Honesty

2017-12-08

Again– warning, post contains nudity.

It’s about an honesty that we miss in our everyday life. We live our lives trying to be as adequate and enough as we can be, trying to fit in this social construct. The photos are about having the courage of being who we are, accepting our worst flaws, and the question: What if we were more honest about this ugliness we try to cover up?

They reflect my current outlook on life – how the good and the bad are always entwined and that the result is a beauty that’s not easy to look at. Even the most fundamental thing as love can come with so much pain and confusion. What makes us feel alive has the power to break us, too, and there’s a beauty in this ambiguity of things.

We don’t want to stand out, so bury our truths behind masks, only visible for our most trusted friends because we’re afraid of getting hurt or hurting others. But is it really better to cover up the truth? What happens if we stopped hiding it, no matter how ugly it might be?

We weren’t born brave. We become brave by tackling issues that freak us out, by not backing down when we want to run away, by learning to be stronger than our impulses. Showing weakness is a sign of bravery. It’s a statement: Here I am, completely, not hiding any longer.

My photos should reflect the honesty of my words.

– An excerpt of the artist statement my mentor told me to write for my personal work last month. I wrote it in a late night train, in a bout of frustration with the society we live in. I had to hand it in before having the time to edit it, so the text stayed a raw first draft.

“I immediately thought of self-portraits when I read your artist statement”, my mentor tells me the next day. I wish she’d say something else – that I could create the work I want with others, too. My texts are always about me. But I don’t want to be self-absorbed, so I wanted my photography to involve other people. But she’s right, what I care about right now is so personal I’m the one who is best at expressing it. So I do.

Talking to her made me rethink everything and led to an ‘identity crisis’, but things have settled and I feel a new drive. I’ve been pushing myself more. There’s an honesty that wants to break free both in my everyday life and in front of the camera. I’m still not sure where this is heading, but I’ve been letting go of the desire to be beautiful on photos. And it feels good.

Why are we so bad at communicating our truths? Be it our feelings, needs or intentions. Instead we choose to take the socially accepted way. Don’t share too much, don’t give people the possibility to hurt you. Keep things superficial, be fun. I’ve tried so hard to fit in, always feeling too much or too intense. But this is not me. I’m so tired of being afraid. I long for more honesty in my life. Yes, it’s hard and makes you feel horribly vulnerable, but how are we supposed to connect if we keep the thoughts and feelings that matter most to us a secret?

And yes, sometimes it needs alcohol. Or second chances. But I realise more and more how I can’t stand myself whenever I give in to society’s constraints and people’s expectations. I have to create my own path.

Life feels like a tightrope walk on some days.  My feelings are wild, messy and exhausting; I’m still struggling with some issues I thought were resolved. I spend a lot of time with people. Strangers open up, let their guard down and within hours there’s a trust and emotional intimacy that wasn’t there before and we part ways as friends.

It freaks me out, sometimes. I tend to lose myself in other people. It’s so much easier to connect when you don’t have walls holding you back. And yet it’s part of this human experience, I’m trying to embrace the unexpected, let it challenge me. I don’t want to shy away from things that scare me, from intensity, from confusion. Life is too short to give in to fears.

i felt really tempted to censor this one, i’ve never showed so much of me before. then i thought it’d be totally contradictory if i censored myself on my own blog, in a post that speaks for honesty and courage. so here it is, uncensored.


In the last couple of months I’ve been sharing lots of my work on Instagram, neglecting my blog, you. But today I want to publish some photos here first. You guys have always been so supportive and your feedback on my first self-portrait post was so lovely, the least I can do is give you something like an ‘exclusive preview’ of some unshared work :)

These self-portraits are based on Francesca Woodman’s photos. My mentor showed her work to me and it was love at first sight.

Have a lovely weekend and take care, my dears x

43 Comments
    1. Beautiful post and you are very brave. Honesty is the most difficult thing to achieve because even when you are you can’t count on others to be as well. Which naturally leads to putting up walls for fear of being vulnerable. Perhaps because I am older, wiser physically intimidating male I don’t project insecurity but I am very insulated except to the few that I trust. But honest always, that’s how I came to know myself. By taking a real hard look. Again, beautiful post

      1. Thank you very much for your thoughtful comment and sharing your view on this topic :) yes, there’s always the risk of being too naive and running into a bad situation, but I also realised that my relationships have become more intimate so it’s a risk I’m willing to take. And I totally agree, honesty requires taking a really hard look at yourself, too.
        I can’t get onto your blog via your Gravatar profile, could you share the link? :)
        have a lovely evening!

    1. Being honest is an inner status. One is or not by nature . When it’s the case generally it doesn’t really matter what other people think..

      1. Thanks for your comment :) it is indeed an inner status, but I don’t think it’s a thing in our nature. It took me lots of time and practice to be able to look at myself and acknowledge and accept what I see. And unfortunately I still care too much about what people might think.

