ideal - and also utopic - concept that beauty, nowadays, means thin, means tall, means slim, means fit. Today’s beauty goes against what a regular, average, woman’s body looks like, and should be, considering that our bodies should have a certain shape in order to hold a pregnancy and to be able to provide nourishment to a baby.
So, we buy this “victoria’s secret” ideal look and go crazy (well, me, at least) to fit in the beauty concept, and if we don’t look like a long-legged, tall, slim-figured, model, we can conclude that we’re not pretty enough for the world.
Well, I wrote all this because I wanted to take a different perspective on the what-i-wear theme. I wanted to say, in a sentence, that I feel good in my own skin, wearing my own body, my own self, and that I’m realizing that beauty is relative, and since its meaning can change as societies change, I’m offering my vision of beauty: people wearing out themselves, free of embarrassment or criticism.
That’s why I chose the pictures posted in SPC. I'm not posting them here, because they belong to the project, and you can see them there. But as I look at them, I see, in each one, someone’s heart, someone’s feeling, someone’s true self.
It can be hope, it can be a fear, it can be a wound, and, what is in my opinion the prettiest of all, it can be love, in the simple gesture of embracing a baby.
And since I don't have a picture of me wearing what I feel most comfortable in, I post a photo of the tattoo I proudly wear now for over two years!