The story behind the earlier photo 💜
So here's the BEAUTIFUL faces behind the shoot. I've asked @kubared to write a short piece on the shoot and body image.
As a black woman who's pretty much been fat all my life, my lifelong journey with body positivity has been coloured by society’s general aversion to fat people, as well as black women.
There’s an expectation for fat women to be apologetic about their so-called ‘condition’, to wallow in the discomfort that others feel when they look at us. And when we deviate from that, or indeed celebrate the way that we look, it horrifies people to their core – as evidenced by some of the comments under that stunning photo of our backs in all their brown, back fat-laden wonder.
To be a black woman in part, is to be both side-lined and hyper-sexualised, but add fat to that equation, and things become a bit complicated. Like most black women, you are still expected to both conceal and perform your sexuality, but there is an added expectation to repress any public displays of pride that you have in the body that you live with every day, (mostly for the purpose of shielding people from having to acknowledge that you, a person who was supposed to have crumbled under the weight of societal pressures, have a level of self-confidence that many are still working towards).
But while taking part in this photoshoot was one of the most liberating experiences I’ve had, it was also a huge challenge for me. Both because I’m so used to being expected to shy away from publically flaunting the aspects of myself that I’ve grown to appreciate, and because being truly body positive is an on-going practise. Learning to love yourself BECAUSE of the way you look, rather than in spite of it, doesn’t happen in a day, and I still have to battle with my own insecurities to remember that.
I can’t thank Rukiya enough for bringing all of the models (yeah, I said models) together in the way that she did, and while getting your kit off in the name of body positivity may not work for everyone, I can assure you that making moves to appreciate all that you are whenever you can, works wonders. #blackgirlmagic #womensmarch