How many women reading this have become so focused on certain parts of your bodies,
that you have completely lost sight of your beauty?
Do you think of yourself as a:
- stubborn number on a weigh scale
- a collection of bulges, sags and dimples
- a lack of curves or too many curves
- a size
You are not the sum of your parts. You are a whole person, uniquely and amazingly designed.
Your body houses your spirit. It carries you through life. It expresses all of your emotions.
It speaks your mind. It shows your love for others. It helps you transform the world.
Just As I Am is an art project currently showing at the cre8ery in the Exchange.
It takes ordinary men and women of all shapes and sizes and shows the art in them.
Rodney had been at a loss for how to help our clients realize that they were not the only one with a certain body type. It wasn't until a friend of his challenged him with a story of his high school art class, that the idea came to him to create a gallery and book of images capturing the beauty of real people.
This many-layered project touches on much more than body image,
but it was one of the initial reasons the project came to be.
Here is what one of the participants had to say following opening night:
"I must say that I was struck nearly silent by the beautiful images hanging on those walls. Reading some of the descriptions that people wrote about themselves nearly brought me to tears in some cases. I noticed an energy in the room last night that was...what? Awe?....Reverence? Perhaps a mix of both, but it seemed almost like that hush that comes over you when you know you've entered a holy or sacred place. I believe that everyone that was there when I was there, was feeling the same things.
Rodney and Sonya, you have managed to do what should have been done a long time ago and that is to bring to light the beauty that is in every one of us. We are so bombarded with media images of thin, beautiful, "perfect" people that it's not hard to start comparing ourselves to the artificial photos we see, and soon enough we start to believe that because we don't look like them, we are ugly, fat, and not worthy of..well...anything.
I find it terribly sad that it has come to this, where we as humans have lost our ability to see our own greatness, our own beauty and our own perfection. Beauty is everywhere and your project has helped us to find that again. In the eyes of some of those photos I saw survival, healing, humour, and for some an awakening. It's like a weight has been lifted off of us. That weight of striving to be what society says is the perfect person. What we are discovering after this project, is that we are already perfect people. We are exactly what God meant us to be, in all our different sizes, colours, backgrounds and opinions. Everything about us is right where it's supposed to be, and who are we to argue that?
I feel privileged and blessed and grateful to have worked on this project with you. The changes I have seen and felt, and the emotions that your photos evoke, are something that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I think if you ask any other participant, they will tell you the same. This has been life changing. You have changed our lives and for that we are all grateful. Thank you for showing us our own beauty and perfection. It was there all along.
Thank you, thank you, thank you."
Laura (and Ella)
If accepting your body is something you struggle with, come out to the cre8ery at 125 adelaide st.
Admission is $10. For more info, see www.justasiam.ca or the cre8ery's website.
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 12-5 pm, Monday and Thurs. 6-10 pm
(Show closes March 9th).