Face Your Fears - Written By Samantha Sampath-Reynolds

“Face your fears” is a time-old saying. It is a phrase that I’ve personally lived by: to get over my shyness I dove into performing arts, to combat my fear of public speaking, I became a trainer/ Behaviorist. When my husband became a photographer, I realized the sad truth: that I had a fear of facing my body. Like it or not, I would be his subject, and as a supportive wife I needed to suck it up… From childhood into early adulthood, I dressed very conservatively (there was nothing wrong with that). However, the way I dressed reflected my attempts to cover my insecurities (i.e., my belief that I could only wear an oversized t-shirt to the beach because I didn’t have Victoria’s Secret abs). 

The media/social media has always had a role in body image. Every leading actress, singer, dancer shown has “the dream body”, so do those with the most “likes.” Even attempts to encourage women to “embrace their curves” leaves other people out (i.e, the not so curvy). I am NOT “model size,” nor am I “plus size;” I am not muscular, but I can run miles and literally dance for hours. Where does someone like me (in-between) fit?! 

As I look at all the of the hypocrisies, slogans, campaigns, etc…I’ve also realized the wisdom in another very old adage: “confidence is attractive.” This is why I (and others) find beauty in those “skinny, curvy, and fit & thick” models, despite their differences. If I am so positive about others, I need to be with myself. I am not a category! If I want to change my body, that is my choice (a bigger woman shouldn’t give me an evil stare for saying so, nor should a thinner woman give me the “it’s about time” look). But to start, I need to love my body the way it is NOW: the fact I have strong legs to walk/run miles, arms to carry multiple bags at once, boobs, booty, and love handles for my husband to grab, etc. With every picture, I am “facing the camera” and  challenging myself to fall more in love with the woman in it (and her BODY) as much she deserves.