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January 10, 2018

On Being Woman

Happy New Year.  2018.  Who knew?

Who knew this would be the year that began with the echo of injustice, #metoo, and a movement empowering women all over the world.  Who knew I would sit right smack in the middle of it taking note, revising my own history because, clearly, showing any vulnerability is inviting a shitstorm into your life.  And who needs that?  

But today I took a good look at myself, one that took years, and opted for honesty, vulnerability, even an admission of being broken a few times in my life.  And realizing that I pretty much survived it all.  Truth is, being a woman in a male dominated industry is the kind of minefield you need to walk on very carefully.  If you don't take any crap, you're labeled a "bitch".  If you let people walk all over you, you're a victim.  So you have to walk this middle line that allows you to make a living, and still keeps your morals and standards semi-intact.  Dear reader, have you ever been on tour with a bunch of musicians for weeks at the time, living on a bus with 5 men, being the only woman on board?  Trust me, #metoo is my life's hashtag. 

Year after year, I saw my value as a photographer go up, while my value as a woman was taking a dive.  I tried to look as disheveled as I possibly could (not hard to do on tour).  My clothes a uniform that hid my Italian ass-ets.  My interactions with anyone brief and to the point.  And when I quit touring, I struggled with defining my personality, my looks and my whole career.  I gained weight, I lost too much weight, I cut my hair, I let it grow super long, I wore makeup, I barely brushed my hair, and through it all I never allowed myself the time to see that my body is the miracle that took me all over the world, beautifully functioning in amazing ways to perform at levels that would probably put me in a hospital today.  As women, we tend to look at our bodies as beautiful or not.  We pick them apart in brutal ways, we allow society to dictate what we should look like and if we don't... here comes the next diet, the next surgery, the next fix.  Why?  Why do we go there?  It took me almost 50 years to get to this point.  Where health is beautiful.  Where food is nutrition.  Where happiness is found in the daily life, appreciating the small miracles.  

I am working on a new project for 2018.  One that takes me to a new level and inspires me greatly.  One I hope to wrap up in one year.  But, as all my projects, it begins with curiosity, a willingness to understand and learn, a community of like minded individuals.  In this case, women.  Stay tuned... 

In Peace and Light,

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