Male, 27, London (from Birmingham)

1: I had seen collections of photos from the project pop up on numerous body positivity blogs for a while and they caught my interest. Not only was it a great and admirable concept, but the photos themselves were so beautifully composed. I’ve modeled for the past three years and it’s unfortunately rare that something like this shows up for fat male models. As you might expect, outside of the occasional fetish project offer, work specifically revolving around body image and positivity are pretty much the only work I ever get offered. I am always glad to accept, as it’s something important to me, and when I found that 1BP was making its way to London I couldn’t book my coach ticket fast enough.

2: When I was young I was continually told that I needed to lose weight. Whenever I went swimming with friends I insisted on keeping my shirt on, even in the water. I hardly even looked myself in the mirror and I would walk around the house with my tummy sucked in so that my parents wouldn’t drop a comment about it. At the same time, I was obviously growing into an age where you are simultaneously horrified and intrigued with your own body, and I think I tended to swing pretty wildly between digust and admiration for my physique. The outside factors tended to get the upperhand and, as with so many things, I assumed that everybody else was right and the short moments when I felt alright by myself was just self-delusion.
When I moved out and got together with my partner I slowly started to get a growing appreciation for what I had to work with. Three years ago was the first time I took a nude self-portrait and on a whim I posted the photo to a photography site online. The nastier responses were to be expected but I was surprised to see how many positive comments I got, and it spurred me on to take more and experiment further, both as a photographer and model. Today I am still going back and forth in my self-image, but I feel happier with my naked body than I ever have. Today I can genuinely enjoy being naked, both on my own and in front of others.

3: From the moment I booked my coach ticket to the femtosecond before I pressed the trigger there was one question spinning around my head: What should I look like? I settled on a pose and changed it more times than I can count, even as I was getting undressed to take the picture. Alongside that worry was the bigger issue: please don’t screw up! The three hour long coach ride was spend stressing out over whether I would mess up whatever pose I would decide on, if I would accidentally blink or fall over or something. Maybe I’d press the button too early, or knock the camera over with my fat ass or something.

Fortunately, I had better luck than that. I settled on a pose pretty much a few seconds before I snapped the shot and as I was getting dressed my mind was racing. The wait to see the picture was agonising but when Kenneth spun the monitor around to show me I was relieved. It felt like I exhaled a ton of air when I noticed that the photo had turned out perfect. To be perfectly frank, I looked really, really good. In the end, it managed to be even better than I could have hoped. The ride home felt like it was six times shorter than the first trip and I couldn’t wait to have a copy of the results.

On the whole, I regret nothing about my participation. It was a great, wonderful and very giving experience to meet Kenneth and be apart of the Naked Dream documentary shoot.

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