Message from a white girl:
Where do I even begin? Maybe I will reintroduce myself first…. My name is Lindsay Rae, I am a 33 year old mom and the LR behind LRP.
The world is falling apart around us, but is that “world” really just the shattering of the cloak we have all been blindly and unknowingly hiding under our entire lives?
The one that keeps us from seeing the pain and sacrifice of others who don’t look like us? The one hidden from us in school that kept us blind to the real disturbingly painful and racist history of our country?
Maybe we are all just finally waking up and seeing how privileged we are that we never HAD to know the pain.
I used to say I was embarrassed to admit how little I actually know. How “Not Woke” I was. Now I say that I am proud that I am able to use modern resources (hey Google) to educate myself on the things that our education system (even worse growing up in Florida which still thinks it is part of the South) failed to teach us.
They call it “woke” for a reason, and that is because it really feels like you are waking up and seeing a world that has always existed while we lived our lives completely unaware of others not directly connected to us…almost in a dream state of blindness because we never had to face it directly.
What the world really needs right now is saving from ourselves.
It hurts, it is ugly, it is uncomfortable, it makes you feel extremely guilty for not knowing before…. but if we cannot see the damage how are we supposed to fix it?
Don’t let yourself get stuck in an opinion just because you had it before and feel it makes you look like a hypocrite if you change your stance. If you need someone to blame, blame our educational system for not teaching us and letting us fall into this falsehood of equality, when for Black people that equality is just simply not there.
Now that I have said my piece, let’s toss it down to Taylor to talk about her own Self Love Experience in the midst of the changing world around us.
“When LRP sends you a message asking you to do a socially-distanced safe photo shoot on a beautiful day in May, you say yes –even though the world couldn’t be any crazier right now and there are probably a million reasons to say no at any given time.
I’ve been familiar with Lindsay’s work for a while now, though, which helped me press send on my reply something along the lines of, “of course, let’s do it.” Lindsay took the time to sit down with me last winter to talk more about the Self Love Experience for Two Buttons Deep, and I’d also had the chance to see her behind the camera during a styled shoot in her studio a few months after. Both of these experiences with Lindsay, on top of following her incredible imagery and self love success stories on social media, made me feel like I could totally do this. Why not? It was something to look forward to and a chance to be creative in an outdoor, editorial shoot to celebrate the potential of coming out of isolation just in time for summer.
Yet, as empowering and authentic as her work is, I still felt like maybe I wasn’t ready to open myself up to something so vulnerable and new. It’s not like I was the most committed to a clean eating, healthy living and exercise focused quarantine routine, so surely that would show on camera, I thought. And I’d done shoots before, but in much more conservative clothing –like a bridal gown, not a bathing suit. But, when I tried on the looks for Lindsay in advance, I felt comfortable that we’d make it work and create something beautiful that reflects me right now and achieve the vision she had for the shoot.
With everything else going on, was the timing right? I mean, I couldn’t say no –and then it just so happened that the experience of the shoot itself ended up being a bright spot before many more darker days that followed.
Just a few days before our shoot, George Floyd was murdered in police custody and a powerful, emotional movement began to sweep our entire country and world to bring Black Lives Matter back to the forefront where it belongs. It’s been an extremely troubling and eye opening time since then, with one of the many takeaways being for us to acknowledge our privilege and recognize the work that’s left to be done to create real change and inspire hope for a more equal future.
The last thing I could think about was getting this gallery back from Lindsay, knowing the timing would be far from right to share or post these images without first acknowledging the state of our country and world, and starting to make progress to find ways to help and support the community. This just can’t be the type of thing where we share our support publicly and move onto whatever our own form of “regularly scheduled programming” might be. I don’t know personally when I will be ready for that.
What we can do, though, is continue to listen and support, creatively express ourselves and improve in areas where we feel we can make a positive difference. I understand even something as simple as having a fun, creative opportunity like this and feeling inspired and empowered by Lindsay’s work is a privilege as well, and I know that. People like Lindsay are committed to being on the forefront of making change and giving a voice and a perspective that should be welcome right now. And I’m glad to have been able to witness her work yet again, feel the confidence she can give someone firsthand, and know that these images will always mean something to me, even as a reminder of what I was doing during this extremely important moment in time.” – Taylor Rao