If someone else took a photo of my back at the beach, would you feel differently than you do now?
After Olympic Trials, I was hoping my body would...forget that I had spent 20 years training. I had formed knots around injuries holding joints in place. My posture was twisted to suit, and most of daily living was uncomfortable. It wasn't mine. I had used sports and academics to put distance in both geography and class between my dysfunctional abusive family and myself. I exploited myself for a ticket out. And I was ready to be done.
Of course, things never go as planned. And 9 years and one Leo later, I still look more or less like an assassin. My body has been leveraged against me in a lot of ways: I'm too strong to "deserve" protection from assault. I'm too sexual to "deserve" respect regardless of what I wear. (Believe me. There's no hiding this, anyway.) And I'm too unrepentant about it all not to become a serial target, singled out for aggression and abuse.
Notice how the default is intrusion, scrutiny, and violation? If this is the tenor of the world that this body inhabits, I will have to be my own hold-out. This is where I live twenty-four hours a day, every day. I refuse to wage war in my own house. And I'm not about to let anyone tell me which trespasses should be tolerated and why.
Now. If I weren't holding the camera, what would you see?