Voyage through aging, motherhood and immigration.
The most rewarding aspect of my job is creating a safe place for women to celebrate themselves – to find themselves – to reconnect with themselves
xoxox Jessica Rae
“For me, taking self-portraits are not and have never been about vanity; they signify exploration, questioning and discovery. They take me on voyage through aging, through motherhood, through life as an immigrant, giving back some of the support and respect we all crave.
Taking self-portraits is often seen as vanity, but for me they’ve become a moment to stop and think.
It all started with a bunch of Etsy sellers on Self Portrait Thursdays; we’d snap a selfie, post it on Flickr, and catch up with online friends. Around this time, I was adjusting to being both an older stay-at-home mum and a career-less trailing spouse far away from family and friends. In all the bustle and immersion of parenting, with zero feedback or inspiration from outside work, and days spent in and around family—I lost sight of me until I started putting myself in the picture.
Looking at the portraits made me pause and take a long, hard look at what was happening in my life. I was sad, depressed even; with little external support, it was difficult to imagine how to go forward. The first selfies reflected this, showing how much my body was changing with age, pregnancy and nursing, and how little confidence I had in myself. Frumpy clothes, straggly hair, no individualism, whatever was easiest to pull out of the closet… Little by little I learned what reflected ‘me’ and also how it made me feel –happy, confident, graceful? Rather than just surrendering to it, I started to question what was going well and what was not so good with life.
In addition to the changes in outward appearance, I was also changing inside. Connecting each image with how I felt inspired me to really explore my life, values, ambitions and inspirations, connecting somehow with who I am as an individual and giving me permission to move forward. Gently but critically I took notice. True goofy happiness in photos with my son; sharp confidence in snappy dressing; graceful in celebration of curves, wrinkles and grey; definition and presence with a little mascara and lipstick. Never the pretty child, I found beautiful moments in myself and also in others.” – Amanda