I was inspired to write this blog after what I thought would be an uneventful day ended up being surprisingly inspiring. I had committed myself to photograph the before of a weight loss challenge. A little background about me, I’ve been an international freelance artist for over 20 years. Before I had my focus on styling, hair & makeup, I worked as a photographer while I was in college. I remained extremely passionate about photography. I had started working again as a photographer about a year and a half before this shoot.
Back to my inspiration for “My Beauty-My Power.” During the weigh-in, I was introduced to this beautiful fitness model that was at the event to promote her healthy pre-prepared food delivery service. I had a chance to talk to this fitness model, who was about 6 feet tall with striking blue eyes. She called herself “Amazonian Queen.” As women, we tend to pass judgments or wait to see when someone else has passed their own judgments. The more we spoke, the more I found myself trying to understand her to see if what she is sharing with me relates to the way she’s currently presented. She spoke of her childhood, growing up extremely overweight, and we talked about her weight loss journey. Her story was profound, and the contrast was so remarkable that I could not help myself but to completely zone into what she was saying and to compute the images of her being (extremely overweight + 6ft tall + piercing blue-eyed exotic beauty [minus or divide by] Amazonian fitness model)= What! … Then it dawned on me, because she was so different in her environment, growing up in the south the way she looked caused her to feel the need to hide. She was so striking and beautiful, she was different, and that caused her to be insecure. So, she hid behind the weight. To most, it would not make sense, imagine growing up in the south as a mixed child with piercing blue eyes and fair skinned; I get it!
That same day at the weigh-in, I got to photograph a girl who had lost 90lbs and was working on losing about 90lbs more. She did something very courageous, she wanted to get photographed in her bra while everyone else kept their shirts on (even though everyone was asked to come ready to be photographed in a sports bra) she was the only one with the confidence to be vulnerable. Although her weight was her challenge, she remained confident and self-assured.
What I learned from that experience is the power in knowing your beauty is your power. Your beauty radiates from within. An impactful self-image does help along this journey.