NEW JERSEY AND NYC BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHER CATE SCAGLIONE SHARES SOME PERSONAL VIEWS ON THE BODY POSITIVE MOVEMENT
I have never been a trendsetter, nor a trend follower. Growing up in the 1980's, when neon day-glow clothes and those jelly slippers were all the rage, I was sporting the earth tones and leather penny loafers. You'd never see me macking that satiny pro-team jacket, a boy band button, or even the Anniston cut of the 1990's. Why? Am I horribly unstylish? Gothically defiant? NO.
I just hate being a cog in short-lived movements that go away.
As a boudoir photographer in style and brand-conscious NYC area, I tend to notice more trends related to women than the average consumer. This means I am currently inundated with the "body-positive" campaigns. At first, I LOVVVVED it... I even launched a curvy girl boudoir photo gallery on my website, because...
I wanted to let curvy girls know that my BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHY EXPERIENCE IS FOR EVERYONE, regardless of size shape, OR EVEN AGE. It was not a strategy, but rather an invitation.
There were fears and misconceptions out there that prevented me from working with amazing, interesting women.
So many commented that they thought that my clients are all model-types. (and some ARE and some are not). But guess what? Regardless of size, about 85% suffer from body snark. You know, the self deprecating comments about one's own body, with cleverly disguised self-loathing jokes. It is not reserved for plus sized ladies. It is something I witness among ALL ladies.
In fact, the most model-esque client I ever photographed was petrified to put her body in front of a camera. SHE HAD BODY SNARK.
But suddenly, in the midst of all this PLUS SIZE hoopla in the media, I find myself wondering if I am part of a "trend". My intentions are right, but what's the message I am sending? I hate to be "The day glow jelly slipper." I wonder if the message so eloquently launched by Dove's campaign almost a decade ago has stumbled from realism + social responsibility...And into a realm of "trendy".
Self acceptance should not JUMP THE SHARK.
It should NOT BE AN IDEA THAT goES away.
Has the "Real Woman" pendulum swung so far as to say "REAL WOMAN = PLUS SIZE"? Are my size 2, 4, 6, 10, 14 clients NOT "REAL WOMEN", according to this movement? If Plus Size is Trendy, does a Size 8 woman become the object of Body Snark and find herself in the unacceptable "middle"? I'LL BE DAMNED.
ALL WOMEN have feelings about their body type ...and now I find myself wondering if I am part of a trend, dammit.
As the Lingerie Addict blogger astutely commented, many of the commentary she sees on lingerie blogs are written by petite aspirational body-conscious types that jumped onto a sort of marketing bandwagon. They casually push self acceptance in one post, and body-fearing weight gain in other posts. Their proverbial slip is showing, and it's revealing "TRENDY". (Read more here.)
FEELING GOOD IS NOT A TREND. "life as fine art" is NOT meant to be trendy. IT IS simply a mindset i want to enable.
So here, on my website, on my blog, in my studio, I want to declare a snark-free body zone, Plus Size or Not. I hope you will join me.