Mirrors are difficult. Any mirrored surface is difficult. It’s difficult to look at myself - to see beyond the bumps, bends, and folds that shape my body. The mirror doesn’t see what I see. When I close my eyes I see myself perfectly. There are soft pliable places both sexy and sensual. I am all amazing breasts and perfect hand holds. My breasts are perfect hand holds. Every part of me wants to be touched - to be held. My waist is narrow. My belly is flat. I am curled up, small, vulnerable, leaping, wild and fierce.
When I close my eyes I don’t ask whether I’m good enough, sexy enough, perfect enough, thin enough, tight enough. I’m simply Mikaela: desirable and kind, ready and wanting, powerful and scarred.
I want to paint this person. I don’t want to paint what the mirror sees. The person I see is everything I want to be. She is valuable and prepared. Her mind is wide and crevassed with depth. She brings her whole heart to the table. She inspires me. I want to celebrate her.
I’ve always felt like the world has enough hyper sexualized images of women. It’s doesn’t need any more. And mostly, I still believe that. The world doesn’t need more pre-packaged, pre-approved, male-curated white cis-female-Western-European-heteronormative images of women. We’ve got those aplenty. Really, we’re good, ya’ll can stop producing those images.
The world needs more people taking ownership of their sexual selves, sexual experience, and bodies as sexual objects. The world needs more people in love with their bodies. And that’s what I am - in love with my body. Maybe it’s taken me 30 years of feeling ashamed, chunky, dirty, unworthy, not right/good/fit enough - but I’m here now and the world needs more of me.