Pictures of Me

I have been slowly inching my way back in front of the camera since I can’t really shoot safely with models yet. Toronto (and our province on whole) is still a mess with Covid because our local government is criminally incompetent. Once 2 doses of the vaccines are widely available here it will be easier for me to get back to what I love without risking the health of my community and family.

I am faaaaaaaaar more comfortable being behind the camera. I tend to over-focus on my own “flaws” in photos- which I know most people aren’t looking that closely to pictures they see online let alone itemizing all the “mistakes” my genes have made. Some of this fixation is rooted in growing up in the 90s where extremely emaciated was touted as the only acceptable body type (insert a whole essay here about how toxic the media in the 90s and early 00s was, wtf was “heroin chic”!?!!). Some of it is from being bullied pretty badly for being ugly and weird as a kid. It’s taken work unlearning cultural and social conditioning and it’s part of why I am militant about welcoming all bodies/genders/etc with my work. I don’t want anyone to feel like I have.

I think most of what we laser in on as “flaws” on ourselves are things most strangers won’t even notice, or if they do aren’t judging you about anyway because they’re up in their own head worrying about your judgement or what to have for dinner. Anyone going around judging the appearance of others (and commenting about it) is honestly having a real shit time, healthy well-adjusted people don’t do that.

Your genetic lottery winnings or how to choose to dress is not the sole value you have in this world. Being thin won’t solve all your problems, and the size of your body has nothing to do with your morals or willpower (no matter what the companies benefiting from you thinking otherwise claim). Women/others don’t just exist to be evaluated on their appearance constantly, being in public isn’t the same as asking for the opinion of strangers on whether we are “fuckable” or how closely we can cosplay the “Type Du Jour”. It’s 2021 and we don’t have to keep tolerating this nonsense online and offline.

So here are some silly photos I took in my bedroom wearing our “Vintage Toys” dress! I’m not thin, I am not young, and I am still weird- and that’s all fine.

If you’ve been looking for a sign or some encouragement to take photos of yourself- DO IT. Just do it. Who cares if you never show the results to anyone. Life is short and kind of ridiculous, you might as well play dress up. This world could benefit from more weirdos and varying bodies/genders/etc to be loudly, creatively, visible!

-Tae

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