FROM THE
           INSIDE OUT

                 by Christiane Lange

Photographer: Alex Janero                          @alexjanero
Alex, who is based in Athens, Greece, is an emerging photographer and videographer with a strong interest in personal narratives and documentary work.

ANDRO: Foivos Papadopoulos                 @foivospapadopoulos
Foivos is an actor, who has a lead role in the upcoming Broadway, the debut feature by Christos Massalas.

ANDROxGYNE Project @androxgyne

Body image starts with the body, but how does the image of that body form and imbed itself in our minds?

Because we can see our bodies, directly and in the mirror, we are easily deluded into thinking that our body image is based on observable facts. But to construct our body image, we pass judgments, and those judgments are rarely our own. Most often, they are standards we have internalized deeply enough to make us think they are
our own.

A dramatic alteration of the body, in my case losing my breasts in a few hours of surgery, turns your established body image upside down. The process of rebuilding your relationship with your body is difficult, but it can also serve to
shed internalized standards and reveal a more authentic body image.

Breasts are the emblem of womanhood, of nurture – of femininity. Breasts instantly communicate to the male gaze the most basic desirability of the female: her ability to nurture children and provide sexual gratification. So when you lose your breasts, you are confronted with the vast extent to which your femininity is defined by the male gaze and societal norms.

No longer able to define your femininity by normative standards, your gaze must go inward. How you, yourself, define being feminine and of value becomes, by necessity, the operating principle for constructing your new body image. 

Once you have gone through the work of building your self-image from the inside out and freeing yourself of other people’s assumptions and expectations, something interesting happens. Instead of having your body image derive from how others see you, your authentic body image finds its expression through your body and defines how others perceive you.