A month ago, I did a photo shoot with photographer #shimelkemoa
. Up until that point, I had only done promo shoots for the show, and professional family photos (which was also new). #Selfies
where pretty much the extent of creative photography for me (even my headshot was outdated) and I hadn’t dreamed of being this “exposed” in a photo I would later show on the gram. What this shoot helped me examine, outside of my own views of my postpartum body, was also my perception of #modesty
. As women, we are held to outlandish degrees of what’s deemed appropriate. The pressure to cover up or even show some “skin” gets called into question depending on your audience. If you are fully covered, you may be called prude, or a Queen. And if you bare your body, you may be called promiscuous (or worse) or you could also be viewed as a Queen.
These were all thoughts that crossed my mind. I consider myself a pretty modest person, believe it or not. Even with that modesty, I’m very comfortable in my skin. Labels aren’t my thing, but there are some who might call me a #nudist
lol. Even then, I’m very selective of who gets to “see me” in certain ways. I DO NOT sexualize bodies, but I’m aware that we live in a world that does. All these things popped into my head on this particular day, and I had to decide what was most important to me: my #freedom
, or my #reputation
. Ultimately I chose my freedom, because it’s the one thing I have that belongs to me. This shoot allowed me to take a deeper look at myself, to see if I was truly living for me, or for the comfort of others. All the questions I asked myself let me know that to really show up in these photos (and the world), I had to be convicted that my #Queen
status is one that I give myself, whether I’m in a #hijab
or nothing but a necklace. I will continue to be mindful of where I am, and take my cues from the community I’m part of, as a form of respect to that community and also to myself.
Thank you again, Shimel Kemoa and @photospherestudios
for helping me to peel back yet another layer of myself, so that I can keep showing up to the world as the fullest version of myself!