The selfie is from an aprox. 22mm lenses, while the bodypainted shot was done with an 85mm, which is also about the same focal length that a human eye can see. I stared at the 85 mm for hours, just wondering how I didn’t realize that I actually looked like this, that my mirror wasn’t lying to me after all.
And I still struggle-to not criticize myself. To say that my nose is fine, instead of it’s damaged by a childhood accident and it’s too big. That my skin, with its spots, is still beautiful. That I am enough. That I am worthy.
For anyone reading this, as a femme, Black, and disenfranchised by any of the million ways that America fights against you...I see you. You are beautiful. You are valid. And the only thing that really matters is how well you can actually see yourself. And sometimes, you need friends and those who love you to hold up a mirror. As for those who can’t see your true face, and never can, then leave them in the dust. Your perspective is valid. And theirs, with this deliberate misunderstanding of who you really are, is not.