On Saint Patrick’s Day I went to San Francisco to the presentation «Nothing but light«. I was curious: what’s gonna happen there? The person who created the project was Russian, like me. Anastasia Kuba invited people to appreciate the results of her crowdfunding project: see the pictures and listen to the statements of participants, who posed to photographer completely naked. And it was not just pictures, but much more — people read aloud their stories, which were as confession — about their life, their body, their attitude to the project and explanations why they made a decision to do that.
“Nothing But Light” explores concepts of boundaries,vulnerability, and consent. We all experience the world through our bodies. The body is the easiest target for disrespect, worship, objectification, shame, neglect, control, and attachment. The violation of a person’s dignity often begins with disrespect of their body, and restoration of control begins with the acknowledgment that a person’s body matters and inherently deserves respect. We crave to be seen and accepted, but opening up, we lose control over the consequences. We have no guarantee that our trust will not be violated and boundaries will not be crossed, we risk rejection and abandonment. To protect ourselves, we hide our truth. But the more walls we build, the more isolated we feel. Allowing someone to see your body is a form of surrender. I see the project as a way to create an empathic and respectful space for people to surrender within the boundaries of consent, so they can see themselves, and be seen as they are».
I was really impressed of Anastasia’s energy. I like this type of people: creative, brave and open. So open that she allowed her models to photographed her too:)
I was really surprised to know that one of participants of the project — Justin. Despite his disability, he made a decision to be in the project and tell people about his first sexual experience and share his thoughts and dreams.
Matt said that he doesn’t like his body, may be that was a main reason he decided to make it.
«I needed change. I wanted to see me. I wanted to be seen. I wanted to accept that I’m not that idealized version of me and that the flesh I wear now is human, and worthy of being seen. I wanted to be captured in the small movements that make up my presentation to the world so that I could at last present me to myself.
Here I am. See me» — this is the end of Matt’s statements.
Dana. 64-year-old woman with amazing hair. Three sons. Cancer survivor. Her statements really inspired me. She thanked her body for everything they made together. It was a honest, creative and very sensitive essay, and I strongly recommend to read it (press the name and look for it under the pictures).
Shayda is from Iran. She admitted her family wouldn’t approve her idea to be a participate in this project. But she did it, no matter what.
Cecilia and Hanah.
Mason. He was born in female body. Cecilia — in the man’s.
Now, summing up the line, I want to share with you my thought about it. Yes, not all photos showed on presentation left a feeling of aesthetic pleasure, but I suddenly realized that this project was to take place, because it is really important — to accept yourself and others, just as we have. Yes, we can be fat or skinny, we can have a goal to lose or gain weight, try to change the nose, lips or sex — it’s up to us… But the main thing is we do not need to be ashamed of yourself. People who came to the project, especially those who understand that their body is far from standards of beauty and not so young, people, who known that their bodies will see a lot of people, they had to overcome this barrier.
Anastasia told us that many people canceled photo session last minute. They had very different, sometimes funny, reasons for it, and just one of them said the truth that he got scared.
When I came back and told my husband about the project I said:
— So sad I didn’t know about it before. I could be one of the them.
— What for? — he was surprised.
I thought: Hmmm… Really — what for? I can’t say now I like my body — I gained much weight for last 2 years, and I see how my body doesn’t become any younger… And then I realized that is the reason why I would like to be a participant. I want to accept it. It was easy to make photo session when I was 18. When you young and slim — everything are easy. It was 20 years ago…
The project «Nothing but light» helps people to accept their bodies as they are.
I want to encourage all of you to love your body for what it is. This, of course, does not mean you have to completely abandon the sport, stop taking care of ourselves and tell your reflection in the mirror, «I like you no matter what» but we have to immediately stop to hesitate our bodies!
The God gave us these bodies — in order to live. Life is one, so — love yourself and be loved!