At first I would have said I started this project late, but after some time of reflecting I would state that I started on time and a big part of the process is thinking about the process. I had a vision for how I wanted to convey my topic in a way that was just not going to work. My original idea was to photograph my friends, with permission, of their bodies and their biggest insecurities while simultaneously interviewing them about body image and self-love. I thought this was a good idea because one-on-one interviewing and connection works well with getting the message across and my message is that everyone has insecurities but everyone also has a body and we only have one so take care of it. The reason this fell through was most of the people that agreed to be photographed were busy, or didn’t have time during the finals season and most of them are seniors so that didn’t work. After that fell through, I got anxious about my next idea but then it came to me. I created an Instagram page because if I really want to reach out to a wider audience then I need to take my work to the internet/social media. Social media is fast growing and reaches almost everyone with internet so I believe having a site, or instagram page for instance, that focuses on body positivity, and self-love then maybe it would have more of an impact than just writing a paper. Since I started making my page, and getting into it I realized that I enjoyed finding pictures and positive phrases for the page.
This page relates to our class in many ways because I am the author and in charge of the page so I can add whatever is relevant in this day in age which is important. Also having an open instagram page that is transparent about their views, like loving all body types and “flaws”, is critical in this time because transparency is key when getting your message across and when you want to attract more followers/viewers. After my first three posts, I had already received two messages from the original artists, from the pictures I posted, thanking me for spreading their work and the positive captions I leave. I thought that was incredible, that kind of quick feedback from people around the world/country. I have six posts on my page, and three of them have long captions about my own insecurities and body issues because I want to be transparent about my own feelings if I am creating a instagram page that is showcasing other people’s insecurities. It is important to me, as the creator, to share just as much about myself as other people have shared about their own deep rooted feelings about something that can be sensitive. This page also has a splash of mental health healing and messages because I find having body discomfort/insecurities tie in with mental illness sometimes so I believe it is important to mention self-care, deep breathing and other grounding techniques. I struggled to find inclusive photos, mostly photos with men that are body positive, but I did find a lot of body positivity posts for women. I am grateful that there is no shortage of resources for young girls and women with insecurities and self-esteem issues but I have noticed the lack of resources there are available for men and boys. Body positivity for men is a real thing, but I had to dig deep on the web and social media to find them. When I was searching for posts about women, I had an easier time finding what I wanted to fit my instagram “aesthetic”.
Overall, I am really proud of the work I put into this final project. What started off as extreme self doubt, to then anxiety filled is now a feeling of relief and accomplishment because not only did I complete an assignment I also feel like I can continue this page after the semester is over. I still want to pursue taking photos of my friends and there bodies and I would like to post them once the instagram page picks up, if it does. I think this class has helped me look at controversial topics from a different perspective and I am thankful for that. Having an open mind in my field of work is crucial and this class was great experience.
Instagram Page: We Love Our Body @lovingonesbody
Amelia Baucum is currently a senior at Old Dominion University pursuing a B.S. in Human Services with a minor in Women’s Studies. Her hobbies include photography, painting and watching movies. She plans to move out west after graduation hoping to continue working with photography.