There is so much beauty in being a woman and even more so in being a black woman.
I was always aware of this but I didn’t understand it. This resulted in my relationship with my appearance fluctuating frequently during my adolescence.
For years my perception on the standard of beauty was clouded by unrealistic expectations fuelled by misogynistic media.
I was convinced that as a black woman I had to have childbearing hips with a complementary derrière, full breasts, lips and an irresistible sex appeal. This misguided misconception of a black woman is often referred to as ‘ebony’ in complexion and hypersexual in performance.
Despite being continuously fetishised, I did not conform but unfortunately my way of thinking did. I struggled with black nudity, wrongfully associating it with the erotic and animalistic behaviours that were shown in mainstream porn. I often felt degraded and insecure rather than aroused and comfortable.
It got to a point where the problem was no longer about the amount of times that black women were sexualised but the lack of times we were not.
It became difficult to recognise the sincerity of compliments after being made to believe that I was a check off a bucket list.
Luckily, I have been fortunate enough to be raised and surrounded by beautiful black women.
I wanted to shoot these women the way I wish society viewed the female body: as a human, not an object to be sexualised.