“Do not give the body as communion, confession, do not ask for it to be pardoned as criminal. The body is not a crime, is not a gum, the body is not a lost set of keys or wrong number dialled. It is not the orange burst of blood to shame white dresses. The body is not an apology.” — Sonya Renee
Body positivity is something I have struggled with, from when I was a little girl until now. My body does not always do what I want it to do. It does not always look like what I have wanted it to look like. It has been a source of anxiety, shame, and self consciousness for as long as I can remember. It seemed to me that my body was always under criticism, always scrutinized and picked apart. I wanted to know what made a body beautiful. What standard did it have to meet to be deemed beautiful? I wanted to search for beauty and positivity in bodies that do not fit the european standards of beauty. Through photographing the series, Body Positivity, I found that and much more.
During the photo shoot what may have been uncomfortable for the models, turned into images that the subjects themselves did not recognize. They are photographs that portray strength, positivity, confidence and so much more. I captured images of African American couples and individuals who were no longer embarrassed about their stretch marks or arm fat or simply being naked. They are comfortable in their vulnerability. This was not always the case at the beginning of the shoot, but always at the end. I watched as thighs became art and insecurities became beautiful. That was purpose of this series: to find beauty in the areas that we hide and apologize for the most.
– Kiki Arthur, Digital Photographer
To see more of Kiki’s photography or book a shoot, please follow her @ohemaa.photography on Instagram.