Offensive Acceptance II
Revisiting the movement of growing confidence within people, Offensive Acceptance takes another look into the vulnerability of people. Each piece is not only sharing the body but also the mindset that many can relate to, whether it is completely loving one’s self or still growing into that confidence. The body isn’t something to be ashamed of. We are all beautiful and this project is meant to show that beauty.
“I was always insecure about my boobs only because one is bigger than the other. But I learned to love my body just the way it is. There’s only one of me and my body is part of who I am. So I started taking topless pics to embrace the body that I have. I love my boobs now more than ever.”
“My body image as a black woman has been distorted for most of my life. Black women are usually portrayed as curvy, thick or voluptuous. I was never those things and instead, I’m slender and petite. Growing up people would always tease me about my size and tell me I needed to eat more or that I needed to be “fattened up”. This is as damaging as teasing someone about being fat because it also leads to this negative image we have of ourselves and can even result in eating disorders involving unhealthy binging. But once again, no one thinks of these things. I didn’t like myself for years because not only was I considered weird for being a nerd who liked things that black people supposedly had no business liking but my body type didn’t fit what was considered the standard and gaining weight felt impossible.
As a young adult, I had to shed all the negativity I had been fed. I learned to love my tiny self. Part of that is thanks to cosplaying as characters I related to who had similar bodies and even using myself as a reference model for my artwork. These things helped guided me into a new comfort zone that younger me would have thought was unattainable. One where I learned to feel beautiful and appreciate my itty-bitty booty, boobies and not so thick thighs.”
Warmth & Softness
“I love my body. The warmth and softness of my embrace. Thighs wide and comforting. Shades of brown following the cascade of sunlight that hit me throughout the summer days. Tattoos like a love letter, stretching across the expansiveness of my physical existence. I love me, all of me.”
“For a very long time, I have struggled with my body and my weight. At some point, you could’ve counted each rib, each vertebra, and trace the outlines of my clavicles from start to end. I was admired by so many women but deep down I longed to be like them. I was taken to doctors to slow down my metabolism but none of them succeeded. I was depressed. Nothing fit. Kid clothes were awful. Alternations were expensive. Online shopping was my only option. I hated bathing suits. I would eat until my stomach would hurt. I hated myself for allowing my body to die. At some point... I did die, my souls, that is. I no longer wanted my body but I so desperately wanted to live and be seen, so I changed my entire life and now... now I’m happy and at a healthy weight. You can no longer count my ribs or vertebrae. I had allowed too many toxins into my body and my life that it sucked me dry. My soul began to flush back into my body as my weight began to increase. I felt tall and confident. I felt loved and beautiful. I felt like myself for once in my life. I feel alive because my body is no longer dying but flourishing into a masterpiece that I call my temple.”
Never was comfortable in my body
Never liked what I saw
Too many flaws
Until I bared children
And saw the strength my body carried
So I began to value it
And care for it
And bask in it
And love it for all that it is
This is my vessel.
The one I was gifted.
The only one I’ll get for this lifetime.
“To answer the question about how I feel about my body. That’s been a journey lol. I grew up around a lot of white girls whose bodies did not look like mine. I was always taller and always bigger constantly aware of my body in the spaces that I was in. I think as I’ve gotten older and grown into my features I’ve learned to appreciate my body and its curves and stretches and bumps and hair. I also never wore my hair down until I got to college which is wild because I love my hair now. But the only time anyone ever told me they liked my hair was when I straightened it. I never took the time to take care of it because I could never get it to look like the straight-haired girls. And at some point, I said fuck it. I love my dark hair. It’s all over my body lol. My darker features are a marker of who I am. I look like my aunts and cousins from The Middle East when I wear my curls out and I love that.”
“I have always struggled with my physical appearance even as a child my father was very emotionally abusive even when I was thinner and more attractive by society's standards I struggled. Now I'm older and have several health issues a couple of which make me gain weight particularly around my tummy. I'll be 31 next week and my self-image is still my biggest issue, I'm learning to be a lot kinder to myself I can already feel the difference and I'm excited about this journey. Seeing the body positivity movement grow has really helped me on my own journey.”
“Self love is needed to grow and to be confident. Nothing is more fun than to be able to pamper every inch of yourself. It's like you glow when you’re well taken care of. Im a huge fan of art. I loved going to the museums, looking at the naked Greek statues and just amazed by the structures. Growing up I felt I didn't really have much body, but being naked I feel so powerful. I'm more confident naked. Whenever I look in the mirror I always picture myself like one of those statues. Being able to take pictures and capture my ‘art’ made me love myself.”
“I've always been self-conscious about my butt. Don't get me wrong, for the most part, people have told me that it's a good butt. That it's pouty or that I got that cake. But it felt weird that people would even say anything about it. It made me wonder if it really stood out that much. My “girl butt...” So I used to wear a lot of baggy pants, big ole basketball shorts and shied away from beach days. But lately, I've been far more proud of this ass of mine. Because I realized that I can never be anything other than myself. And shit, all these shorties out here paying for fake butts. I got the cake for free.”
“I’ve been doing these body empowerment projects for a decade now but I never told anyone that I felt each piece. I have always been skinny. Growing up skinny meant I was the target for many verbal and physical attacks. Even at home, I was constantly reminded of how slim I was. My family would constantly tell me I need to eat and get bigger. It never really stopped as I got older either. Even though my confidence grew, people would quickly comment on my size. I do think I am amazing in so many ways, there are times I look at my body now and wish I could look different. I try changing my diet and working out but even when I gain weight I look the same. I am most insecure about my mid-section. I have these indents that I feel make me look so ugly. I only get over it because I know someone will like what you look like no matter how you feel about it.
Doing these projects not only help the many women who participated but it also helped me love the body I have. I’m not fully there but one day I will be. I think some parts of me are amazing and that's a great start.”