Hello everybody! Boy, do I have something special for all of you today. As you may or may not know, I am an ambassador for the Girlgaze project. Girlgaze project is an online community of female identifying photographers in highlighting their work and movements. As an ambassador, every month I am given a photography project! Here is last months photography project as I chose a woman who inspires me including a quick interview.

Anyway, moving forward! In honor of May being Self-Discovery month I took some self-portraits and wrote a little bit about how this journey has been for me. I am so thankful for this opportunity to be able to express this creativity in this long rough but beautiful journey. Below you will find my self portraits in a specific storyline order. Of course feel free to have your own interpretations but I will also at the end tell my story.

 

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

From the age of fourteen to sixteen (probably even now as we are constantly changing), I went through an era of complete change. Not only for myself but for my surroundings as well. To say the least, it was not that pleasant at the time. Transition is one of the most difficult chapters that we all go through. Naturally, it is not taken easily or lightly. When I was thirteen, my parents divorced and my mom was left with 4 kids and the need to find a job. This alone was incredibly difficult for each of us, as I, the oldest of the 4, took on many responsibilities. As time went on, we adapted nicely as a new family with many moves. And then, I lost someone. Someone I truly loved and a huge part of me I lost as well.

There was a constant cycle of struggle between my head and my heart. A constant battle between what I thought was rational and safe and what felt good but different. As I took this time to re-explore myself in my identity, I found many new things! For example, it was only during this time that I started writing and I chopped my long hair off. You would be surprised how much emotional baggage is connected to your hair. Sounds silly, but trust me! During this time of transition, I always say I have never learned so much about myself, life, and hardships. Perhaps one of these days I’ll write my lessons but for now it simply is, love yourself first and foremost.

My storyline starts with myself hunched and my face hidden. I wanted to portray myself as someone closed off, shy, and hidden. The shading of the face symbolizes no particular identity. My storyline continue as I still had quite a hidden face but my hands grasp my head and hair forcefully in frustration and closure. I ultimately imagined this image to capture the infinite battle between my head and I. By my head, I mean the weary and doubtful thoughts of myself and my situations.

We then transition into a whole new photo. You can clearly see my highlighted face.  I finally look into the light, metaphorically the possibilities of all that I could be. This could represent the exploration stage of who I am. The next image is the stage of acceptance and love of myself. I now know who I am and wish to be. I take this time, a long year I should say, to love and accept myself. I have to say, this is probably my favorite. Next, I am still hugging myself but breaking out with a smile; ready to reveal and express myself to full potential. And lastly, I celebrate and express; wildly and happily. This is who I am and I love me. I’m ready to take on the world and be proud of all I have to offer!

However, of course I do not feel wild and happy every single day. In fact, there are many days where I need to recheck and accept. But you know what, that’s okay! As humans, we are constantly changing and experiencing new things! There are many resources and people that have helped me through this journey and I would like to say a huge thank you to all…

Until next time, try to take care, love, and accept yourselves, no matter how old. ❤

Much love,

Yasmeen

 

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