        1. Less flattering than true, but sure. :) But, more than that, I hope I’ve been encouraging. People are told way too often, untrue or half-false things that make them feel insecure about themselves. It’s damaging, and my goal is to help with a kind of healing love everyone needs to experience. I hear the lies myself, and sometimes they’re so loud I start to think maybe they’re true. So I hope I’ve turned down their volume and given something different to hear. You should be celebrated. You are a work of art. ~Deon

    1. Your words are so beautiful.. I feel like I can completely relate to them. I admire you for admitting how you feel, I feel the same way, but it’s so hard to think about it. I can’t even think of it sometimes, it’s hard to look inside oneself and ask what our truth is. It’s much easier to get lost in others people’s wishes and lifestyle (family, friends, men…) I think I’ve come to a point in my life where everything I thought I knew about myself was a lie. And I feel lost because I can’t find my truth, it hurts to see one’s flaws and empty spaces. It hurts to realize that we can’t fill our void with other people. But one thing I’ve learned this year, and it’s the only thing that gives me hope, is that it’s importante to take the time to reflect about these issues, and trust the process, even if it’s long and painful.
      Here’s to hoping this journey leads us to find peace and answers. Thank you for sharing.

      1. Girl, I loved your comment, it’s so so good to feel understood. Thank you.

        “It hurts to see one’s flaws and empty spaces.” – amen to that. I’m slowly finding my truth, I don’t feel that lost anymore, but my truth includes many flaws and messiness and it’s hard to figure out the right way to deal with them. We’ll find our way, I’m sure of that.

        Do you wanna elaborate on ‘everything you thought you knew about yourself was a lie’?

        Gosh, I really wish we could sit in a café and talk about all this someday :D take care xx

    1. « Life feels like a tightrope walk on some days.  My feelings are wild, messy and exhausting; I’m still struggling with some issues I thought were resolved. I spend a lot of time with people. Strangers open up, let their guard down and within hours there’s a trust and emotional intimacy that wasn’t there before and we part ways as friends. »
      So glad I’m not the only one, it makes me feel less alone, it’s why I love the anonymity of WordPress :-)

    1. Lovely words – baring your soul to some extent – and the pictures are beautiful and sensitively constructed. They do not show raw, shocking nudity but a blurry, swirling impression of the honesty you are embracing and seeking to convey to us. IMHO a good way to do this.

      1. Hey Stephen, thank you for your kind feedback. :) Happy New Year, thank you for sticking around!

      1. Hey, thank you for your kind comment! Your post sounds like an awesome idea, let me know if you’re still interested in featuring my photography. Happy New Year :)

    1. I feel like this was written for me, some phrases you wrote even sounded like things I’ve thought about or thing I would say. I loved this. Thank you for writing this.

      1. Elise, thank you for your wonderful feedback. There’s nothing that’s more encouraging than lines like yours, thank you xx Happy New Year and hugs from Switzerland :)

    1. So compelling Monika! I’m learning too that the approval I seek is really my unintegrated shards, crying out, wanting to be seen, heard, accepted and loved, and when they are, a new peace and freedom takes shape. You are right there! Lean In, Monika…lean in.

    1. Absolutely love it everytime you write. 2 questions. 1. What effect did you use to blur the images? 2. What do/did you do to resolve internal issues?

      1. ooh, thank you Aranab! :)) The first question is really easy to answer – I exposed the photo for around 1.6 seconds and moved a bit, thus the blurring. The second question is great but tough, I think I’ll dedicate a whole post to it :D

    1. Beautiful, elegant, sensuous shots. Love that they are lucidly obscure. Or obscurely lucid :) Not sure if you’ve ever seen any of Maya Deren’s films, but these photos give me that Maya Deren vibe. Thanks for sharing and creating and affirming. Happy new year!

      1. hey John, thank you very much for your kind comment and tip! I haven’t heard of Maya Deren, but I looked her up and watched some of her work – it’s really interesting and inspiring! :)) thank you for sharing, I hope you’re doing well. Take care! :)

        1. Glad you dug her style and imagery. She was one of a kind! Even the title of her film Meshes of the Afternoon reminded me of the series you did by the window with the curtain, except maybe yours would be titled
          Sheerness by Twilight :) Keep living the art life, your vital energy and artistic eye is appreciated. Goddessbless ya and happy 2018!

    1. Interesting work here. My PTSD came from childhood trama. It can be overcome. You seem to be on the right path. Good luck.

    1. I do also struggle with this every single day, I am still young and questioning about what to do with my life, and this post shows me a light lil bit about what truly matters after all; honesty. I think i’ve reached the point too about caring what other people think and just working hard to being more vulnerable and honest with myself.

      What a beautiful post, thank you,

      1. Thank you very much for your lovely comment! :)) you do sound as if you’re in a similar position as I am – I wish you all the best on your path! Take care <3

    1. It looks like you are Noticing, offering Non-Resistance and accepting the path traveled, and reaching into the self Authenticity that can liberate you from the ego’s slavery. Beautiful photos. Thanks for your honesty.

Let me know what you think!

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