Being the boss of your own life is hard when others are claiming ownership of your body. Other people‘s expectations and projections on me really messed with the image I had of myself.
My body is one of a non-binary, queer, Muslim, fat femme of color. In a neoliberal and capitalist logic, fat and non-white bodies are considered to be lazy, undesirable, gross, obscene, sick. To society, being fat means being a failure because if you had „tried hard enough“ to optimize your body, you would be athletic and slim and productive like „everyone“ else.
I had been tired of taking this blame and shame for a few years now. Still, being shot in underwear and knowing the pictures will be published gave me a lot of anxiety. Will these pictures be used against me to claim that I am unprofessional? Would a cis male person in the same work environment as me posing topless have the same worries? What about a skinny person? A white person?
Then I gave myself a mental reality-slap in the face to remind myself to chill - after all, this is just skin. Just because most people can‘t handle a fat person showing their skin and feeling themselves, it does not mean that I should stop living my best life.
Other people‘s narrow minds have been holding me back for such a long time now and I am not having it anymore. Plus, at the end of the day, I was not doing the shooting for myself only - I knew that it would simply mean a lot to me to see a person with a similar body take up this kind of space and owning and reclaiming their beauty.
And, it feels bold to be fat while referring to yourself as an underwear model.