Amy Schumer Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth

The Narrative We Tell People

Growing up, I was always told to brush my hair, dress better, look more presentable and to basically always worry about what other people thought of me. By the time college rolled around, I was formulating my own eating disorder based on Wheat Thins and not much else. (Contrary to what the name suggests, Wheat Thins will not make you thin. They should be called Wheat Bloats.) In order to be perfect, looks were all that mattered.

At the same time, I was rebelling. I wanted to be liked but I also hated the narrative telling me my looks were all that mattered. I was bouncing between two very strong ideals of who a person should be. I knew at the core of me, what mattered was who you are on the inside. But I still couldn’t shake the voice telling me the numbers on the scale were too high, my hair is a mess, I don’t ooze sex appeal, my breasts aren’t perky enough, my tummy isn’t flat enough, my butt isn’t round enough, SO MANY THINGS.

There are so many pressures on girls these days ALL the days. Since forever.

And I want to change that, if not for me, for my daughter and my son.

Amy Schumer Speaks my Language

Here’s where Amy Schumer comes into play. Amy Schumer is raunchy, a little filthy, arguably hilarious depending on your tastes… and real. I think that’s why I relate to her. And I think my “why” for documentary photography comes from a similar place.

I Feel Pretty

I recently watched her latest film I Feel Pretty and at the end she has this realization that her hallucinated beauty didn’t matter because it wasn’t real. People had responded to her positively because of how she made them feel. And she makes a little speech about the problems little girls face and how women become shaped by the narrative to look perfect.

“When we were little girls, we had all the confidence in the world. We had our bellies sticking out. We could just dance and play. Pick our wedgies. And then, these things happen and they just make us question ourselves. Somebody says something mean to you on the playground, and then you grow up over and over again until you lose all that confidence, all that self-esteem, all the faith you started with its gone!
But what if we don’t let these moments get to us, what if we were stronger than that, what if we didn’t care about how we looked or how we sounded. What if we never lost that little girl’s confidence! What if when someone tell us that we aren’t good or thin or pretty enough; we have the strength and the wisdom to say: “What I am is better than all that, because what I am is ‘ME’ …and I am proud to be ‘me’.”

 

little girl by spokane river

What DOES Matter

I want my daughter to know her body is perfect the way it is. Her little thighs, round or not; her cheeks, pudgy or not; and her belly, sticking out or not.  If she is healthy and happy and becoming a good person, that is all that matters to me. And that is all that should matter to her.

My photographs reflect this narrative. I photograph her and all her awkwardness, silliness, cuteness, sweetness, and weirdness because it ALL matters to me. It’s all perfect to me because it’s part of who she is. I hope she is able to stand up someday and say she is proud to be who she is.

celebratory car ride
{The best is working with families who know this too. They want their families and children documented in all their goofy perfection. They’re not looking for perfectly smoothed skin or curated clothing. They want what is REAL. If you’d like to be part of this family of clients who are looking to celebrate their everyday selves, contact me here and let’s chat about your amazing family. Want more information about what a session looks like? Click here!}

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MARGARET ALBAUGH | 509-859-7726 |