Oh my god. Hearing all of these stories after photographing and getting to know these amazing women on a superficial level is just so incredibly moving to me. I feel like I’m starting to sound like a broken record when I say that we are all similar, and that everyone is going through battles you have no fucking idea about so just please for the love of everything holy and a box of crackers BE KIND. Never in a million years would I have guessed that Cammie had been through what she had. She’s so upbeat and smiley! But that just drives the point home. Trauma doesn’t announce itself when it walks into a room. It hides in the corners of the mind, sometimes dictating everything you do, until you work to heal yourself.
Here are Cammie’s words-
“Body image as a whole has been full of its ups and downs for me as well as for many other people. Some days it is hard to look in the mirror, and I am simply disgusted with everything I see, but other days, I am lucky enough to love my body. I have always been a skinny girl, and I never had to work hard to look “fit”. This changed once I hit college and went through some pretty traumatic things with a boy. My body was finally “growing into its paws” right at the time that I started to despise my body and refused to claim it as my own. It was something taken from me, and it was something I didn’t want back. I started to gain some much needed weight because I was a late bloomer, but I avoided anything to do with my body. I didn’t treat it right, I didn’t eat healthy food, I didn’t exercise, and that started to really weigh down on me. Not only did I hate myself and who I had become, but I didn’t like the physical things about me, either. Being told, “So many girls would kill to be as skinny as you!” Or, “You are so much luckier than me, I don’t know how you couldn’t love your body”, has always irked me because there are reasons far deeper than just looking in a mirror and not liking what I saw. Though I never hit an unhealthy weight or any weight that people would consider bad at all, I didn’t feel physically good at all. I have recently started to work out consistently and pay a little better attention to the things I eat, but still insecurity creeps in.
I think being in an abusive relationship really could take anything in my life and remind me why I am a problem. Without understanding the ownership of your own body or the love from another person, I don’t know that I ever learned to love my physical body the way that every person should. I spent 2 years with a person who abused it constantly in many ways, and knowing how little I meant to a person I gave everything to, made me feel like my body is worth a dime, if anything at all. I spent years trying to hide and conceal everything that happened to me with my ex-boyfriend, but it still comes back to haunt me from time to time, and it mainly possesses my outermost appearance. The very thing taken away from me without my permission. The thing I will probably always have a struggle with. My body.
I am on a long journey back to self-love and care. I do everything in my power to become more of a kick-ass woman every day, but like everyone, I fail. This journey is taking me back to loving my body, but also treating it better in general. It is critical to understand who you are, why things happened to you, and how they have affected you, but also to take those effects and use them to your advantage as greatly as possible, and that is my journey. My road to becoming a self-appreciating woman. I just hope my story can help other people realize that nothing ends you except death and yourself. Choose to be better and to fight every day because it always proves to be worth it.”
The pants and undies are by Rayne and Skye Essentials and are in all honestly, the most comfy things EVER.