“Why would I have to be free to be beautiful in the first place?”

The last trip I planned to New York City I invited a woman to join me in the city to model for the My Body is a Cage project. Miss Y flew into the city for the first time for a whirlwind weekend of photography, art and nude modeling. This is what she shared about our time together:

“When Daphne asked me to participate in her project I was ecstatic. Most body projects focus on “freeing” a person by destroying the social things around them. Daphne seems to just be posing questions regarding how we embody the social aspects and related with them.

The time leading up to the session did bring some anxiety. Food and body hair became acutely prominent things in my mind. One of the biggest insecurities surrounded notions of femininity and being a sexually desirable woman. There was a fear regarding the fact I would become immortalized, for lack of a better term, in a photograph when I was not “at my best” physically. I had a lot to think about as I traveled to New York City for the session.

Once the session arrived, being nude for a camera felt like ripping off a Band-aid. Awkwardness I felt initially quickly dissipated, as Daphne was confident and comfortable and that rubbed off onto me. Later on as we viewed the session together I felt, I still feel, rather speechless. Seeing myself in images where I am shown as vulnerable and durable was a very empowering thing to witness. Instead of asking what is wrong with me, as I can’t seem to free myself from the social implications surrounding my body, I’m now asking myself why I would have to be free to be beautiful in the first place.”

Miss Y MBIAC project 2012


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