I could say that their stories are separate from mine, but they reflect who I am and what I feel. She is Shunned because that is what I was feeling when my charcoal touched the page.
The truth is, I turn away from my reflection, like a lot of women do, ashamed of what I see.
Her Story comes from a day of looking for inspiration on the web. I saw a photograph of a woman turned away from the camera; hiding herself... it wasn't a sad image; she was just turned away. But to me, she was being shunned...
This piece has gotten a lot of "likes" on Instagram, which I find to be ironic because she is one of my most somber pieces.
It made me wonder, what does she touch in other people; in other women?
Could it be that she touches on the self-shaming that we all engage in?
When we turn away from mirrors?
When we feel the need to cover ourselves rather than stand shoulders back, proud of the beauty that is really there, but hard for us to see ourselves?
I think people like her because she is beautiful, but somehow still ashamed of her nakedness.
I think people like her because seeing that she is beautiful, but still ashamed, means that even in our own shameful moments, we reminded of our own beauty...
My artwork has always been a kind of catharsis for me, a way to let out what I am feeling. And it often isn't until I am finished with a piece that I realize that I have been bottling up some feeling or emotion.
This one, I think, reflects my own body shaming.
Never skinny enough...
Never pretty enough...
But the truth is... it isn't true.
I am beautiful the way I am... in my own skin. Even when I am ashamed in it.
She is thin. Yet still ashamed of her body... of being seen. She is covering herself. But in reality she is beautiful.
I find that this piece reminds me to be proud of my body. To be proud of my vessel. This reminds me, and I hope all women, that body shaming and shunning ourselves is unnecessary and that there is always another angle at which to view ourselves. And that other angle...can show our beautiful perfections and imperfections.
That is Her Story and mine.
Even in my moments of self-shaming I am beautiful...
as are we all.
So smile at her in his sadness, and give yourself permission to so what she won't... to look yourself up and down and see the beauty that is so clearly in all of us.
If you would like to take her home... she is available on my Etsy Shop.