At 27 years old, I still have a lot to figure out. Part of that is learning to love my body, and what that means. I was full of angst and body shaming as a teenager, as many are at that time. Since then, I have spent much of my adult life trying to understand things like why my thighs are so soft, while my back has always been sculpted. It’s a challenge to accept the mysteries of your own body. I don’t shy away from the camera, yet I hate being in the spotlight. I have recently begun to get out into the world much more than ever before, to move my molecules and work my muscles. I love exploring nature, and finding the beauty that surrounds us all has improved the health of my body, my mind, and most importantly my spirit. Discovering this has helped me to find happiness in myself, both on the inside, as well as the outside. I still have insecurities, and think some of my body parts look backwards and too big, but moving forward in the journey to loving oneself is essential to who you are.. I knew Gia would capture me in a light that I have never seen, the light that I have been working on for so long, and that intrigued me.
I walked into the photo shoot, not really knowing what to expect. I knew it would be fun, but what I didn’t know is just how much joy and passion that Gia exudes while doing what she loves. In moments of uncertainty when I didn’t know how to move my body, she helped me to relax with laughter and gentle, yet direct instruction. She would shoot, stop to look at the camera, smile at me, and say, ”That was a good one.” I love that sentence.
When I left Gia’s studio I was excited. Excited to be a part of her vision, and try out something so filled with artistic expression and vulnerability. I was also nervous to see how that vulnerability would translate through the work. I didn’t know how I would react to seeing the photos. Turns out, tears filled my eyes and I just stared. I find humor in just about everything- it’s what gets me through life. I thought I would be able to make a joke about how awkward I looked, or about some ‘flaw’ that I would usually criticize myself for, but Gia has a way with the camera that truly opens you up and exposes your true self. And that’s what I saw. Me. I looked confident, soft, beautiful, silly, and vulnerable. It has definitely helped me on my journey to self-love, and for that, I thank Gia endlessly.