When I contributed to Exhibit A’s first Anonymous Sinful Sunday back in June I did so with a knot of nerves in my belly and an assumption it would be a one off. I loved it immediately! I couldn’t have predicted how good it would feel to be on the receiving end of the Sinful Sunday community’s warmth, kindness and encouraging words. I ended up contributing six pictures in total.
It was only in October when I had my sketch done that I started talking to some of my friends about it a little. Sitting in that way had been such a remarkable experience that I wanted to share some of my reflections. The conversations that followed were thought-provoking. I have just turned 40 so a fair few of my closest friends are also hovering around that landmark age. Life is beginning to show around our eyes. Babies have been had. Accidents and illness endured. Weight has been gained, lost, gained again. Conversations with male friends revealed similar responses to the aging process as my female friends expressed. That self-confidence is so often drawn from confidence in our bodies is not an emotional issue owned by women.
An idea began to wind its way into my thoughts.
Then at New Year I asked the friends I was in Berlin with to take my January photo. Surprise, laughter, excitement, the camaraderie and adrenalin of collective endeavour. At one point they all decided to have a ‘tits in Tiergarten’ shot, before deciding it was too cold. But it’s warm in Amsterdam in May, isn’t it ladies?
The idea was taking root.
Then last week I asked two of my best friends – soul sister types! – if they’d get up at stupid o’clock in the morning to take a picture that can only really be taken at sunrise. Before I knew it, one was googling locations from parks in Yorkshire to beaches on the south coast and shouting out ideas, while the other was showing me (great!) tit shots that her partner receives every morning (she’s dedicated!).
OK, let’s run with this idea then shall we? So here we are. Exposing 40: Friends. Photography. Adventure. I don’t know where we will go with this, how long it will last, or how many of us will get involved, but I have realised it’s so much more fun sharing this with my friends, and if they gain half of what I have from participating then it will be a project worth sharing.
Many of the photos I submitted to Exhibit A’s post focused on bits of myself I don’t like. Your comments have helped me think differently about those parts of my body. Thank you! But I thought I’d start my project with a different sentiment, so here I am stepping out and presenting my legs. I love my legs! I especially love them when my feet are in my silver sparkly 40th birthday heels. Let the party begin!