By: Keer Coco Wang
I hate getting my pictures taken. In that split second when the camera shutters, I freeze at the numerous factors to consider: the angles, the posture, and the way to “smile authentically but not too much” (as one photographer told me). I look enviously at women who seem to look effortlessly beautiful and radiant in front of the camera, while I cower and question my own learned femininity. In an age of social media, I feel like I lack the social currency to compete in a visually saturated mediascape.
Since when did a highly educated, millennial woman whose taken all these courses on Gender Studies harbour a deep secret, an internalized fear, a fear of loving one’s own body. All because a picture might not turn out to be conventionally attractive in the present consumerist visual economy?
So, imagine my surprise when strangers recognize me by my photos.
“Hi, I’m Coco, nice to meet you,” I would say.
“Yah I know! I see you all the time. You model for Le Prix,” they would reply.
I don’t tell them about my fears of getting my photos taken, because hey, who would believe me.
I’m not a die-hard fan of really anything (not even sports or music) but consider me an avid lover of clothes and Le Prix. I feel like a brand spokesperson, wearing luxurious hand-picked pieced and being on the cover of Le Prix’s website, social media, and newsletters. Not only because my loving friend and sorority sister, Robyn Hobbs, owns it, but because her philosophy to business and life took me step-by-step to create a counter-narrative of photo taking: empowerment and self-love.
Smile as much as you want to, look silly, dance and be yourself. There isn’t a bad picture, just different shades of you. Robyn created a body-positive space, where anything goes! So whether you are a hardworking student feeling attached to your sweatpants, or a mom of four without time for yourself, picture-taking can be a profound tool to love yourself and empower others. Don’t just be a client of Le Prix, you can model for Le Prix, model for self-love, and model for sustainability.
When I meet other Le Prix clients, I don’t feel all that strange from meeting a stranger. I feel like saying hello to a friend. Because by our purchasing power as a consumer, we are taking a stand on values we take close to heart: empowerment, self-love, and love for the environment. I skipped the small talk about the weather and the gossip of when and where to arrive at those in our lives where we can speak about what’s important to us. That’s what I think about now when I laugh ridiculously in front of the camera.
Thank you, Robyn, and Le Prix’ readers for having me as a guest blogger. Can’t wait to talk again!