Katherine Olivia: Nude and Shrewd

“I wanted to do this photo shoot for a number of reasons. I’ve always been comfortable naked, but in movement. Remaining still, having an image captured and displayed without explanation was scary. I like to push past scary. I’ve sat for life drawing classes which were nerve wracking at first, but the reward of the many interpretations was wonderful. The next logical step to me was photography. A completely different type of interpretation; more realistic and less forgiving of “flaws”.

I’ve heard many comments about me over the years. My least favorite are the ones that are posed as compliments to me and digs at the one sharing the words. I do not have a perfect body. I work hard at my positive attitude and sometimes I’m completely faking it. I do not have a perfect life. But they are mine. I love when I can inspire. I don’t want to ever be the cause of someone feeling badly about themselves.

I’m 5’ 5.5”. (I own my half inch!) I weigh about 143lbs right now. While I feel as though I could/should/want to work out more and eat less ice cream/Almond Joys than I do, I feel healthy overall. About 15lbs and 4 years ago I was scaring people close to me and only recently realized how much difference 15-20lbs makes on a frame my size. I have big hips, broad shoulders, and am fairly muscular. My hands and feet are bigger than what is average for the rest of me. My nose is a bit crooked. I don’t have the dimples I always wanted, and my eyes will never be two different colours. I generally wear a size 6; but have had pants that were a size 2 and shorts that were a size 9. I would wear them the same week. As we (hopefully) all know, women’s clothing sizes are arbitrarily assigned and ridiculous. The scale isn’t the best indicator. What you see in the mirror isn’t necessarily either. My eyes and mind played tricks on me for years and I finally feel as though I can see my physical self clearly.

I take Prozac in the mornings. I started several months ago while I was PMSing to help with my PMDD (like PMS, but with more of the awful). A couple of months ago I started taking it every day because my brain & hormones weren’t staying in a space that allowed me to live life the way I want to. It’s a low dose, and while I’d like to find a homeopathic option if/when I can, I’m fine with this solution for now. Sometimes I take Norco to beat my uterus into submission. Sometimes I take sleeping pills. Sometimes I drink alcohol. I don’t do all three at once. Sometimes I feel in control of everything in my life. Sometimes I forget everything, including how to spell my name after the ‘K’. Our brains are amazing; capable of more than I imagine we can think of.

David gave me the option to keep out any photos I didn’t like. Though there are aspects in these photos that make me cringe a bit, I decided to let him post all that he worked on. I’d have let him post every single photo he took if he wanted. Not because I think I look amazing in them all, but because I think I don’t. I thought of asking if he could airbrush some things out. I thought again. Perfection is not required of us. These show what I looked like that day. It’s not how I’ve always looked. It’s not how I will always look. I think a bit of my personality, mixed with David’s, shines through. What could be more beautiful than a compilation of effort? I believe the reason for living is to learn, grow, and help others. So I’m taking this opportunity to learn about myself, grow more comfortable with my body and hopefully help even one person with their self comfort.

Feed, stretch, challenge, coddle, and adore your body and your mind. Until further notice they are the only ones you get. Please don’t compare yourself to anyone. You are amazing how you are. If you want to be “better” or different in any way, choose you as the reason. No one else is worth the work.”

(Gallery: Courtesy of Tiny Glow Photo)

About the author: David Danseur
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