I believe that it's better to be looked over than it is to be overlooked.

25 August, 2012

-Mae West

This isn't the quote I wanted for today, but it works. The one I wanted I can't find thus I can't confirm that it was really Debbie Allen who said it, although I'm 99.9% sure she did say it on Oprah. Anyway, the quote went something along the lines of "If you don't want to look at yourself naked in front of the mirror, why would anyone else? You have to love yourself before anyone else can love you."

All summer, I have focused on this notion of "self love" and how the hell I was supposed to track it down. Some days it felt as elusive as Carmen San Diego, while other days it seemed as over exposed  and easy to find as the Kardashian clan (or now Prince Harry if you really want to be relevant with the times--which by the way, good for him, he's 28, let the man let his hair, or pants down, and have some fun. No harm, no foul!).

So of course I started trying to focus on the times when I have been the most comfortable in my own skin. The times when I've been able to say "I'm pretty damn awesome and I don't just mean my brain, but every square inch of me". I know those times exist. I've lived them and I missed them.

Then on Thursday Jes over at the The Militant Baker posted this: 25 Things Fat People Shouldn't Do. It's a brilliant response to some pretty ridiculous awful things she found on the world wide web about what fat people should and shouldn't do. The list ranges from eating in public to running and riding a bike to I think my personal favorite, live. Oh and shimmying. We aren't supposed to shimmy. *insert eye roll*

But the one thing that stuck out most to me on the list was "Make art of themselves" because obviously   fat people aren't pretty or beautiful or worth looking at and you can only make art with "beautiful" (i.e. not fat!) people. Pfft I say! There is no normal when it comes to beauty. People come in all different shapes, sizes and color and each and everyone of them is beautiful in their own way.

I somehow managed to fall out of love with it, but there was a time that when I was the most comfortable with myself was when I turned the camera on myself; when I set-up my lights, tripod and set the self timer (or remote if I could find it) and took photographs of myself. I didn't worry about what people thought or said or if they liked them or didn't like them or whatever. Some of the images I caught of myself (this is why I loved the self timer) were some of the most carefree and honest photographs I have of myself and some I might even put in the category of "art". Of course they didn't all turn out the way I wanted, but most of the time I was pleasantly surprised by the images I saw staring back at myself from my computer screen. They weren't images of the timid, unsure, worried, self-conscious girl I saw every morning in the mirror. These images showed a strong, confident woman who could take on the world. I wanted to be her.

But what those photographs really showed me was that I already was her.

I don't know when I misplaced that part of myself. It was somewhere between the leaving of Captain Random (long, complicated and slightly frustrating story) and realizing that I'm tired of watching other live the life I want (sorry to be vague but there will be an upcoming post about that). I've decided that one of the only ways to get back to that place, that place of pure, unadulterated confidence is to step back in front of the camera again. To pick up where I left off and to just keep going with the project.

Below are some of the photographs (my favorites!) I had previously taken. I had actually joked with friends that I should just name the series "From Bed" but that remains to be undecided.

I'll be updating the project over on 500px if you'd like to follow along: Me Through My Lens


  1. Dear Meg, I am so grateful you wrote this. I have been struggling with this issue every day for the last month it seems. I definitely have "i'm awesome days" and I also fall out of love with myself on some days. Sometimes, it's just hard. Dont worry, I'm going to write something about that (oh, the life of a blogger). So anyhow, thanks for saying whats been on my mind. These photos are beautiful. I hope you link them to the art one, so everyone can see the beauty,

  2. you inspired my my picture on the sex post. it was really empowering.


Thanks for reading!