Body Hair Dont Care is a photography series that follows the journey of individuals exploring ideas of identity, self love and gender through photo therapy
I haven’t reached the pinnacle of body confidence. It’s something I have to work at, harder on some days than others.
Years ago, when body dysmorphia was a major force in my life, and I would spend hours a day putting on and taking off make up (usually only to give up and stay in anyway), one thing I wished for was to be able to jump in a lake at a moment’s notice, without worrying what I’d look like bare-faced or naked.
It seemed unthinkable at the time, but I could happily jump in a lake right now without a fuck given, so I know that progress is possible!
I try to ask myself who benefits from my insecurities, and which institutions I bolster by my compliance with / concern for contemporary, gendered beauty standards.
The answers to those questions are always some form of capitalist or misogynistic nonsense, forces I’d rather not feed. It’s important to me to interrogate my motivation to look or present myself a certain way, and to question the negative comparisons I make about my body.
I might be tempted to assuage painful thoughts and feelings that come up by changing this, or covering that, but the more I push back, the less power those thoughts and feelings will have to restrict my freedom or comfort.
I'm comfortable in my own skin now and embrace it but a few years ago I was put on a medication that made me put on a bit of weight.
I became depressed and didn't value myself because i felt fat and inadequate. After a few years I learned to love my body.
I think the photograph captures my flamboyant personality and is a reflection of my new found confidence. Your body is yours and you should love and respect it for what it is. Never try to change it.
I think now is the time to remind people that it's ok to not conform to the standards of beauty.
Body positivity for me means feeling good with my body - with all of it. And telling myself positive things when I don’t feel good.
It can be difficult at times, no matter your shape or size, but it makes a world of a difference when you stop trying to look good for others and realise how hard your body works to keep you alive and breathing.
That body deserves you to love and care for it.
To me, body confidence is having the freedom to express who you are.
When you embrace the body you have rather than the body other people think you should have, you learn to love yourself.
The ways I present myself are an extension of my gender identity and my personality, so body confidence feeds into self-love and vice versa.
I shave some places but not others, because it's how I feel the most comfortable and the most beautiful.
I am by no means confident with my body, as a fat woman I hear a lot of commentary about my body from family, doctors and the media, it’s very hard to drown this out and focus on your own sense of self but I am trying.
I have a supportive group of friends around me that encourage me to express my body however I see fit and follow my own sense of beauty. For me this includes wearing revealing clothing, heavy make up and not shaving my body hair.
All of these things I have been told in one way or another is not appropriate because my body is too fat, too overtly sexual and because I am a woman.
I’ve found for me, the best method to be confident in my body is to continue being someone that I find beautiful and let the rest fall into place with time.
I’m lucky to be able to be a part of this photography series and get a chance to express myself in a safe space in order to become empowered.
I have always seen confidence as something to be achieved.
I strongly thought that if I found "success" in life, my insecurities and low self-esteem would disappear. I made huge changes in my life, I moved to a new country, got a new job and made new friends.
And yes, I was happy for a while, but one day my demons found me again. Why was it so difficult to get rid of this negative inner voice?
In my past, I suffered bulling and I also had a very toxic relationship.
Those chapters completely marked me as a person. I realised I couldn’t change this. As I said, I used to think that I had to fight against all the things I didn't like about myself and my past. But, maybe I just have to accept them as part of me. They are an important part of me.
I had bad experiences in the past, but I moved on. I am brave and I never gave up. And yes, I would change some things about my physic. I would like to be less hairy, to have less grey hair, to be more toned and to have a different nose shape… but that’s me.
It's not been easy at all, but I accept all my flaws. I accept myself.
I know I’m not perfect. But, who is?
That’s me and I love it.
You can't imagine how important being part of this project has been to me.