I’ve always loved art. I’ve always been fascinated by it. I found myself stopping in hallways, hotels, store windows even, admiring the beauty of others. I looked at that, then I looked at myself. I compared myself to the ideal image of beauty for too long. Subconsciously, we do that.

I knew I shouldn’t have, because I knew I should just love me for me. It’s not healthy to forget to give yourself the love you so freely give to others around you. You can live for a long time, and not appreciate yourself or your own beauty, even though others do and they compliment you on it. You know that feeling where no matter how much you look in the mirror, you can’t see what others seems to see. I was blind to myself, and that is pure torture. Self love has no age limit. Self love knows no gender or race.

In the last year, I lost pretty much every aspect of myself. My heart broke in dimensions I didn’t even know existed, and I began to hate myself even more over it. I tore myself apart for every flaw. I would beat myself up for not being the art I saw. I beat myself up for not meeting the requirements others expected women to have.

As my year progressed, I started to highly process what I wanted. I realized that I had to define what I wanted regardless of what I was going through and still had to go through. I needed to define who I was, but more importantly, I needed to accept myself as I am. My soul is mixed with chaos and art, and I knew that instead of comparing myself to the art I saw, I needed to be my own art.

It takes a special person that you can trust to be able to let yourself be openly vulnerable to becoming art. Working with Ben was making me art. I have been in front of the camera before, taken selfies, blah, blah, blah. But when someone else captures you, it puts you in a light that you might not have ever put yourself in. We need that… to see ourselves in a new light. It’s such an empowering thing to realize a new piece of art is going to cost the prior way you looked at yourself in the frame inside your head.

So, to the person who doesn’t think they deserve to be art, you do. Ben captured me, the real me. Unapologetically, I was myself, smiles, curves and all. I needed this experience. Now, everytime, I see myself hanging on the wall, I can remind myself that my only competition is myself,

You’ll still be art even if others stop admiring you. What matters is that you admire yourself. What matters is that you take the time to invest not only in self love, but in yourself.

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