Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I'm a Model, you know what I mean...

And I do my little turn on the catwalk.
Yeah, on the catwalk, on the catwalk-
yeah, I shake my little tush on the catwalk.

Yes, I just quoted "I'm Too Sexy." And yes, I knew all the words without looking them up. 1992 was a great year.

These are some cropped pictures from my naked photo shoot. You heard me- cropped. I will pose naked but putting my tits and my snatch on the internet for every freak who googles naked or cancer? No thanks. Again, I must credit my photographer, Christine Benjamin for her amazing work. Perhaps one day I will be a page in her "I of the Beholder" book, my girls out on your coffee table.

How was that photo shoot, you ask? Well, it was many things. Liberating, uncomfortable, fun, sad, moving, fucked up. I was more comfortable with bearing my body than bearing my soul. See, as Christine snapped away, she asked me to go into my thoughts about cancer, my body, whatever. It was so hard for me not to crack jokes and put on some cheesy smile. In fact, when I tried to dodge some of her questions with an inappropriate crack, she wouldn't let me. Before I knew it, I was talking about how uncomfortable I've become with my body. How I've lost a bit of myself. And then the tears came. Fucking tears. I kept thinking to myself, "cry pretty." I do not cry pretty. I have a very unflattering picture of me sobbing from my wedding, mascara streaming down my face. When the shoot was over, I asked, "Does everybody cry during this?"

"Pretty much," she said.

I am in fact, NOT a model. I had no idea what to do with my hands or how to stand. I felt forced. It was harder than I thought. It was hard not to "pose" or to stand purposely to hide certain flaws or accentuate the positives. It was hard not to think about the 30 pounds I'd gained from cancer that I haven't shed yet. Or how to put my hand where I had earned some cancer stretch marks. Christine had me just talk, and move my hands accordingly.

How do I feel about the finished product? They're beautiful. And moving, I think. However, it's hard not to focus on the flaws. My lopsided boob is much more prominent than I thought it was. The spare tire around the middle is not so pretty. I have a wicked double chin. Then again, I had a double chin 20 pounds ago so there's no surprise.

I know, this is shitty to think of these things, as the whole point of the photos is not to focus on them. That we are beautiful despite them. That we are strong, wonderful women. It's easy to think that when looking at someone else.

I guess my problem is that I look at these pictures and it feels like looking at someone else. It doesn't look like me. In my mind, I'm still athletic and blond. I have long straight hair. I'm smiling. Or laughing. I radiate a little bit of sex. A me I'm not quite ready to give up, yet. Not only do these photos not match my own image, they show a vulnerability that I'm not quite comfortable with. A vulnerability I can thank cancer for giving me.

Perhaps that's why these photos are so good.


Anonymous said...

Man!! I totally want the full shot so I can set it as my screen saver!

Anonymous said...

I know what it is like to not feel 100% kickass and it sucks. That said, I think you look absolutely beautiful. AJ

Anonymous said...

Although what you went through stinks, you now know yourself on a level that many of us will never know ourselves. The vulnerability that you have experienced, albeit scary, will only make you a better person in the end.

Personally, regardless of hair color and real or perceived physical flaws, I think your pretty KICKASS!!!!!!!!!! and brag about you to most anyone who will listen.

On the hair issue... go Julia Roberts a la Pretty Woman with flowing curls (you have to go with it) and auburnish hair.

Anonymous said...

I think they're beautiful. I completely understand internal image not matching what you see in the mirror, or in a picture, or what others tell you THEY see...I feel like that's part & parcel with being female, period. Add the *actual* physical changes from cancer to the perceived ones that are buried in every woman's mind, and it becomes impossible to synthesize.

Regardless--those pictures are beautiful. And you *so* don't have a double chin.

love, chris' friend who still wants to meet you, rachel.

Anonymous said...

What Jill said... jp

Jennifer said...

Hey Chick,

A port scar never looked so good. Thanks for coming to blab with me Thursday!