TRIGGER WARNING: SELF HARM
I found ms. Chloe on the Instagram when I was scrolling through #therealcatwalk images, images taken during the Fashion Week in whatever city is hosting it (London, in this case) and I saw one of the other amazing models I follow: Khrystyana (from the latest season of America’s Next Top Model) with this beautiful girl with a lion’s mane of beautiful curls. #therealcatwalk is an event that happens to bring awareness to the “other” bodies that exist in the world and are just as worthy of strutting their stuff during Fashion Week! There are babes with disabilities, babes with body image issues, babes with bellies, and babes who self harm/ed…Chloe falls into the last category. I reached out to her and let her know that I would be coming to London and on a long shot, if she was free, would she want to collaborate and do a shoot with me. Within minutes I heard back. I was so pumped to meet this girl I literally knew nothing about. Fast forward to the day of our shoot and she met me at my teeny tiny little hotel room where we improvised and used strategic lighting to make the room look significantly bigger than it was (I could spin around in one spot and almost touch every wall). While shooting we chatted a wee bit about her modeling career (which started VERY young and was interrupted by her self harm) and we chatted about her favorite musicians and both of our loves for Primark. While we didn’t get into the specifics of Chloe’s self harm with her, it was evident that she had been through a lot in her young life, but the fact that she was there, on the other side of all of that darkness and ready to give life another go was very inspiring. I asked Chloe to write a bit about her life and she gave me a poem which she created during her treatment when she was diagnosed as Bi-Polar and it is her expression of BPD and how she experienced it. During the shoot, Chloe was extremely professional, amazingly open to creative collaboration with me, and I think she had a good time. Please listen to the music below, take your time reading her experience, and enjoy the photographs:
sitting in the freezing cold for hours on end smoking countless cigarettes not knowing where you are or why you’re there.
feeling so empty and emotionless that it’s an emotion within itself, the numbness over takes your whole being clouding you’re every move with a smoky veil of nothing.
not wanting to get out of bed because your scared of what you’re going to feel today and how many different emotions are coming your way.
nauseating anxiety growling in the pit of your stomach, catching you out at all the wrong times forcing you to retreat into yourself with clammy hands and a heightened heartbeat.
feeling ecstatic half an hour later, re- downloading tinder for the 30th time even though each time you have it and don’t get a quick fuck soon enough, you get bored and scrap the idea leaving you feeling unloveable and dirty.
It’s tiring and exhausting.
It’s buying your friends gifts at every opportunity to make sure they don’t hate you.
It’s hating the shell you reside in so much you slice it open just to see there’s something actually inside of you.