Self Portraits - Charleston, SC Photographers - Nicole Mendicino

When we were little girls my mother would dress my sister and I up to have our photos taken. You know the ones I’m talking about, when you go to SEARS Portrait studio and have a cheesy background and some creepy guy is taking your picture. Those ones. Well my mother would dress us real “nice” with curled hair, red lips and lace dresses for days. We ended up looking like pageant princess’ by the time she was finished. Not to mention she put us in matching outfits, (except shoes). I had these shiny red ones like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, (because I was obsessed of course).  So every year she would dress us up for Christmas, Birthday’s, School, etc., and go get our photos taken. As I got older it would get more embarrassing because the photos were all over the walls. Its as if our parents worshiped us. I bet there are a few of you out there that just might have some of these around, or at least something similar.    

These memories and photos really got me thinking. They were just photos of us, but I have a slight feeling they had something to do with my outlook on life. I mean in the sense of how I perceived myself, or to the more pressing fact that I hate getting in front of the camera. It’s a pain, and I get these flash memories of my mother curling my hair while I sat there for an hour bored out of my mind.  So the last thing I wanted to do was get in front of the camera, seemed awful.

So I wanted to go change things, it was time to go back and explore being in front of the camera. To take some images of what is typical standard, makeup hair, so on, in contrast to well the opposite of natural and raw, no make up. I wanted to explore this not just for myself but also for others. How do we see ourselves?  To what is the standard of your own perception?

As women we often are told that we need to look a certain way in order to gain respect, power, equality, a boyfriend even. But as I get older I realize why the hell do they teach us this, why are we teaching our daughters and sons this, and mostly, lets do something about it!   Why should our value be measured in weather we have blonde hair, long hair, weight and makeup or not? 

Maybe people would say I am optimist for hoping that we could come together as a community, instead of working against one another. I still have hope for us, that slowly we make the world a better place and join as one. It only takes one. Will you with join me?

Until next time, thanks for stopping by – below are my self-portraits, leave a comment below, would love to connect!





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