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Ember Session: Brittany Jones

Sometimes, being seen is terrifying; having others look at me, really look at me as I am.  Being visible, open and vulnerable are not comfortable ways of interacting with the world.  Especially for me as a woman.  That’s why exploring what it meant and how it felt to be the focus of Meghan Newsom’s camera provided a perfect opportunity for me to boldly affirm myself and counter the many messages about my personhood and womanhood which my previous experiences’ provided.  

For the past 31 years, my attempts at openness and exposure proved confusing, discouraging, sometimes even debilitating.  I confronted impossible and conflicting standards and benchmarks about beauty, about womanhood, about success and about worthiness.  I faced people who overlooked or rejected me; who did not find me worth their time or attention, people who told me with words or looks that I am unattractive or unwanted.   I grappled with times that I opened myself to love someone and they did not love me back.   And so many times, I fell into the trap of comparing myself to other women—friends, strangers, celebrities on TV and in magazines.  Lastly, often worst of all, I battled that internal critic, who whispers so loudly “you are not enough.”  The result—an urge to hide, to conceal myself and avoid physical and emotional vulnerability.