I experienced something new today.
I had a photographer turn down working with me…because of my nipple piercings.
On one hand, I get it. A big part of modeling is having the right look for a particular project. Apparently I didn’t have the look this photographer was seeking. That’s fair.
On the other hand, he was the one to make first contact. He wanted to work with me. Then as we’re discussing things he asks if I can take out my jewelry for the shoot. I decline, and then he pulls out of the collaboration. Apparently he didn’t see my piercings when he first checked me out, but I find that hard to believe because they are very apparent in my photos.
Can I take them out? Well yes, of course I can. I’m not going to though. My piercings are part of my look. And that’s not just aesthetics, it sinks way deeper than that. How I choose to modify my body is a fundamental representation of who I am. Would he have asked me to cover my tattoos and rush-dye my hair back to a normal color too? I couldn’t say, but I wouldn’t put it past him.
I know it might seem like a negligible thing, but whenever I take my jewelry out, I think I look freaking weird. Like, my boobs aren’t right. My whole chest isn’t right. I don’t recognize myself in the mirror. It’s really strange. It throws me for a loop every time. I don’t want that represented in a photo. Even if it’s a good photo, even if the pose and the lighting and the background and all that are immaculate, it wouldn’t feel right because it wouldn’t look like me.
The one thing I strive for in my modeling work is to always represent myself genuinely. Thankfully most photographers who contact me want to work with me because of my look, piercings included. And I’m eternally grateful to everyone I’ve collaborated with. Each shoot reminds me that I create something beautiful without changing or misrepresenting myself.
So yeah, just a brief note about my nipples. Haha. I never knew I would become so attached to two tiny metal barbells.