THE PHOTOSHOOT IS DONE!!!! SEE BELOW FOR THE UPDATE
** A HUGE THANK YOU TO ALL THOSE PROVIDING THEIR SERVICES AND FACILITIES ALL IN AID OF THE FUNDRAISER **
Photography will be done by Dijana Capan of Dvision Images - http://www.dvision-images.com
Hair by Vicky Mason, H2O Hairdressers, Wokingham - Facebook
Location shots courtesy of Alec Jones, Pentahotel - http://www.pentahotels.com
Waxing by Katie @ Ministry of Wax, http://www.ministryofwax.com
The photoshoot has finished and now feels so long ago in my memory, even though it was only 2 days ago. I went into the photoshoot so utterly nervous, so scared because of what might be said or how my body is perceived. I was worried about my waist, my love handles, my big thighs, my skeleton feet, my cake belly, my wonky boobs, my bare bony shoulders, my wobbly arms, my bony fingers, my weird neck, my spotty face with the long forehead, the weird eyebrows, the broken nose and the manly chin, with the weird ruts in my cheeks when I smile. I went in with all of this on my shoulders, so aware of how I look and how I feel. I even went to the location, the very lovely suite at the Pentahotel in Reading, without wearing any make up. Today, was a day of firsts. I walked all the way with my head down hoping no one could spy on my pale face!
What happened through the photoshoot there probably aren't words for. It was an out of body experience. The first shoot was the most nervous but as it progressed, it became fun, I stopped noticing what I hated, what may show up huge. I tried to stop doing the 'facebook pout' face. It became so much fun. We were giggling, we were dancing around, we were on the sofa, the pool table, the bed, the bath. It was a day of just letting go of all those anxieties and just feeling completely comfortable. Somewhere along the way I forgot what I looked like. I've not really ever felt like that, in some weird way. Even as I sit here at this desk, writing this, I am aware of my nose. I'm aware of what I chose to wear. To lose all of that focus even for a moment was just... it was like a weight just lifted off my shoulders.
The photographs, that I've seen, look absolutely incredible. Not because I look like a model, because I am not a model, but because you can see the progression of me becoming comfortable with myself - with the good parts and the flaws - and it gets more fun as the shoot goes on. I am proud of these photos. I have something which I can look back on and remember that at this particular moment in time, I felt completely and utterly free (and not just of clothes)
I can't express my gratitude enough to those who have been involved. Please do check them out, they are so talented/are such lovely people/places that I couldn't recommend them enough.
Dijana, you were there from square 1 and the whole plan, you helped to creatively direct where it is going as well as the photography. And you did it all for the good of charity. You have such a big happy heart, I'm so pleased to do this with you, it was so much fun!
Nat, I'm so glad to have met you - I'm so sorry your first encounter with me was one where I was taking my clothes off. You made my face into something I didn't hate and you gave me such mad giggles.
Vicky, you're the only person I let cut, dye, dry, style my hair and there's a huge reason why. You're awesome at it. I am always happy to put my faith in you and it always comes out so amazing.
Alec, you let us use your suite for the good of charity, even bringing us a cd player so we could have some music. It is a stunning room and so kind of you to do this for you when it could have been properly booked. Thank you.
Katie and all at Ministry of Wax, you guys made me feel so comfortable being waxed - or even being that nude in front of someone I've only met the once! I feel reassured. I'll try and keep up the good practice!
My mum and bro, for being so lovely and supportive even though it is me getting my kit off. I would never ever want to replace you guys.
Roodle, I'm so gutted you couldn't make it, but you are a huge help. You were the first one to help me with the idea. You are so kind and helpful, plus a massive inspiration for your outward confidence. No matter what happens, just know you really did help me massively with preparing for this.
Ashley, you were the first person I spoke to out of everyone about my diagnosis. You gave me the courage to try and get better and I know we don't speak enough. I love you to bits!
Alison, your confidence and happiness has really shown me how much more happy I can be. Thank you <3
Alexx, Janine, Danyka - you guys will always be my uni family and your support meant the absolute world to me. Just remembering our great times of even just driving up to ASDA with the music on loud and singing along reminds me of times when things were easier. Thank you for putting up with me all these years and being so supportive throughout
Thank you to ALL my friends - I could go on and on and on with personal thank yous because so many of you were so incredible and supportive. Seriously. But I don't have that much time and I want to get all the photos sorted. I would probably be a mess without you guys.
AND A HUGE THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO HAS DONATED! Look at what you've all managed to achieve!! Mind are going to be so ecstatic about the amount raised and use it to such good benefit. You are all, wonderful, amazing people. I hope you all feel great about what you've done xx
If you're here, thanks so much for taking the time to visit my fundraising page! The photoshoot is planned for the Saturday 22nd February 2014.
In June 2013, I was diagnosed with Body Dysmorphic Disorder as part of ongoing cognitive behavioural therapy to reduce the severe anxiety and depression I suffered. It became increasingly more obvious that BDD has been a huge part of my life since I was too young to even recognise any dangerous thought patterns or behaviour. Since about 8-9 years old.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder or BDD is an anxiety disorder which focuses on body image, usually causing the individual to suffer huge anxiety and disrupts their life. In some cases, the anxiety and depression become so bad, that self harm and suicidal thoughts can become part and parcel of their lives. For more information on BDD can be found on the Mind website here: http://www.mind.org.uk/
After being discharged from counselling in August, I have been continually working on personal challenges and efforts to decrease certain negative thoughts or behaviours.
It's time for me to give myself a huge personal challenge and put all my fears on the line. At first, the challenge started off as just a simple photoshoot to try and get used to a proper photograph and to accept what I look like. To put myself in front of the camera in a way that I feel vulnerable and all my anxieties could potentially be triggered.
Then with friends, it became obvious I could do something even more drastic, to help others, not just myself. This personal challenge swiftly became an exciting and motivational challenge to help Mind (the mental health charity) in their support and awareness of others with any mental health disorder. But no one is going to pay a donation for a normal photoshoot.
So I'm going to do something I find totally and utterly terrifying. In fact, typing this now, feels me with absolute fear. But I'm going to do it, I'm going to get naked. I'm going to have photos taken, in the nude.
Now we're talking classy naked here. We're not talking you'll see all the bits - no no. We're talking "Look good naked" kind of photoshoot. It's going to be as upmarket as you can possibly get. With appropriate props/cover up over the bits that matter.
Most won't do this type of challenge as it is; and as a body dysmorphic disorder sufferer, this is just off the scale of my comfort zone. Help donate and show your support not just for me, but for the good work of Mind. I don't even like being seen in swimwear or underwear by the people I know best, let alone being naked.
So do this for a different and unique cause. I only set a fundraising target so I could get a nice pretty circle with a percentage on, anything you donate is truly and utterly appreciated.
Cross fingers for me!!!