My foot danced on the concrete floor, tapping out a rhythm of stress. My face caked in makeup felt like it was melting, as sweat began to form on my upper lip. My hair blown up with
humidity could catch a lion in its net of frizz. Dolled up in my supposed best, I sadly felt my worst.
Taking photos of myself is a nerve-racking endeavor being someone who struggles with perceiving what I really look like. I have moments of blissful highs, where confidence flows through my veins and seeps through into my smile. Then I have moments where I feel like I’m a lumbering giant, without an ounce of beauty stretched across my large body. I simply don’t know what I look like. A camera makes this fluctuating confidence even worse. I could be feeling my absolute best and the camera could confirm that, but when I’m feeling particularly low, a click of a button and its resulting image only drowns me deeper in sadness.
Walking into CADY Studios for my senior picture with the knowledge of its significance as a milestone, had me wrecked with nerves. Naturally, the little devils of my subconscious took advantage of my weakness and attacked where they knew I had little defense: my body image. With pitchforks, they prodded and poked at areas of myself that I was insecure with: my weight, my height, and my face.
Sitting down to take my first picture was terrifying as nasty inner remarks popped up. You gained too much weight over the summer. Your sweaty face looks disgusting. Everyone at school will see this photo and think about how ugly you are.
Yet the camera quickly disappeared as I listened to the directions of the photographer (and of course my mom). Slowly but surely, the camera morphed into the background, along with my little devils and I stopped envisioning an ugly picture and started engaging with the kind people around me. My photographers cracked jokes, asked me about myself and gently helped me open up to the true beauty they were trying to capture.
Cady was not there to make me a model or force me into a mold of beauty that would appease my nasty subconscious. Cady was there to capture a moment of emotion that I could carry into my adult life. My mind can be my worst enemy, but my heart and the hearts of supportive people are my best allies. I may never fully develop a sense of consistency with my body image, but I can develop an appreciation for a body that has held memories of milestones that I will remember forever. Thank you CADY, for taking a picture that truly shows me as a person.
Cady was not there to make me a model or force me into a mold of beauty that would appease my nasty subconscious. Cady was there to capture a moment of emotion that I could carry into my adult life.