New blogger Snarky over at Shapely Prose posted today something that really struck me:
Sometimes we are so defeated by our -isms we forget to wish for something beautiful. We forget we’re more than our bodies or our -isms. We are more concerned with pain avoidance and less concerned with pleasure seeking.
Flip that script. Make some wishes for yourself today.
Not only do I love her idea of making a weekly list of “wishes” but that bolded line (emphasis mine) really and truly reflects how I’ve been feeling as I begin to put images of myself out there into the world. As “brave” or “courageous” as the action may be; I still realize that I’m doing so with an almost cringe-anticipation factor. I keep EXPECTING to get massive amounts of negative feedback or trolling.
In an effort to avoid that pain I’ve been making sure to quickly delete the few comments that do fit into that realm and also working really hard to mark up my images everywhere that I don’t care about negative views on my body. In anticipation of potential pain I’ve also marked all images with a huge watermark; which means that anyone wanting to make a nasty photomanipulation of my images would be hard pressed to do so easily (though that doesn’t necessarily mean it couldn’t be done; just that it would be harder for the idle nasty jerk). I’ve been so focused on preventing possible back-lash; that I’ve really been less appreciative than I could be for how lovely the experience has really turned out so far.
People have been nice, supportive, encouraging even! I have comments loving poses; suggesting new ones, and offering tips for future photo shoots as far as lighting and such is concerned. There are actually artists praising me for stepping up and out into the world of Reference Pose Stock because they are actually hunting for ways to envision bodies such as mine in certain poses. These things are a true pleasure for me! Knowing that I might be helping other artists to see a form not often represented is amazing.
Yet I’ve been so worked up over the potential for negative response that I was totally unprepared, almost unopen even, for the far greater positive feedback received instead.
So to “flip the script” for myself this week I think I will start wishing for the beautiful and stop fearing so much more strongly the self-defeating “-isms”. That isn’t to say that overnight I’m going to somehow magically No Longer Anticipate Pain in Potentially Painful Situations because let’s be honest; after a lifetime of expecting the worse it isn’t easy to stop that sort of snap reaction to life’s stimuli. I am not able to just say “Oh, okay I’ll stop having that instinctive twitch in my belly of nervous fear when I do something that I’ve been told all my life Fat People Shouldn’t Do”. But I like the idea that each week I can make a wish to that effect in the form of small steps of progress. I may not be able to completely change from reflexively apprehensive to fully open and confident; but since FA has already helped me make great strides in that vein I can certainly step up and work to continue along the path rather than stopping where I am. As I have been with the reaction to my newbie photo work; I may end up being surprised at the results.