Badassery Magazine February 2018 Issue 21 - Page 4

Letter from the Editor What happens when you put women in front of the camera? They get incredibly nervous. They start to shake, fidget and fluff their hair. They look around the room and start wishing they were skinnier, prettier, funnier or wearing something different. The tears well up and they start pouring out their hearts. They cry and draw support from the women around them. They hug, they laugh and most importantly, for just a moment, they are equal. Then something incredible happens. They smile and they cheer. Their true badassery shows and they just have fun. How do I know this? Because I witnessed this exact thing at our second badass body photoshoot in January. It’s an incredibly moving thing to witness. An entire group of women, most of whom I don't even know, show up and want to empower themselves and others through the power of a photograph. This is also exactly how I felt when it was my turn to step up. I tried to put on my ‘fearless leader face’, but... when it was time for me to take off my shirt (voluntarily) the tears welled up. I instantly wanted to be covered by my protective tee shirt layer and my pants (that were high enough to cover my stomach). A stomach that is constantly being put through shame. It’s protection in the silliest form. A piece of cloth can’t stop or protect me from my own judgments. How can I be so ashamed of a body that is the only reason I am able to sit here and share these words with you? This is a question I am still trying to answer to myself on a daily basis. Everyday it gets a little easier and I feel a little more confident in my lifetime companion. I would love to sit here and blame the beauty industry or those flashy bra shows, that literally leave no secrets, but I’m not giving them my power today. One thing I do know for sure is that my body will always be with me. It deserves the same power and conviction that can be stirred in my soul because we are ‘one’, flowing energetically though this lifetime. There is also another thing I know for a fact. My appearance has nothing to do with my success. My will and passion is bigger than any comparison game my mind wants to play. I am stronger than someone else’s stories of beauty. I have a bigger destiny than “my butt is too big”. So do you. This body gave life to two beautiful souls and continues to give life to me. No one has to understand it but me. I never have to explain myself to anyone else and that 100% includes what you see in front of you. Pink hair included. This year’s photos features 15 incredible women and one amazing transgender man, Raiden Brogly. Raiden was only two weeks post-op from undergoing breast removal surgery at the time of these photos. His story is so full of bravery, by just owning who he truly is. His photos literally beam with pride. Out of the fifteen women, two are survivors of breast cancer. Each person featured is unique and truly awe inspiring. I would like to say thank you to each one of you for inspiring me. Sometimes we forget just how beautiful we are, even without our own walls of protection built up. Just the real raw humans we are. XOXO, 3 Samantha