So yeah, the “Nothing But Light” photo shoot was today….
I’d heard about it when a friend of mine posed. My initial reaction was that much as it was tempting to do it, in my case being naked in that way would put the focus on who I’m not rather than who I am.
I decided to push through that feeling. To face down my fears. To show that it was possible for someone with a body like mine could love a body like mine.
I pushed myself too hard. Sometimes when you stare into the abyss, the abyss not only stares back, but swallows you whole.
I don’t have a problem getting naked. I knew what I was getting into to. The photographer, Anastasia was lovely and excellent at putting me at ease. We had a great conversation during the shoot.
But while the spirit was willing, the body was saying fuck off. As we were reviewing the photos together after the shoot, Anastasia commented that during the shoot I rarely moved around during the shoot, and all my poses were tightly controlled — poses with “pretty hands” and “pretty legs” and otherwise positioning my body to looks as “feminine” as possible. It wasn’t something I did consciously. She said normally people start this way but usually loosen up after a bit. With people who perform it takes longer (since they’re used to presenting their body to audience) — one reason she does a very long shoot. I never did loosen up.
I knew this wasn’t going to be a glamour shoot — but part of the appeal was the challenge of communicating my femininity when the make-up, the padding, the clothes were all stripped away. (I did still wear a wig, which she was OK with.) But going through the photos all I could think was that my hair looked awful (it had frizzed a bit that morning and I didn’t have time to fix it), my skin without foundation looked red and blotchy, I had man-boobs instead of boobs, my belly was all-too-prominent. I looked fat, old and ugly — and far too male.
I wish I was more self-accepting of the body I have now. I want to be more self-accepting. I need to be more self-accepting. But it wasn’t happening today.
We did pick out a half-dozen photos out of the hundreds she took, in which I don’t look as bad. I do have the option asking her to pull the photos of the project — that was an upfront option she makes available to all the models. Not sure if I’ll exercise it. I’ll ask her to send me copies of the photos and take a second look at them. I probably need more time to process the experience.
I’ll probably never think of them as photos I like, but they may be photos I’m willing to be seen publicly.