We are not born hating our bodies. We spend our earliest days in wonder, discovering fingers and toes. Parents dote on every ounce and kiss every chubby fold.
Then we grow. Everyone remembers the first time someone told them that some part of themself was less than lovable.
I have an announcement to make. I want you to understand where its coming from and also what it means when you choose to hire me.
In the past I wanted you to love your pictures so much that I did some slimming, chin lifting and zit zapping. Recently I removed a birthmark from every picture of a perfectly beautiful child. One brave momma asked me to put her chin back, she knew something was off.
I was so ashamed, of that second one especially. I did it because I felt at fault, I chose the angle that showed love and connection, not the best chin. But I was also making a judgement about bodies when I decided to manipulate digitally without permission.
I am trying hard to stop judging bodies. Key word: trying. So I am no longer manipulating without the directive to do so.
We live in a filtered, Photoshop culture where skin-lightening, fine-line-smoothing and bulge liquifying have become our norm. Every image you scrolled through getting here was likely manipulated this way. Even your camera phone is already programmed to smooth.
If retouch helps you to love your photos more, all you have to do is ask! I have no problem doing retouch, I just don’t think I should driving the decision anymore.
And this: when you love an image of yourself, you are assured that is you. No bullshit, no fiction.
Please understand, this decision is part of a larger reflection I’m working through. When you share your weight loss or fitness journey, I always applaud your strength and commitment but I will not speak of how you look. Your body does not exist for my assessment or anyone elses, it is your own.
There are no bad bodies, that’s what we’re teaching our son. This is part of practicing what we preach and I hope you can understand.
Yours in gratitude, radical self love and authenticity…. Mel