"Just Be Yourself - Do Not Conform"

On a warm and sunny winter's day, I walked with this beautiful woman along the sandy stretch of Fingal Beach to a more secluded spot adjacent to the Spit. A stunning backdrop of turquoise ocean, framed by sand dunes and rocky inlets, together with the privacy of this particular area, lends itself well to portrait photography. 

Following a photoshoot like this, I usually ask the women to let me know if there are any photos they don't like. I received a candid and inspiring response from this particular lady.

"I can't say I don't like any of them as they are all really me without judgement"

I think most of us can learn something from that. 

I asked her some more questions after the shoot and here is what she had to say:  

Do you have any insecurities about your body?

I don’t have any real insecurities about my body but I am challenged by my posture; it seems to upset other people more than myself.

I was told when I was in my 20's that I would be in a wheelchair by the age of 40. I am now 72 and have constantly worked to prove this wrong, probably overzealously.

As a massage therapist my body has constantly been used in training workshops to demonstrate things to correct.

Do you feel pressure from society to fit a certain beauty ideal?

The only body image pressure I feel is what I put on myself, as in the past I have felt rejection and thought it was because I was not as pretty. But looking back on myself when I was young, I realise that I was quite delightful.

If you could write a note to your younger self today, what advice would you give her?

I would say just be yourself, do not conform.

What do you like most about yourself?

I am compassionate and have an honest heart, what you see is what you get.

Have you ever taken part in a naked or part naked photoshoot before?

No I haven't, but I was truly looking forward to it as it was a challenge to take me out of my comfort zone.

Are you comfortable with nudity or did it take a lot of courage for you?

I am fairly comfortable with nudity, and since the photoshoot I have spoken with friends and after the lockdown is over we are all going skinny dipping together!

How do you feel about the results of the photoshoot?

I felt the photos were done very artistically.

Interviewee wishes to remain anonymous


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