BODY TALK

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Does a fertile amount of cleavage make you feel freer? Heck yeah?! Well then this is the dress for you.

Just kidding. . . this blog is not about cleavage. . . but actually, it kind of is. .

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A young and still soft-spoken girl, I remember arriving at summer camp one year, having enthusiastically put together the items in my suitcase that I felt best expressed who I was at the time. Unpacking in a golden oak cabin with other girls, I remember then being told by our dorm leader, a girl just a few years older than myself, that my mid-thigh shorts were not appropriate and could prompt other people to behave badly. Now, this wasn’t the biggest deal and didn’t at all stop me from enjoying my week away. However, before assimilating into the mass of other boys and girls that afternoon, I remembering wondering to myself, quietly, if my shorts could really be the cause of bad behavior in others and feeling as though my comfortability with my own body was somehow shameful.

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In light of this, shooting in this particular look, an ochre decoration on my body, felt something like going home.

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It also cued sensations similar to that of a trip down to Fish Creek that I’d made with a friend last August. Wading in shades of Nevada teal and parting the kaleidoscope of sun reflections on the water, that same sensation of being at home in my own body came over me. I’ve come to realize, in a very personal way, that acknowledging my sensuality and carrying myself with that in mind does not equate the loss of either my grace or purity. Quoting from a piece I’d felt prompted to write later that day, “In solitude, I enjoy both the impacts and rising curves of my body, acknowledging this sensuality as an approval of myself, to myself. This is personal. It isn’t for someone else”.

This ideology is also highly applicable to the way that we dress.

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In life and in instances such as this – my figure draped in a lushness that exposes the softness with which I was created – I think it so important to not associate our own bodies with shame. Regardless of the weight or slightness of our figures, being a woman is so beautiful. I will continue to shine, allowing myself to radiate through and be complimented by what I choose to wear on my body. Returning to the piece I wrote that day, I’ve worked hard to know that “my purity and grace are interlaced in the way that I carry myself. As a woman, these two things are not determined by the way that people choose to treat us.”

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xo

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Diamond buck wild.

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This summer, I’ve been hanging out in the woods with a group of photographers from the South end of Calgary. Initially, when contemplating “actually doing this”, the goal was to live off as little as possible and make as much art as our fingers could bleed out, feeding almost solely on the company and driven Earth hunger of one another. With the exception of a few glances backward on the drive out – a promise to Calgary, my recent home – some sort of awkward parent – the nights and road ahead have beamed with a dry crackle and flame, silvery incandescence in the place of city lights.

Ha, actually I didn’t do any of that. That was a bit romantic though, hey?

“This summer, I found myself in the woods”.

“I was lost, but nature, our mother, birthed a bridge between body and self”.

(This is where I’d cue the Eddie Vedder and insert a passage from Into the Wild)

 

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No, alas these images are not the child of an introspective walk in the woods.

However, for those of us who might be missing or craving some of those times, there was something a little bit transportive about going out on the lake, in this look, with a group of photographer friends from the South end of Calgary.

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For the record, I think this kimono has been my favourite piece of poem to the body, this summer.

x

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Photography by Matt Lowden.

Blanket details here.