Restrained to Released
A Personal Journey
“I feel I want to say “restrained”, “torn” or “tormented”. I was tortured by theses thoughts so much that I could not leave the house without augmenting my figure with pathetic prosthetics. Most say it is completely ridiculous to be ruled by the conventions of society, but to me, I couldn’t fight it. It dominated my life, at school, at home, and then as a breastfeeding mother. I was completely consumed with this every day for over 10 years…. and I was only 23.”
It started from a brief meeting, a flicker of interest in facing my fears turned out to be the biggest moment in the history of my self image. These pictures see the journey from restrained, to released. A complex person at heart with a strong appreciation of the human form, unwilling to see myself for what I really was. I say was, as now I am a different form, mentally. Brett showed me, me. He showed me, literally through the prints, that even though my size and shape was smaller than the usual societal limits that I could be appreciated – by me. This experience was better than any therapist, this was living art, living therapy, with purpose and meaning. I ultimately wanted to be viewed as beautiful by others, and in the end learned that I only needed to be viewed as beautiful by me. The journey starts initially centred around breasts and how I desperately wanted to change mine, but Brett quickly captured a deeper issue within me, that of a warped self image and the need to feel normal. What you’ll find may be confronting or captivating. You’ll see progression and change in the physical and mental. I hope you enjoy the images as much as I do. This is not a sexual fantasy, this is deep rooted illustration of the physical form. This is a fusion of minds, as Brett delightfully puts it.
A personal journey starts with myself, a young girl hitting puberty. Waiting to grow some shape, shape that other people told me that I should have by now. It really got to me. Each day brought a new fight with the mirror in the bathroom. I never felt traditionally beautiful. I wanted a breast augmentation. I felt this was the answer and would fix all my misgivings about myself, or at least distract people from the other ugly features. I wished I could just inflate my breasts there and then. This is the crux of my story, it ruled my life, and I wanted to confront it. I am not sure if I can actually put into words what it was like to feel like that everyday. I hope only that I can help you to see where these pictures came from, from my perspective – a bursting barrel of emotions, stemmed from body image.
When I met Brett, it was from answering an advertisement in the paper for fine art models. It was a secret challenge of my own. I love nude fine art and photography. The lines of the body are so fine and delicate, but mine looked sharp and raw to me. I wanted to be seen as a piece of art, well that is what I thought in the beginning. What I really wanted was to feel beautiful and at ease with who I was, even in my natural state.
So it began. We started shooting and we just meshed. Brett and I followed the journey as it unfolded, with a great deal of our best stuff pouring out in the first few shoots. I was stunned by the images that we produced, and more to the point, Brett’s reaction to them. It made me feel like I was worth the use of a film. It was completely addictive and incredibly therapeutic for me. I was facing my fears of being nude in front of other people, for a start – for fear of rejection. There are so many prints that I would just love to say are my favourite, but I do have a special love for the pregnancy shoots – sharing that with my two children was amazing.
You may see love, anger and hate in these images. Some are confronting, others are embracing. Some are symbolic and others are obvious. Some are light-hearted and others are deadly serious. You’ll see progression and change in the physical and mental. You will see my body change to become a mother again and with that grow a new attitude. These pictures see the journey from restrained to released.
You will ultimately find your own meaning, symbolism or critique. We are all within our right to interpret them. To me that is what I hope these images inspire you to do, to think about it.
This journey took me to a far better place. I started to see myself as something that could be considered art. This experience was better than any therapist; this was living art, living therapy with purpose and meaning. I ultimately wanted to be viewed as beautiful by others, and in the end learned that I only needed to be viewed as beautiful by myself.
© Brett Dorron 2013. All rights reserved.