Both the photographer and his girlfriend were privy to the fact that it took me 10 months to finally sleep with my boyfriend. I had an extreme fear of pregnancy and had always felt a lot of guilt about sex. It took a very long time to get over this fear and stigma. For those 10 months, I was treated as the token “virgin” in our group conversations. We would play Cards Against Humanity and they would make little quips here and there about sex and try to make me feel uncomfortable. I wasn’t uncomfortable with sex. I just hadn’t “truly” experienced it yet and was therefore not included. I felt like I had something to prove by doing this photoshoot. By shooting for the photographer (whose approval I always felt I needed to receive) I wanted to sho...
... middle of paper ...
...s seemed accentuated and I looked tired. I looked very tired. This was not me. This was what he thought of me. I kept the files on my computer for a year before throwing them out.
It was awful.
Everything seemed to go downhill after the shoot. The photographer’s girlfriend broke up with him the week before Christmas that year and my boyfriend and I had to navigate our relationship with them. Four months later, I broke up with my boyfriend the night of the photographer’s birthday party. It seemed oddly symbolic. I got to screw the photographer over too by having my boyfriend call him extremely early the next morning to tell him what happened.
That photo-shoot was one of the most uncomfortable moments of my life. It made me realize that you can’t trust others to see you as you see you. You are not their perceptions. Fuck em if they ever think you are less than you are.
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