Hey, Chubby

It’s true. I used to be a chubby kid. Ostracized and made fun of. It sounds like a cliche - or like the plot of many a bad adolescent movie. Most the time I could ignore my less then perfect state, except when a major bully (damn Chris Olson) would put me in my place. It didn’t help that I had a skinny, cooler older sister and a beautiful, elegant Southern belle for a mom. Luckily, a growth spurt in the 6th grade shed away the unwanted "baby" fat; however, I did not walk away unscathed. The most important character-building trait I took away from my childhood experience is my sense of empathy. Being made fun of made me a lot more understanding to people who may not be the norm, or who may be different from everyone else. I would argue that it made me the artist I am today. I am always seeking out interesting traits of different people – and digging deeper than what we see on the surface. As you get older, you also realize how fallible human beings are – and how we are ridden by insecurities. Yes, even the cool kids and the most outwardly successful people are plagued with personal challenges. That’s perhaps why I love photography – because I love mapping the internal geographies of people, capturing their experiences, insecurities, emotions and essence in the space of a shot. Being able to capture that intensity requires you to connect with your subject, to be patient and get through to them. And that, I consider my greatest strength. I see all my subjects for who they are – instead of focusing on their character differences as perceived flaws. There’s beauty to be found in everyone - big or thin, nerdy or athletic, tall or short. Life would be a monotony if not for our individual differences – and my own insecurities have made me endeavor to celebrate life in all its dimensions.

12 comments

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  1. Albert

    Very well put. This post hit home with me. Keep up the good work! P.S. now you’re one of the “hot” women of the web. Imagine that!

    Reply
    • Albert, you are so kind – thank you ;)

  2. Amazing post – and you were beautiful then and you’re beautiful now.

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  3. If I can find it, I’ll send you my old choir boy headshot. You’ll get a laugh :D

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  4. Scott and Albert – way to make me feel good *blush*. Dustin, I would love to see your headshot!!

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  5. I myself struggle with this as someone who has always been bigger. Such a great blog post! I struggle with connecting with my subjects because my guard is up from being made fun of. Its something I work on everyday but its tough.

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    • Bret, I think my insecurity has made me more empathetic and for me, this allows me to connect with my subjects. Perhaps knowing that everyone has insecurities helps?

  6. Arlene Evans

    You were still cute! I was very chubby as well and I admire you posting this picture.

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    • Thanks, Arlene! It was a struggle in itself deciding whether to post the pic!

  7. LOL!!! Laughing at the Chris Olson part! Too funny! Well I think you showed him :).

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  8. Paul Austin

    re: “The most important character-building trait I took away from my childhood experience is my sense of empathy. Being made fun of made me a lot more understanding to people who may not be the norm, or who may be different from everyone else.”

    Thank you for letting me see I am not the only person who feels this way.

    Reply