Weightless and empty
Too weak to strive for
And too far gone to realize that the amount of things they can buy, doesn’t mean they are alive
Part 1 of the photoshoot I did with the talented Elizabeth Emmanuel. I have never felt so free and comfortable with my body. Self acceptance is truly a spiritual experience.
“Since childhood, we are told to hide, to keep our heads down and to act like part of the crowd.
Society expects us to be a certain way which may cause us to drift away from reaching our fullest potential. It builds fear, disbelief and suppresses our creativity.
What if one day, we decided to break the status quo and started living a little more, caring a little less and became wanderers?
Woman. According to the Oxford dictionary, a woman is defined as an “adult human female”. How would you define a woman? Let me rephrase that, do you feel the need to validate her?
Does a woman who does not require your validation translate into someone who is no longer giving into being “submissive”? Does that make her less of a lady, less beautiful, less desirable, less vulnerable, less capable of loving, or just a complete headache?
Does the moment she lacks an “emotional” response make her intimidating? Does she intimidate you?”
Words and Photography by ElleEmmanuelPhotography
I am currently reading Paulo Coelhos pilgrimage and something stood out for me; there is an exercise during his pilgrimage he had to perform. Every time he was cruel to himself i.e. had a negative thought about himself he was to inflict pain on his body. What this did was condition him to physically feel the pain he was causing himself every time he had a bad thought about himself and therefore the negative thoughts diminished.
My body is something I haven’t always gotten along with, I was conscious about how big my calves were, how broad my shoulders appeared, the stretchmarks on my bum and thighs… and it went on. But I think self-acceptance comes along with maturity, when you realise this is your body, it is the only one you will have and you start seeing the beauty in it. You start appreciating the size of your lips, or the curve of your back or how cute your chubby feet are.
The older I get, the more I try and distance myself from being influenced by the worlds expectations of my body, and I create my own. Earlier this week, I did something I would have otherwise never done, I was a model for a photographer friend of mine (Liz)*. When she first asked me to model my first reaction was, “I can try but I’m sorry I am not skinny enough”. Firstly why did I feel the need to apologize for the way I look… I chose to look this way, if I wanted to be thinner I would have joined a damn gym but I hadn’t. The next week before the shoot I spent time in front of the mirror practicing poses (super embarrassing that I am admitting this), and just had A LOT of time to look at my body and appreciate all the good in it.
Being photographed is a strange thing, it makes you aware of every part of your body, and in a way forced me to let go of some insecurities I had… and the minute I did that I felt great. My calves were no longer oversized, but they were strong and steady, my shoulders majestic and my stretch marks… well to be honest I didn’t even think of those. Your body becomes a work of art, skilfully crafted by God and all of a sudden I wanted to express the love I felt inside and It showed by how I started moving… Liz became so delighted.
We need to learn to stop being cruel to our bodies. They carry us daily, they bear memories, scars, victories. Besides our hearts, we should also guard our bodies and once in a while remind ourselves that we are art.