This is for anybody who doesn't love themselves.
Suffering is hard.
Suffering alone is unbearable.
I want those without a voice to have a platform to speak their truths.
I want the world to understand we're more alike than we are different at our core.
I want everyone to wake up feeling like they are enough.
I want people to feel empowered.
I want people to feel loved.
While the world tends to avoid the unpleasant parts of human existence; I illuminate them with this project.
Human suffering is an important part of our existence. It may not be something we enjoy, but, without these parts of existence we would not fully understand the significance of the parts we do enjoy. The love we share with others, our sense of belonging, our accomplishments, the miracle of community, and the advancements we make everyday for the betterment of our humanity. All of the good things we have in life began as tiny sprouts in a dessert soil of existence. The pursuit of happiness means nothing if we do not understand the journey and all its facets.
This project celebrates all of the strengths you can find in hardship. It reveals the secret struggles of everyday people around us and enlightens those who aren't aware of these struggles about the pain these people carry with them daily. It explains why people behave the way they do, how human suffering can change a persons behavior, and how that suffering can shape their sense of self. My heart has always ached for those who suffer like I have. I've always had to be patient with those who suffer because I was raised by those people. My entire family has suffered from addiction, mental illness, grief, poverty, and toxic shame for how they've coped. In a world where mental health services are only offered to those with the resources to obtain them. I am hoping that this project will create empathy within those who cast judgement upon the suffering.
Through visual imagery of the nude body, in it's most natural state, I hope to draw people in with this common denominator. I don't chose my participants based on beauty standards or sexual prowess; I chose them based on how much they've struggled and how much they have not. To illustrate how people suffer differently based on race, gender, class status, sexuality, geographical location, and ability.
Someone I value immensely in my life once told me, "Don't do what is easy; do what is right".
It's easy to pass judgement on those who don't fall into the social expectations of society.
It is hard to learn why they differ, empathize with the circumstances that build that difference, and understand their suffering.
I challenge you to understand.
I challenge you to empathize.
I challenge you to question your judgements.
Because we all Woke Up Like This. We all have to cope with who and how we are. We all deserve love and support.
Be kind to yourself,