“Self Love” and “Baring All” by Meg Griffiths
Meg Griffiths is a recent BA History graduate from Cardiff University. With a passion for photography for years but no time to pursue it, Meg explains that “photography has been a passion of mine for years, but due to the demands of uni life, I was unable to find time for it. Ever since moving back home for COVID19 lockdown, I’ve slowly been getting back into practicing photography and art, with a specific emphasis on body positivity.”
Like the majority in today’s society, we have felt the direct impact of the unattainable and unnecessary bodily expectations we face as women. However, the movement surrounding the increase in ‘body positivity’ and ‘normalising’ certain body types and features, has allowed me to embrace the idea that it really is what is inside that counts. As well as normalising body diversity, we should also be normalising the importance of taking care of our physical and mental health. I have personally suffered with depression in the last two years, and having creative outlets like photography have not only allowed me to escape from my depression (to an extent), but have also allowed me to address particular topics such as body image, and how these can directly impact our mental health. The self portraits I created begin to celebrate the human form in a raw state, drawing attention to the way skin and fat naturally roll over each other – something that should not define you as a person. “Baring All” also celebrates the beauty in natural curves, whilst using nature itself to enhance the detail and content of these three photos.
For years I had hated my stomach, envious of all the flat and ‘perfect’ bellies that my friends and sisters possessed. However, after struggling with my mental health for the past couple of years (unrelated to any body views I had) I’ve realised that it really is what is on the inside that counts. Feeding my brain with positivity and self love is far more important to me than being preoccupied with what my body looks like on the outside. Taking these pictures was a celebration of that fact, as I’ve started to value maintaining my metal health more than trying to grasp any form of ‘perfection’ on the outside.
This shoot was one of my favourites, incorporating nature into abstract portraiture is a dream! My sister allowed me to take these of her, and she thoroughly enjoyed the outcomes of this shoot as much as I did. Although the shadows of the plants and flowers undoubtedly compliment the curves of the body, they also act as a contrast to the lightness of the skin. Curves should be celebrated, and what better way to do it than alongside nature?