Chapter 14 of my Book Passages series strikes a very deep chord with me and my feelings about beauty, society, perceptions of self both internal and external. The pressures society has put upon us to look a certain way and create this false sense of what is "normal" or expected can make us feel very small and insecure in our own skin. Having photographed all types and shapes of people in my many years as a professional photographer one very significant thread has stood out. It doesn't matter if one is thin, large, tall, short, big nose or small nose; most everyone has insecurities about their outer shell. The most beautiful portraits come from those that have the confidence of their own self.
My visual interpretations for this passage come from Kit Reed's novel, Thinner Than Thou.
When you're alone in your mind you may think you're special, but you're only ever another dumb person driving around inside that stupid body. It's no better than a car dealer's loaner, you know? Forget what the Reverend Earl preaches. The body you are using is no temple, it's a trap for the contents of your head. You want to think about who you are and what to do about it but instead you obsess over the parts that people see. Keep it clean and keep it polished or they'll come for you. Perfect hair, you need. Perfect outfits. Perfect abs and pecs! Image is everything. You grow up with this and in case you don't happen to know, they teach it in all your classes.