The Beauty of Our Bodies

The Body Positivity Movement has been sweeping across the media for some time now and I’m amazed when looking back at the way the movement has evolved and changed the mindset of so many. This doesn’t mean our job is done, though. There is still a far way to go before the world truly embraces and understands the importance of this movement. We all have to do our part and make sure the conversation continues. I am lucky enough to be able to do that through writing and I’m excited to share with you the article I wrote and photos I took for last month’s Vindicator magazine. As always, my purpose is to hopefully inspire and encourage those who see my work whether it be writing or photography.
To read the article go to https://issuu.com/thevindicator/docs/nov_full.
This was a meaningful story to write and photograph for me because it is so personal to my own struggles. As a “body in between,” I have always struggled with trying to place myself in some sort of category and understand where my body fits in. I’ve only recently understood that I don’t need a category, I am THE category. None of us fit into a mold, we are THE mold. We’ve been taught through the media and poisoned mindset of society to think that we have to compare ourselves to one another. I reject comparison and encourage representation. We need to see bodies in the media of every type not for comparison but for representation. Representation is so important to the impressionable young minds of our youth and we need to show them every woman matters and deserves love.
I was lucky enough to have complete creative liberty with the photos to my article and I reached out to every woman I know. I wanted the most diverse group I could find, which wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. Some woman that I talked to went on about how they hated being in photos and even though they loved the message of the shoot and story, they didn’t want to be seen in print. This was only encouraging to me because it reminded me of why I began this story in the first place, changing the perception negative perception that women have over their bodies. The morning of the shoot, I had two models cancel but I also had some models show up last minute. It was stressful and I was worried it would flop because of a lack of representation but looking at the photos now, I’m proud of how they turned out and the woman who were a part of them. I’d love to do it again and find even more of a diverse group that includes our transgender woman, woman of disability more women of different cultures and everything between. For now, I’m pleased with this first published body positivity piece and the best feeling is knowing I was able to at least make the eight wonderful women in these photos feel beautiful.
With Love,
Cat

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Bare

Five months ago I woke up and was too stressed and tired to put makeup on. I remember spending that day hearing annoying questions like “are you feeling okay?” or “oh, are you tired?”.  It bothered me because I realized that my friends never saw me without makeup. I looked in the mirror and realized that I hardly saw myself without makeup. I would stare at my bare face after taking makeup off at night and be disappointed with what I saw. That day brought my attention to the reliance I had on makeup to be happy and find self-love. Since then, the only makeup that has touched my skin is lipstick.

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I was raised in a super strict home that believed makeup and jewelry were not acceptable. I remember the look on my grandparent’s faces when I came traipsing home with a nose-ring, pierced ears and a face covered in makeup. I wanted to push against what I was told I shouldn’t do to my body and I lost sight of what I actually wanted for my body. Time went on and it became a habit. Now, I realize that I prefer my face bare. I prefer to be natural because makeup is not a form of expression for me. Those extra 20 minutes I used to use for makeup I now spend laying in bed reading or just staring at my cat, who definitely appreciates the extra attention.

I am not against makeup, I think its an art form and I commend those that have the talent and patience to be so creative with it. I see makeup as a form of expression and not as a way to cover what others deem as an “imperfection” or “abnormality”. If you enjoy putting on makeup, that’s great! Go for it! While you’re doing your thing, I’ll be over here admiring your artwork and appreciating the uniquely beautiful face I was born with.

-Cat