The selfie. I was guilty of it before Selfies were even a thing. When I was a young girl, there were rarely any photos of me that I had only a mirror to rely on to see myself. I mean that in the sense that you see yourself beyond what you envision in your own mind. When I did glance at a candid shot of myself taken by a relative or friend, I’d really be shocked. “Do I really look like that?” I really had no idea! I did some modeling in my late teens – early 20’s and the photographer would describe me as ” A beauty that film can not capture”, this would be attributed to camera angles that would alter what I really do look like. Take any 20 images of me and line then up side-by-side, you’ll see it too. Friends often tell me that I look nothing at all like my photographs. In Video even more so. I have plenty of video clips on youtube, when I look at them, I find it fascinating how light and shadow can alter your appearance. Is this really me? No, of course not. It’s pixel magic!
I can somewhat relate to the Santerians that refuse photography of any kind believing it captures your essence in a way that imprisons your soul. If the photograph falls into the wrong hands, the beholder can do you great harm. I say somewhat because I think it’s all in your own head. I could certainly allow bad photos of me to chip away at my Ego, I don’t allow it. I embrace even the shittiest of pics. My Ego is pretty solid. Thousands of photographs are available online, the good, bad and the ugly. The older photos may be buried in the archive but they are still out there. I look at them often to see subtle changes in my face and body. The not so subtle is obviously my hair (or lack there of). I still have Alopecia, I glamour my way through it but mostly I just got tired of maintaining a completely bald dome. When people say I look “Better” now, than two years ago I find it’s just adjusting back to a head with a little bit of hair. It is what it is, subjective and opinionated. This is MY body. Only I need to be satisfied by it. Outside opinion is just feedback about it for whatever reason motivates a person to share it. Intimacy between two people involves mutual body-sharing but it’s not the same thing as approval seeking.
When I post a new photo on my microblog, I often get fanmail. “You look great!” and “You’re so sexy!” are fairly common. Every once in a while I’ll get “Did you lose weight? Lookin’ good!” Which really makes me giggle. I actually weigh more now than I ever have in the past. Amazing what 10lbs will do. I’ll be 42 in January, I tend to think that my age presents my appearance in a particular way. When I published Between a Sandwich and a Hard Place in 2013, I was 135 lbs. Today, I’ve
plateaued at 144 and been holding that weight for a while now. At 5′ tall and with my body dimensions, I’d describe my body as thick. I make no apologies for it and people rarely believe me when I give them my real weight. “No way, you’re so tiny!” Tiny? I haven’t worn a size 3 since I was 28. I jumped 3 sizes to 9 since then and that’s with eating healthy and being active. Imagine if I sat around eating bon-bons all day. Am I body conscious? Sure as hell am, I feel every giggle in my wiggle! In the Spring/Summer season I’m quite active outdoors, do my own yard work and am go, go, go that I wonder how these hamhocks stick around. Towards the end of the Fall and duration of Winter, I tend to go into hibernation mode. I hate to be cold and prefer the warmth of fuzzy blankets and over-the-knee socks.
I revamped my studio so I could change-up my routine this year. I can be a creature of habit and I’ve been breaking up those old cycles for a while now. I don’t know if it’s empty-nest syndrome or what but I’m getting a different sense of who I am beyond just being Dillon’s Mom. Even if my lifestyle wasn’t altered all that much, I think I did retreat, even if only a little, into that role that it’s taken me this long to remember what the hell I was doing before that. I can’t say much, if anything has really changed. I guess the people around me figured I’d go all Beserker mode but I never did hide myself away as a parent. Even if I had my fair share of critics it’s never made an impact.
I still enjoy my hobbies, reject the Art World and all of its trappings. I remain aesthetically driven which is why even my dusty cob-webby garage has to look just so for me to function properly. The house remains an organic expression of imagery that acts as a vehicle for an over-active mind. Whether its items that decorate my living space or my person, that impulse remains unwavering. I doubt that habit will ever break, it’s my foundation. Naturally there will be pics! To me, it’s just another form of personal expression. If I’m called an Attention Whore or Narcissist, this has little to do with me but rather the viewer. This is me. This is what I like and what I do. I’m not one to be quiet about it either. Never have been. Why should I be? I will not go quietly into the night, nor will I cloak myself in modesty. I recently took a series of photos for a man I’ve been spending time with. I put a couple up on my blog because I liked them. Why else would I do it? For my fans? My readers? For some projected idea of celebrity? You may find yourself disappointed if you really believe that to be true. If my expressions of self-love were somehow missed, allow me to remind you, ten fold!
If I have an over-inflated sense of self-importance, we may just disagree on what LIFE really is. It’s not a series of expectations to meet, or purposes to fulfill. It’s something you DO, you live it. In doing so, I have no question in my mind that others will be offended by it. If you also believe that I am in control of when and if a person becomes offended, I’d say you have a lot of sorting out to do. I don’t know that this thought vomit will assist in that endeavor but may at least clear a few things up! There’s plenty more photos to come in the near future. Whether my body will be the subject remains to be seen but this really isn’t about the vehicle. It never is! Think on it, what has my body done for you lately?