I used to avoid mirrors.

For years I was forced to stand in front of mirrors, bullied by narcissistic parents who only cared about the shame they felt my body brought upon them. My fat was their failure, a shame to be worn like a hessian sack on my head, their words like the toll of the executioner. I was pitied and reduced, forever compared and put in my place.

That shit can really fuck a person up and put a person off their own reflection.

But I am an artist. I was born an artist, I will die an artist. And what do artists do? We take pain, our pain, your pain, the psychic pain of the world at large, and we transform that pain into beauty, or at the very least, something to think about.

That’s why this month’s February Photo Fest images are reflections and refractions and the fucking miraculous glory that I now see in the mirror: the body I am learning to love, the body that no one will ever expose or touch or invade or rule, ever again.

Very little in this life is really our own. My body is my own, and it’s fucking beautiful.


Violet Fawkes

Violet Fawkes (she/her) is a freelance writer and sex blogger focusing on pleasure education, erotic fiction, and the intersection of identity, kink and mental health.