Podcast – Episode 1

The podcast is finally finished! It has been a lot of blood, sweat and many, many tears but I am so excited to share it with you all.

Please share this post, help me get it out there. These stories need to be told. These voices need to be heard.

Thank you to everyone who shared their stories with me and to Tullia Connor for helping me make this project a reality.

Music courtesy of bensound.com

A message from a participant

I just did the single most empowering thing for myself since I was raped in my own bed almost two years ago by someone I trusted. I took part in a photo shoot by ‘Rory Banwell Photography’ called “Still Not Asking For It.” I posed semi nude – I was asked to wear black tape (provided) over my nipples and a black pair of underwear on – on a white back drop for a short 15min portrait session.

As soon as I arrived, thanks to Rory and her team, I felt comfortable, I felt safe, and I felt really chilled out. I didn’t even notice how naked I was because, for once in my life, nothing about this moment was about how my female body was about pleasing anybody else. I could just be. I consented to this, I know my photos will be on the Internet, and I feel enthusiastic about that. I didn’t have to look sexy. I didn’t have to pull any pouty faces. I didn’t have to be skinny, nor pose to look skinnier, nor did I feel like it. I didn’t have to be a white person. I didn’t have to be able bodied (though I am). Patriarchal beauty standards do not exist in Rory’s space. I just had to stand there exactly as I am right now, if I wanted to.

It was a wonderful thing to experience being surrounded by beautiful women, coming and going, standing relaxed with beautiful messages. No one was judged or objectified. I was complimented but I did not feel awkwardly “looked at”. We all held each other in mutual respect and chatted about stuff we felt like chatting about. I feel empowered from merely being in that environment. I felt safe, welcomed, happy, and respected in Rory’s space. I wish the whole world treated women the way Rory and her team treated me today. I didn’t have to do or say anything I didn’t want to. If I had wanted to pull out of being photographed at the last minute, I would have felt completely ok with expressing that. I found I didn’t even care about my body image issues. Being in Rory’s studio was a special moment for me; I felt like I was glimpsing into a world where consent really mattered and I saw what that would look like. It’s actually really beautiful.

Two main things I’m taking away from this today is: 1. How blissful it was to be respected and my enthusiastic, informed consent genuinely cared about. 2. I feel that one thing I can do to fight the patriarchy’s bullshit beauty standards for myself as a woman, is to simply be comfortable with my own raw naked body. In the end, it’s just a picture of me as I am now. And being unapologetically ok with that is a powerful thing.

I believe in Rory’s project and the greater message it delivers to the public. It’s an important message that needs to be heard. If you’re even a little bit interested in taking part, I recommend it. It’s hard; having a body in public space where we live in a culture that’s enthusiastic about shaming our bodies, blaming our victims, and also about profiting from our insecurities. I respect that it’s hard. But, if you’re a person of colour, of any colour, of any age, of disability, of any gender identity, of any class, a survivor, an ally who (above all) wants to do this – I feel that your participation would be valuable.

 

Sydney SNAFI shoot

Today I shot in Sydney for SNAFI and I can’t wait to release all of these photos! A really good collection and Sean from the wonderful Paste studios filmed a little video for me to show what a SNAFI shoot is like. Really looking forward to seeing how it turned out.

Thank you so much to everyone who came along, it was great to meet you all and hear your stories. Thanks for giving up your Saturday’s to be a part of it. 

  

Still Not Asking For It II

Well here they are, the new photos in the SNAFI series. So stoked to release them and can’t wait to see what I get in Sydney in a couple of weeks. Watch this space!

new photos

Today’s shoot.

Today I shot for SNAFI for the first time in almost two years. It felt wonderful to have so many supportive participants from my home town. I am now sorting today’s photos and getting ready to release part 2 hopefully early next week.

A journalist from the ABC was filming today’s shoot for a small, 3 minute documentary she is making for ABC News 24. I am so grateful to everyone who was happy to be filmed or interviewed for it today. Thank you for showing your vulnerability to the world in more than one way.

Can’t wait to shoot again tomorrow. I have at least another 15 people coming so it will be a busy morning.

Thank you again for all of your support. Can’t wait to share the new pics with you all!