Bodies come in all shapes and sizes. But still, looking at your body naked in the mirror can be one of the most scariest things in the world.
You might feel too fat or too thin, too strong or too weak, and your eyes will go to the places perceived as ‘problems’.
For Digital Pride, we asked 22 LGBTI people to strip naked, emotionally and physically, and talk about how they feel about their bodies.
For some it was terrifying, but every person walked away feeling a little bit more empowered.
LGBTI people strip off to show off their bodies
The shoot was done by photographer and Gay Star News Creative Director Scott Nunn.
‘I have had a six-year hiatus from professional photoshoots. But when I was told that we would be showcasing all body types from the LGBTI community, it made me want to pick up my camera again.
Inspired by an incredible set of people who were ready to bare all, to empower others to feel comfortable about their bodies – the shoot began:
‘Some people were more nervous than others, but their commitment, goals, and reasons for taking part were truly inspiring.
‘Now is the time to show how fabulous and diverse we are, not just in our sexuality, but in our minds and bodies.’
‘I think if people just worried about themselves, and loved themselves, it might be a little bit of a better world.’
‘I wanted to take part in this project because growing up I didn’t have many role models to look up to in the gay community. A lot of stuff in gay magazines or gay media is always white men, muscly bodies, and I’m none of those.’
’10 years ago I never would have done this. I think that’s a change of attitude, mind, and confidence. Something which only comes from being happy with whatever body shape you are.’
‘I don’t think there’s a real body. Each person is built in a different shape and size. I think, we as a society, now need to stop focusing on how people are built.’
‘Being a black person you need to have that internalized confidence. When I was younger, I didn’t like being darker skinned because I was teased. But as I’ve got older, I realize that’s who I am, and I accept that.’
‘For me, confidence is the biggest thing, and I think no matter what size or shape you are, that’s what makes someone sexy to me. I think that’s what a lot of people overlook.’
‘We’ve been programmed to think if you’re trans you need to want to alter yourself and that you’re only valid and you’re only allowed to exist and be appreciated if you alter yourself. Actually, sometimes you don’t need to.’
‘After I see a bit of candy in front of me, somebody who I think is beautiful on the outside; I wonder if that beauty extends on the inside.’
“I wanted to take part to give me something to focus on. I believe people should feel confident in the way they look.’
‘Day to day, we are all humans with different lives and with different journeys. It sounds so corny, but we have to enjoy ourselves.’
‘To get comfortable with my body, I just decided that I was going to be comfortable. It sounds dumb, but I stood in front of the mirror every day and looked at myself until I liked it.’
‘My Adam’s apple is pretty a bit more pronounced than most women’s. But not wanting to be in that kind of all women’s bracket, there’s always a little bit of conflict there.’
‘I was nervous at first, but I’m thrilled to have taken part. Everybody is real, and we get spoon fed this meal of “what people should look like,” and I want people to get that perfect image out of peoples mindset. I’m confident about my body because I focus on my inner me, rather than how I look on the outside.’
‘I’m not the hottest person in the world. A guy like me gets a lot of compliments and a lot of positive feedback; it doesn’t mean that this positive feedback is what I believe about myself.’
‘We see other people that look that kind of similar to ourselves and think they look great. And we’re fine with that. But we don’t feel the same way about ourselves.’
‘I had this accident almost three years ago where I was crushed by a lorry, and my pelvis got fractured. It’s thanks to that I came out to my family; I decided to come out to my family because there was a point where I have died…
‘And yeah, and now I have these scars and sometimes when I’m at the gym I think they’re going to see my scars if I do this exercise, but two seconds later, I think OK, it’s not something I have to be ashamed of because that’s just the result of a surgery and I’m alive to show them, and I’m not really as ashamed of them as, yeah, that’s what I think.’
‘From past relationships, I’ve had a lot of bad experiences where I got a lot of verbal abuse from it, and they would pick out small things about my body that they didn’t like… I think they would call me a lot of names, like “marshmallow.”
‘It’s annoying that something like this keeps sticking in your head.’
‘It breaks my heart every day to see young people on social media posting about how they need to lose weight and how they need to tone up and how they need to look better.
‘I find that society has gotten to a point where that’s not healthy anymore.’
‘I don’t think I’m there yet feeling, good about my body confidence, but doing this shoot has been part of my journey towards that. I would prefer to look better but if I can’t then I want to at least build my confidence.’
‘Two years ago I was in an abusive relationship, and it left me with very low self-esteem. It’s taken me a long time to build my confidence back up again.’
‘Unrealistic photos make us feel worse about ourselves because we judge ourselves against them giving us a false view of how we should look – and like RuPaul says if you can’t love yourself how can you love anyone else?’