The Revelation Project & Narcissism

So far I have co- photographed nine amazing women for the Revelation Project and each one has taught me something different, and in doing so I’ve discovered a family of sisters I never knew I had.

I’ve learned of  a common inheritance that dwells inside each one of us that has to do with constructs of self worth, identity, freedom and beauty that has shocked and intrigued me on many levels.

Here are some of my findings so far:

1) No matter how confident and beautiful she APPEARS to be there is a piece of her that clings to the belief that she is not worthy of attention, adoration, or admiration on almost any level (FASCINATING)!

2) By coincidence, each woman who has been photographed to date has shared the bond of motherhood and each and everyone of them has somehow lost an aspect of themselves along the way whether it be notions of self esteem, self worth, confidence, balance, inspiration, body, or *spirit* (more on that later).

3) Most of the women who view their photographs after the session report the following and lead me to explore the following questions:

  • They see a woman in the photographs that they have not seen in a very long time (What was missing?)
  • They experience a mix of amazement and awe; amazement that they actually view a beautiful empowered woman in the photo, and awe that they had not realized just how far removed from their former self they had become.
  • They experience a sense of empowerment, inspiration, and/or connectedness to the woman in the photograph (almost as if to embrace or re-claim her… had we shut her down? turned her out? denied her? ).
  • They experience the “fear” of mis-interpretation and that the photos might be viewed as “narcissistic” by their family, or peers.
  • They report that their women friends have regarded them “brave” and “courageous” to have participated in the project.
  • Report finding a piece of themselves they did not know had been lost along the way ( What happens to us?)
  • Identify a “transformation” of self  (meaning: the perception and perspective they have of themselves is “altered” and “shifted” in such a way that was not available BEFORE the session).

I loved that in the wiki definition of Narcissism they have replaced the term in Spain to mean “healthy self-love” and that there can actually be a healthy interpretation of falling in love with the image reflected back at you.  There is something to be said after all about loving oneself…  If we can not love ourselves as we are- exactly ( all that we ARE, and all that we ARE NOT) how can we truly love and accept anyone else? As always- I so welcome your comments, questions, or cries of outrage!  xoxoxo


5 thoughts on “The Revelation Project & Narcissism

  1. So interesting Monica! It’s amazing how far we’ve come as women and yet how primitive our self-worth is. Guilty of that here.

  2. Very interesting Monica. I certainly can identify with the experiences of these women and the observations you write about. It feels to me that there is a constant searching for authentic beauty. We struggle to find that fragrant place where inner beauty radiates out – uncorrupted and incorruptible. The place beyond having a perfect hair do and airbrushed skin – the place where imperfections add something unique and special and can be embraced with fondness when they smile back at us in the mirror. The Narcissus is, after all, a beautiful flower of exquisite perfume – it should be enjoyed.
    Also – your pictures are beautiful – you do have a gift.

    • Kripa,
      I always love your thoughtful comments. I so appreciate the read – really. I agree, as women we struggle to stand firm and unapologetic for our quest of beauty. It can be seen all around us and in us if only we are willing to look, embrace, and surrender.

      PS: It was a Vitamin D Deficiency!

  3. Monica, I enjoyed reading this as that was one of the comments I made to you and robyn today( about the narcissistic nature or feeling of this). This is a very insightful piece about the experiences of all the women involved and worthy of more discussion.
    Totally agree with the new Spanish definition!

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