29 Jan 17 – 4 Feb 17//12 Feb 17 – 18 Feb 17
A little over two months ago, my friends and I thought how fun it would be to do a photo shoot for my Birthday. The idea was to dress up in those cute animal onesies we saw on Instagram, and to blow glitter into the camera for that ~sparkle~ factor (hence, the name “21 and Glitter”). As the day of the photo shoot came closer and as my self-confidence grew, I brought up the idea of having some photos taken of me in my underwear… like just my underwear.
At this point, it’s redundant to even mention the phrase body issues, but the thought of stripping down in front of a professional photographer shook me to the core. I’m not a virgin, so a few people have seen me with less clothes on, but what I was planning to do would immortalize my body at the state it was in, with all of its imperfections, which I try so hard to hide in flattering clothes, exposed. At the same time, it excited me. Recently, doing things for #theROYCEproject has started to become less terrifying and more exciting, even though essentially, I’m still doing things that scare me. But it’s a good thing that I feel that way, too, especially after failing to do last week’s thing. And this is what I learned from the experience:
1. You do not need abs to look sickening in your underwear photos. You need a photographer who understands good lighting and who can tell you what to do with your hands.
2. Insecurities come from being with the wrong people. It made me feel less vulnerable doing all the poses the photographer told me to do with my friends screaming “YASSS!” from behind the camera.
3. I look hot. No explanations necessary.
Now, doing the shoot was one thing; sharing the photos was another. I had doubts about sharing them because they were a bit risqué, and I didn’t know if I was even allowed to share them because they might affect my law school application. Still, the plan was to share all of the photos (unedited) on my Birthday (the shoot was done two weeks earlier). I also came up with some body-positive captions to come with them. Who knows? Maybe somebody with his/her own share of body issues would see the photos, might as well post them with something that could make people better about themselves.
Again, excitement overtook fear. I kept teasing the album by changing my Instagram icon to one of the less obscure, but still very much in my underwear, photos. I was so hyped for the big reveal until… my mother saw the photo, called me, and went completely hysterical. I hadn’t told anyone about my plans to share the underwear photos, except to the people who were with me during the shoot, but she figured out what my next move was. She then called my body disgusting, and subsequently warned me to keep the photos to myself if I didn’t want to be a laughingstock.
I could do either one of two things: the first, I could listen to her. Harsh as her words were, she was only trying to protect me. Tough love is tough, but it’s still love, right? The second, I could ignore her, and proceed as planned to check off another thing on #theROYCEproject. I think you can figure out which one I did.
Special thanks to Marlo Adriatico for taking our amazing photos. Click here to see more of his work.
My favorite shots from the shoot are on my Instagram.