Lonely Lingerie asked me earlier this year, if I would like to be a part of their Lonely Girls project. The Lonely Girls project is a series of images, shot by Harry Were, these images feature thousands of different women, and shares a photo of them, and a part of their story.
The opportunity to be a part of Lonely Girls was a massive privilege, when some of my extended family found out that I had been a part of Lonely Girls, they asked me how I felt about being in my underwear for the photo – I told them I felt 100% comfortable.
Some of them were surprised by this.
Being in Lingerie for the shoot with Lonely put me in a place of vulnerability – but that didn’t make me scared or uncomfortable. It made me feel powerful, because I knew by putting myself in this place, I could send a strong message and make other people feel strong.
Vulnerability is not to be afraid of, difficult situations of course require courage, but once you get through vulnerability you do find power and capability that you didn’t know you had. In my case, I was the first person in a wheelchair to be in Lonely – I knew that was both an empowering place to be and a fearful place to be.
Fearful, because my body was different to anyone who’s ever been featured – and that made me acutely aware that my legs weren’t toned and my hips were scared. But empowering because that difference would make me stand out and allow me to bring forth a message – that my body, like every body is worthy and beautiful. I committed myself to bringing that message forward, that commitment was way more powerful than my acute awareness of my scars.
The amazing thing is that Lonely’s message supported mine, they supported what I believed and because of that, I felt comfortable and like the message I had, was going to be powerful.
When it comes to our body’s – we’ve been tricked into thinking that the oppressor is right & that the oppressor cares. The oppressor, being the person or medium who tells us that we need to be skinner, more toned, more articulate, less noisy, more feminine – yet masculine enough to make it, tanned.
The oppressor who has said these things to us, they spoke them into nothingness and the flaw was that these things were listened to.
And now that these things are listened to, our minds are affected, our perceptions; we’ve been tricked into believing these untruths, but the oppressor who created them – they don’t care, about us, about how we feel and the affect they’ve had.
What we need to learn to do, is stop listening to the oppressor and believe in the goodness, the beauty of ourselves. The only way we can do that, is by being vulnerable and putting ourselves in places which help us bring forward a message, challenge a stereotype or help others feel strong – so they can breakaway from what is pushing them down.
Put yourself in a place of vulnerability, you’ll be amazed at how strong, you feel. (But maybe don’t do what I did, unless someone like Lonely or Harry Were has your back)