Forgot how much fun I had making this. The beginning, the middle and the end of this dye project was a well of discoveries. As the saying goes, 'the journey is as important as the outcome' and in this case, every part of the process was relevant to the success of the finished piece.
Here's the thing, I've come across atleast three exhibitions where body confidence and beauty were the subject matter. Somehow they awakened some of the personal experience of body confidence I encountered in my younger years. This issue of body confidence, is what attracted me to all things imperfect, which I've come to love and led me to my craft. Now, I deliberately sought out imperfect things in life just to examine its intrinsic beauty and have discovered some amazing things along the way.
Being 5 ft 10.5 inches tall at a time when being tall wasn't as common as it is today and being slim, when being voluptuous was the order of the day, was no joke. I got my fair share of tall remarks, but being smart-mouthed, I gave as good as I got.
Another thing that got me unwanted attention was the shape of my head, to the point where a friend once remarked that she could find me easily in a crowd because of the special shape of my head. I took her comment as a compliment, but the young me, may have thought otherwise. This is purely because as an adult, I'd experienced so much in life that having a head, any head at all, was a huge blessing!
Despite my body confidence experience, I've never allowed anyone to put me down for how I look, because I know I have no control over the features God chose to give me. Infact, anytime someone made a remark about the shape of my head I often gave them a smart remark saying 'only smart people are blessed with features like mine!'. Little did I know that the Mangbetu people from the Democratic Republic of Congo actually lived by this principle as they practiced the art of skull elongation. To the untrained eye, the elongated skull looks like a major skull deformity but to the Mangbetu people, it represents higher intelligence, beauty and is seen as a status symbol among the ruling class. Imagine that! A head shaped for royalty! Discovering the Mangbetu tribe is a refreshing find.
In today's society, it is fair to say, there is a certain standard which is associated with beauty and if an individual doesn't fall into those standards of beauty, then 'Houston we've got a problem!' So, imagine my joy when I came across a beautiful exhibition on the Mangbetu people by artist Eddy Kamuanga llunga. I first came across his work in 2016 when he exhibited at October gallery in London. Other people may have recently discovered him as he exhibited again at the same gallery a few months ago. You can find his work on my blog post for 04/08/16. Basically his illustrations brought out the beauty of this tribe and made me grateful for every part of my body.
The bottom-line is this, beauty is how you see it and if anyone has a problem with your definition of beauty, that is their problem, not yours. I've posted a picture below of me loving my 'God-given' head. I must stress that like everyone else, I still have the odd days when I wrestle with 'SELF', but who doesn't! The key thing is to accept one's self as no one will do it for you.
Often wondered why talking about Christianity is frowned upon in the world today when other subjects are open for discussion. As a Christian, I find there is a misconception where people assume that you're boring, a social retard or don't know how to have fun, just because you're a christian. This has been my experience and my fellow Christian friends have experienced the same things. Infact, it's a regular occurrence and people often look surprised when they know I'm a normal human being! To mention the name of Jesus in public, is like committing career or social suicide, what follows is social exclusion as you get excluded purely for your faith and what you represent.
The funny thing is, that the Christian faith is a lifestyle which you live by. It's what enables us to navigate and overcome the good, the bad or ugly things life throws at us. It's our coping and survival mechanism. Without faith in Christ, we can do nothing, but through faith in Christ, we can do all things. So you see, being a Christian is not something to be afraid of. It's something to be embraced, as contrary to public opinion, no Christian is perfect. The reason why I and other fellow Christians follow Jesus Christ is because, at one point-in-time in our lives, we realised we weren't perfect and became Christians so that we can learn how to live in a better way. It's that simple!
Being a Christian won't stop you from enjoying the best things in life, but it won't stop you from experiencing hardships either. Just remember that Christianity is a lifestyle and the next time a Christian offends you, don't be quick to blame their faith. It's never the faith that causes the problems, it's our fragile humanistic nature which we struggle with, that is to blame. We as individuals and as a Christian collective, are aware of that. We never blame someone's healthy lifestyle for their actions, so why blame someone's faith? Likewise, it's okay to like or be friends with Christians because their lifestyle won't steer you in the wrong direction if their hearts are truly serving Christ. Why? Simply because Christ is all about love. So how can you hate when your lifestyle is all about love?
To round this up, thought I'd highlight some well known Christians both past and present who have achieved success in their chosen fields and were known for being followers of Christ. Feel free to look them up! They are:
Welcome to my random blog, where I share the things that inspire me from time to time. My faith, nature and the simple or imperfect things in life, are what brings me joy and inspires my work. Do feel free to stop by and browse.