It took me forever to look at my camera.
I had taken pictures of myself naked the day before, and I was a bit nervous about seeing the results. When I finally got the courage to look, I was shocked. I couldn't believe it was me on the little screen on my digital camera. I doubted. So I uploaded it onto my computer so I could look at it on my ginormous monitor.
It was the same image, only bigger, and to my shock, I looked great. At first I was elated, but then, I realized, I didn't feel good about my body, and it wasn't because it didn't look good.
I realized I had decades of bad messaging in my head and my heart about how I looked, and I felt duped. There was nothing wrong with me. So I decided to take a naked picture of myself every day, and I downloaded an app and started writing positive messages over the images.
It helped. I was sending myself the messages about my body that I had wanted all my life, and it began to make a big difference with my attitude about my body and my confidence level in general.
I realized that I could create messaging to replace and drown out the bad messaging we all get on a daily basis about how unnatural we are. I realized that I could combat the machine that has brainwashed most of humanity into believing that we are in some way, not right.
I saw my personal project as a way to fight back against the messages we get from the media, advertising, popular culture and other outlets that tell us that we have to change; that we have to improve in some way in order to be acceptable.
On July 17, 2015, I started posting the images on the internet on FB and Instagram. I decided I would do it for a year.
The project ended up inspiring conversation about how we see ourselves and how the individual can take control of that and begin to block the media messaging and other sources that warp our perspective of beauty and value.
Months went by, and while the project was successful in many respects, the images of my body were too personalized. I realized that if I could make the images more universal, more people would relate to the message. So I started drawing pictures of all kinds of people in order to reach a broader audience.
I also saw that the more I put myself into creating the images, the more I could take ownership of my feelings of beauty and value. Creating the images myself really helped me take these messages and make them beliefs.
This is when this Love Yo'Self Coloring Book project came into being. I knew that by creating this coloring book, and launching a Kickstarter project, I could put this power into the hands of anyone who wanted it.
This money will specifically go to producing more coloring books and putting them on Amazon and in stores across the country. I will use the funds to produce more self-love and body love drawings, photographs and books to inspire conversation and hopefully, change the way we see ourselves and each other.
In the end, I am hoping to improve the world, end violence, and create a society in which everyone is allowed to be who they are and celebrate that whenever they like, without fear of violence, retribution, or punishment of any kind.
It is my belief that if we can find a way to love and accept ourselves, we will also be able to love and accept each other.
Below is a video of all but two of the images in the coloring book.
Risks and challenges
In terms of risks and challenges the ones we are considering is printing and delivery of product, as the images have already been created.
I am using Dreamworks Graphic Communications for my printing, a highly reputable company that handles accounts all over the country. The work they produce is high quality and flawless. Their track record and list of clients is impressive, and I have every confidence that the company will be able to handle any thing I throw their way.
In order to handle this, we have chosen a delivery date of December 1st, though October 1st is our actual target for delivery. We have given ourselves a full two months for things to go wrong, and due to that, believe strongly that this will be delievered on time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (28 days)