Dear Katie (Part 2 of 3)
A continuation of yesterdays post...
When I handed my son to his now Mom, I watched the only reward I had for my trouble being given to someone else. He was hers, though, from before he was born, and I don’t begrudge her any of that. I walked away having to explain the marks I bore, without the child I bore.
It was hard, at first. It’s still hard now, in it’s own way.
This journey has been one of great challenge, great destruction, and great growth.
This photo shoot is to document something that I have struggled with shame over. Not as a malady of skin, but as a malady of soul. I don’t mind that they’re not pretty. I’ve never minded that I’m not pretty. What I’ve minded is that I look at them as battle scars, from a battle that I lost.
So ask me now, do I feel comfortable naked? I do. Because I’m not hiding anymore. I have learned to love my body, and my scars, as a vessel for my strength, my tenacity, and my audacity.
With this body, I created life.
And beauty, gods fuck it, had nothing to do with it. Literally nothing. This isn’t about documenting beauty, this is about documenting power, and love, and strength. And I want you to know that the work you do is beautiful, and the photos will be beautiful, and I don’t care if people ask why you didn’t have a prettier model… this isn’t for them. It’s for me, and for him. And I hope, in a way, for you.
I want you to see that what you’re taking pictures of doesn’t need to be pretty… there’s so much more value to me, and to you, and the work you do, than pretty has ever accounted for.
With these hands, I have lifted those I love. With these arms, I have held them. With this chest, I have loved them. With these legs, I have carried myself. With these eyes I have seen the wonders of a world I am still trying to understand. With these lips, I have spoken words that have built people up, have enlightened them, have empowered them, have given them strength. With these ears I have heard them. Really heard them. With this mind, I have created worlds, and learned to love the world I am in.
And with these stretch marks, I have made room for another human being. With this uterus, I have grown a person. With all of these pieces of me… I made all of the pieces of him.
That… that is what you’re documenting for me.