My Skin, My Body (Part 3)
4th September 2016
Interview Curation and Featured Photography: Kat Kaye
Words and featured subject: Fahamisha Thompson
My Skin, My Body is a project by LA-based photographer Kat Kaye that explores the notion of beauty in the absence of photoshopping and makeup. Part 1 and Part 2 of this series have also been published via udee.
Fahamisha Thompson lives in Los Angeles and works in the corporate sector. She discovered a passion for acting fairly recently and has been a dancer for many years. This was Fahamisha’s first photo shoot and she had a natural ease and presence in front of the camera. She radiated pure joy.
Kat: What drew you to become involved with the series and did you have any reservations about the absence of retouching?
Fahamisha: The fact that natural beauty would be highlighted. The photos would catch each woman in their natural light and would celebrate all types of beauty, not what everyone always expects beauty to be. I did not have any reservations about the absence of retouching because I thought it would be interesting to see myself with no makeup and I knew my inner beauty would shine through in the photographs.
Kat: When do you feel at your most beautiful, and what does ‘beauty’ mean to you?
Fahamisha: I feel my most beautiful when I am dancing. I love to do hip hop dance and I have danced all my life and it is one of my passions – it just makes me so happy. Beauty to me means being confident in who you are, inside and out. Beauty to me is not just focusing on the outer beauty but being a beautiful person on the inside also.
When I was younger I struggled with self-confidence, and although I was pretty on the outside, I was unsure of myself on the inside. Now that I am older, I have come to love my big lips, my curly hair and my figure. I still have the same beautiful smile and heart that I had when I was a size 7 at 18. I believe beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and colours. When your smile and heart radiate happiness, you instantly become are very beautiful no matter what size you are or what imperfections you might think you have.
“When I was younger I struggled with self-confidence, and although I was pretty on the outside, I was unsure of myself on the inside. Now that I am older, I have come to love my big lips, my curly hair and my figure. I still have the same beautiful smile and heart that I had when I was a size 7 at 18.”
Kat: What role does makeup and/or retouching currently play in your life?
Fahamisha: I’ve never worn a lot of makeup. I usually just use a little bit of wine-coloured lipstick. Lately I have been experimenting with eye shadow and eyeliner. I have almond shaped eyes so I just want to start doing new things, but I am still very confident when I just have my wine colored lipstick on.
As women, we do not have to depend on makeup or retouching. When you know who you are, how beautiful your own unique smile is, and you know your own sense of self-worth, that is the greatest beauty to me.
Kat: What were your initial thoughts/feelings when you first viewed your photos, and how do you feel about them today?
Fahamisha: I was very happy when I first saw the photos. I thought they were beautiful, and some were sexy. Today, I am still proud of them and I am happy I was asked to participate in this wonderful project.
Kat: Given the ‘selfie’ era we currently live in, did the shoot change the way you think or feel about yourself in terms of having your photo taken?
Fahamisha: Taking selfies of yourself enables you to express your feelings through a quick photo. Selfies are fun, but it is a different and wonderful feeling to have a professional photographer work with you.
Kat: If you could go back and give your younger self words of advice surrounding body image, what would you say?
Fahamisha: I would say love your body for what it is and love yourself for who you are. Do not try to be something you are not, and do not be ashamed of who you are. Be confident and proud of your imperfections and beautiful features, from your big laugh, curly hair, to your big lips. Those qualities make up who you are which is beautiful inside and out.