Photography, design and concept by Guerilla Syndicate - www.guerillasyndicate.com
"Why fit in when you were born to stand out"
One of my biggest dreams was to stand naked on a hill top, (let me finish before you think I'm crazy) with my arms spread wide like wings, my eyes closed and my head to the sky. Just so that I could feel that sense of not caring anymore. Feeling totally free and totally liberated. But I know that it doesn't take me actually doing that to unburden myself and allow myself to be free not to care. That just comes from me and how I chose to live. I am almost sure there are other people out there who feel the same way. That just for a day, we didn't have to care. Care about what we look like, about what we are doing or not doing and care about what others think of us.
But as the image above shows and what I grew to realise was, the reflection we see in the mirror and the vision we hold of ourself rarely fits with the visions and opinions that others hold of us. Our so called burdens are the flaws that we see, we criticise our imperfections and we find it hard to accept ourselves. It isn't always others that think this. Yet the peace we all seek lies in that self acceptance.
Pretty hard to do in the world where we are surrounded by photoshopped images of beautiful people, with perfect skin and perfect bodies right? The challenges we all face to be "perfect" seems to be getting more and more and the lengths people are going to, to reach that unrealistic goal are getting more and more dramatic.
I recently read a fairly disturbing article written on theguardian.com about the mental health issues of women. It states that " Women are up to 40% more likely than men to develop mental health conditions, according to new analysis by a clinical psychologist at Oxford University" The full article and research can be seen at the link below:
It made me ask the question why? Why is it that we are suffering in the first place? It made me think about our wonderful new western world, with its fabulous technologies and computerised versions of humans. And then the pressures this puts on all of us, not just women, but everyone. We have to look our best, but also achieve our highest goals and we have to be the best wife or be the best parent all at the same time! How can we maintain all these ideals and still remain happy or mentally stable? What if we can't, are we a failure? I know from my own experience, juggling so many balls does have an effect on your mental and physical well being. Maybe that's why I want to stand naked on a hill top?! What ever the reason, I believe something has to change.
As Dr.Seuss says, "Why fit in when you were born to stand out".
There are many other advocates out there that are challenging the Media construction of beauty and success and just one that I came across recently was this beautiful video directed by Melissa King at http://www.myheartdances.com (watch the clip at the bottom) It is an open and frank discussion by women about how they feel about themselves and the issues surrouding photoshop. They reveal their true self with no makeup, no hair styling and minimal clothing. I think the women involved seemed to embrace the experience despite their own self doubt and hopefully its inspiring to anyone who is feeling less than "perfect".
So why should we spend all that time and money on making ourselves "better" when we could be spending it on enjoying our life instead? What would our world look like if we did that?
I decided to look at the money and time I spend on skin care, anti ageing products, keeping fit (which isn't too excessive at the moment due to being one wage family) and see what else I could do with that money. Could I take a holiday I have always wanted or any other experience I would tick from my bucket list? Why don't you try just for one month, to utilise that time and energy in a different way and see how you feel? We only get one shot at this life and we want to make it a good one, remind yourself why you were "born to stand out"
Author Amie Morris for Project Shine