We are our own worst critics. We scrutinize. We nit pick. We wish too much for the the long list of things we would like to change about ourselves. Yet, what we perceive as flaws others perceive as beauty. Try as we might, we struggle to see ourselves in the light others see us in. We get too close to letting the negatives become our identity, to letting the negatives define us. We claw at our imperfections, magnify the tiniest of details, lay unhappy with the way we are made until one day...we turn on the light and we just stop.
One day, everything clicks and we drop the magnifying glass to finally look at the bigger picture. We see a fine work of flaws, imperfections, blemishes--woven together to create the most unique and one of a kind masterpiece impossible to replicate. We begin to appreciate the oddities as specialties and the once self-proclaimed shortcomings as character. What we once wished we could change, we all of a sudden couldn't dream of trading in for anything else. This is our DNA. These are our charming quirks. And this is why we shine.
[Details: Floral Jumpsuit from William B+Friends, Necklace from Jami, all locations shot at Hauser Wirth & Schimmel, Hair|MU|Styling done by me]
What does any of this have to do with these photos? I could sit here and zoom in on all of these pictures and create a list of things I used to wish could be different. I could tell you all the stories of how I would get teased or bullied when I was younger for my flat face, my flat chest, my small eyes, my big gums, my crooked teeth, and my, so much more. I carry many of those scars both literally and figuratively. It's all too easy to think of the countless"if only this" and "if only that" of my past...you could leave wonderful compliments and sweet emojis but I'd refuse to accept. Because it'd be swallowed by the darkness of my insecurity. I'd have an impossible time finding the truth in those kind words because my search for validity (and lack thereof) rested so much in the mouths of men, as silly as that might sound to some. You know, too often we fear the light...fear the exposure light can bring to all the things we try to hide. I say look for the light--freedom is there. And when you find it make the choice to step into it, to walk in it, to bask in it. Then watch yourself radiate as you were meant. This is when you'll see you couldn't imagine yourself any other way. I'd be lying if I said my insecurity monsters don't still try to come out at night. But, these pictures remind me that the perspective I take is a choice. And I choose the light, flaws + all.
If you've read this entire post, though longer than usual, I hope it sparked some appreciation for yourself. I have to give an enormous amount of thanks to the incredible JUNE KIM for taking these beautiful photos. You can follow more of her work at @junebugkim on Instagram. More incredible amount of thanks to KELLY MASUMIYA for taking the time to edit these photos. You truly are a wizard of digital artistry. Follow more of her work at @kellymasumiya on Instagram. Both of these ladies see the world with such stunning perspectives and they always take my breath away. If there were a Hogwarts for Photography they'd both be Master Wizards, haha.