Oil on wood.
Throughout art history, there have been many different body types depicted as a symbol of beauty. As time has continued we see thin bodies becoming glorified in art and culture. Diet culture and societal beauty standards ruled over my life for far too long. My first distinct memory of diet culture being pushed onto me was when I was told by a family member while on holiday that I shouldn't eat another sweet because I was already chubbier than my friend. I was 10 years old. I was taught to hate my body when adults gave me "skin firming lotion" while I was still playing make-believe in the garden. I was raised to hate my body before I even grew into my body. I became fixated on of how I looked and internalized the words that had been said to me and developed an eating disorder that took over much of my childhood and young adult years.
When I developed an autoimmune disorder and chronic pain in my early to mid-twenties, my body changed rapidly, with becoming ill I learned that hating my body or myself never helped me. Being mean to myself never got me further in life or made me happy. Becoming ill taught me the necessity of to treating myself with love and care. I learned that the size of my body has nothing to do with how I feel about it, and I didn't want to live hating my body. This is the only body I have and I refuse to treat it horribly anymore. I deserve to live in a body that is respected and treated well. I have curated my social media to show me what I want to see in the world. My social media is full of Fat positive, LGBTQ+, disabled, and diverse creators that inspire me daily and feel like home. This series is the diversity I wish I saw more of in the world. This is not to say that I have perfect body image or love myself every single day but I have more respect and love for myself than ever before and generally feel more neutral about myself than anything else. Self-love is amazing but also we don't need to feel beautiful every single day to appreciate our bodies and the skin we are in and to simply be.
"Being" is an ode to fat bodies.
It is the series I wish I saw growing up.
"Being" is hope for a world one day where fat people are not discriminated against and can simply be, like everyone else.
This series is a love letter to myself and a love letter to every other fat person.
Fat bodies are incredibly beautiful,
and I don't need another reason or justification other than that.