Vulnerability and Minimalism: Just Me.
*this post might be best enjoyed WHILST listening to the track at the bottom. If you can, press play before reading the rest.*
I'm not sure if you were to notice on your own, but I don't have any makeup on in these pictures. No makeup, no jewelry, no scenery, no props, no fancy clothes, and no colour.
This is one of the hardest photoshoots I have ever had to do. I didn't know what I was supposed to do. The purpose wasn't originally minimalism, and my photographer and I struggled with the lighting and the lack of scenery. I felt inadequate to make a good photo; and it was really hard to focus on being what I thought the camera wanted.
But when we took a second look at the photos and changed the colours to black and white, we started to realize the concept of the shoot was much different than we originally planned. All that came through in the photos was the individual being photographed with no bells or whistles. The only thing shown is plain ol' me. This vulnerability is so scary for me, so I wanted to make sure I communicated how much these pictures are impacting the way I look at my personal beauty.
My relationship with makeup has always been very minimal. It's not a big part of my life, I've never felt like I depended on it to feel beautiful. I've always just thought "I look okay, but I'm more pretty when I put makeup on." I decided to go without it this month for personal reasons, which is alright in terms of going to class and being with my friends. But taking pictures that make me feel good about myself is out of the question. I want to hide behind my glasses, or take pictures with my hair hiding my face (very difficult). Doing these photos made me realize how much I really do want makeup to feel good about how I look.
I don't want to be a person that depends on fine clothes or makeup to feel beautiful. Maybe I do. But I also know that it isn't everything to be beautiful. I've talked a few other times on Haphazardly Preppy that the obsession with outward appearances in our society is the thing that is the problem, not that people don't feel beautiful. Beauty is shallow and fades, but it consumes our thoughts instead of the pursuit of time spent in the presence of God or becoming a more thoughtful, kind, and generous person. Having integrity and honesty. No one seems interested in this, they just want everyone to feel like their outward appearance is approved by the people they meet. What the heck. I include myself in this, and I don't pretend to be better than anyone else.
There's definitely things about me and my beauty I would change, for sure. But I'm trying so hard to be okay with moving through my day without makeup just like any other day, focusing on my relationships and becoming a woman who makes people feel loved and happy. I am giving these photos a chance to communicate what I feel my true self is, and it's terrifying but good. I'm learning a lot.
Something I have also been learning from this year is being in a relationship with a person that loves the way I look, and makes a point to tell me so. I don't try very hard to impress him anymore, I wear whatever I can find and I don't put on makeup if I don't want to. And... he still likes me. He thinks I'm beautiful. It has been so hard to comprehend, and I'm still not used to it at all. It's weird and nice.
Thanks for reading this. I am often hesitant to put personal details up on the internet, but I couldn't lie and say I had a great time taking these photos, or that I love the way I look in them. I am thankful that Christine, my photographer, could use the space and the time we had to capture a Self that I hadn't ever shown before. I also hope that through sharing these thoughts with you, you can feel more open to showing your true self to people you have been trying to impress.
I discovered this incredible artist last week and her 5 song EP has been enchanting me ever since. Her sound is so fresh and beautiful, I envision her songs to be a garden full of wonderful things to be discovered. Enjoy Rukhsana Merrise and check out her other song So They Say if you like it a latte.