I used to be very timid and lack self confidence and self love. I was bullied at a very young age due to the way I looked. I was fat, obviously not attractive and definitely not the smartest. Due to that, it really affected me , causing me to shun myself away even more from people. I would not talk to anyone because I was afraid to be judged, hence I kept a lot of things to myself. It took me a really really long time to finally gain a certain level of confidence, and finally feel good about myself.
My series of work shows the different degree of confidence, and my journey to achieve this ideal, powerful and confident figure at the end.
Component 3: my room (stage 1: mild confidence)
It is the most comfortable spot but also when I am the most vulnerable. It is like a place I keep crawling back to when I feel sad and unsafe, and it is also the place where I reflect on myself to understand my thinking better.
This shot is a sight from bed where I would be just looking up the ceiling. The fan blades are visible as I used to count the number of rounds the fan blades rotate to calm me down, like a visual meditation. The lighting of the picture comes from the top and my hand reaching up to it. It shows desire for something as if reaching out to the light area, finding enlightenment. The desire here would be to be confident.
Inspired by Yasumasa Morimura who toys with appearance, identity and the women we all know and desire.
This shot shows myself posing in my closet, trying to emit a sense of confidence. The way my body is posed is that my legs are firm, taking huge steps and my hand having a firm grip on the pole but actually my head is hiding behind my shoulder, covering and receding into the shadows, it is almost like I have conflicting emotions on confidence and how much I want to let you see. The idea behind the closet is that it is an enclosed space and someone needs to put in effort to open the doors in order to find me, it is almost like to like how enclosed I was and afraid to interact or present myself and for a very long time I always wait for someone to open the doors so that I would open up. The photo is also cropped close to the subject matter to create this confinement and restriction.
Inspired by Cindy Sherman for the dramatic and theatrical effect.
This shot is myself in my room, at a corner on my bed, watching videos or reading books on inspiring women. The glow around the laptop, highlighting my face, suggest finding an answer to my problems as if I have gain enlightenment. I create this shot to show both a comfortable but a mysterious atmosphere, like what is happening behind that screen and in my head, what am I thinking and what am I plotting. I played with the rules of one third.
Component 2: a bra (stage 2: process of gaining confidence)
I always feel like bras are like cages, almost as if a cage created by the society for women to make us feel uncomfortable. To me, bras felt useless and just to cover the female nipples, a body part that society just simply cannot accept. The day when I firmly decided “no more bras”, was really life changing because I really start embracing my body for what it is, instead of worrying if my bra size is right, or is my breast looks better in this push ups, or if my nipples are just covered… basically if I am within the society’s standard in general. It was a big step for me to self-love.
Me trying to struggle out of a bra. There is redness around the strap area, which suggest me wanting to take the bra off but at the same time too afraid to do so because of what people will think of me. Playing with the lights to create this triangle effect to build this tension when the dark fold get closer to the peek, and also to guide the viewers to the subject matter and give the image a dramatic effect.
The image of me hanging myself with the bra to indicate how uncomfortable and suffocating the bra has made me feel. But also at the same time, I myself am the one holding the bra which suggest it is my own fault that I am causing this restriction and discomfort for myself. Cropped the picture tightly, like around my neck area, which is a weird cropping to evoke a sense of discomfort, uneasiness for the viewers.
A picture of my back where my muscles are tense after removing the bra. The feeling of liberation and feeling a new. Bra might be absent but marks of the bra still suggest the presence of it. Playing with negative space.
Component 1: myself (stage 3: confident)
The final series is to show the final stage confidence. I am someone very into fashion and make up because I believe that what you wear and what make up you put on really tells a story itself.
Inspired by Rina Dweck’s “Project Face”.
The picture of my in bold red eye shadows and lips to symbolize edginess and power. My hair is big, and flows, almost like a lion’s mane. Lions are like the king of the jungle which inspired me a lot because I desire such confident. I am leaning on this bottle of whiskey, something powerful individuals in the movies drinks as whiskey visually communicates a level of dominance and affluence. Close up and an intimidating gaze directly into the camera, as if like taunting.
Just a shot of some fashion items I feel are essentials to a girl, like a nice bag, amazing perfume and a good lipstick color. The studs on Valentino, and jagged edges of the Yves’s glass bottle, feels piercing and sharp against the soft leather. The whole picture is like pink, which often symbolizes being girly and weak. Playing with contextual contrast and textural contrast of the items in the shot (leather and glass).
Inspired by Cindy Sherman’s low vintage point shots to make one look taller and more powerful than usual.
This shot of myself standing tall and mighty, showing a power. Played with angles and decided on a bottom up angle to create a sense of dominance in the subject matter. The gaze is once again looking down, daunting the viewers, evoking a sense of power and confidence.
These composition then concludes my journey to achieve the confidence I desired ever since I was that small and timid girl to this confident and fearless lady.