Monday, January 25, 2016

Photo Appreciation, Movement, Realism

This post comes from a two-year-old unfinished draft I dug up.

How interesting/twisted is it that I'm happier with grungy, awkward race photos of me than professional photos of me during a dance performance, because my body looks so very different to me through binding athletic wear versus revealing belly dance costumes?

My race photos show me posing awkwardly, grimacing more than smiling, covered head to toe in mud, wearing an ugly bandanna, and looking like something the cat dragged in under terrible lighting conditions and I'm thrilled to post them publicly and tag myself. My performance photos show me beaming and in motion, with gorgeous stage makeup and hair, brilliantly colored costumes and floating silks glowing under spotlights in a dark theater. But because my belly hangs roundly, I recoil in dismay that I don't have the same perfect lines of professional dancers.

Top: Zoe PhotoShopped. Bottom: Zoe in motion

Warming up to my performance photos always takes work. I remind myself that still pictures can never do justice to the full breadth of movement in a performance and that people who know me, who saw me, don't see my body as rotund as I think it looks.

"Isn’t it amazing we can see the beauty in our best friends, sisters, mothers, and aunts without the slightest thought to their flaws . . . but can obsess for hours on our own imperfections? We fixate on our flaws to the point we shirk at any documentation that our round faces and curvy bodies ever walked the earth. No pictures to show how we LOVE, how we laugh, how we are treasured by our families." Click here to read more.

It does say a lot about the messaging I've internalized and still need to deprogram concerning constructed beauty standards.

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