This is a reminder that it’s OK to express yourself through images of yourself. It’s OK to take photos of yourself, to draw or paint pictures of yourself. It’s also OK to write poetry, stories, essays and blogs based on your own experiences and ideas.
It’s OK to share those things with your family, your friends, your community and the whole world if you want to. If you don’t want to, that’s OK too, but it doesn’t mean that other people shouldn’t. Your choices are your own and deciding where, when or even if your image and your words are seen is an act of empowerment and you deserve to be empowered, to empower yourself.
Self-portraits are not new. Autobiographies and memoirs are not new. But somehow as soon as people – especially women, especially young women, especially people in minority groups or oppressed groups, or people on the fringes of society, or people with lifestyles outside of the mainstream – have access to the tools and channels to place their pictures and words in the public sphere without prior approval from the powers that be, it’s all ridicule, shaming and accusations of narcissism.
It’s OK to feel confident. It’s OK to feel beautiful. It’s OK to not feel confident or not feel beautiful or not to care about, or be motivated by, the concept of beauty in the slightest but to accept that you are as worthy as anyone else of existing and taking up space and being seen and heard and represented.
And if anyone ever dares to tell you that your face or your body or your voice are not acceptable, if anyone ever dares to tell you to sit down and shut up, to be less visible, to be less anything, that says nothing at all about you and everything about them.