Who wants to get involved with a project thats about
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‘Who wants to get involved with a project that’s about being fats?’: A tender examination of teenage obesity

Created over 12 years, Abbie Trayler-Smith’s debut monograph presents a deeper understanding of a topic typically shrouded in disgrace

It was across the time of her eleventh birthday that Abbie Trayler-Smith first started to really feel one thing was mistaken. As a baby she had by no means given a lot thought to her physique – it was merely the vessel that carried her joyfully by means of the world. However, as she approached her teenagers, she began to query whether or not her physique was actually all it was supposed to be.

“I keep in mind my household saying ‘Oh, it’s pet fats’,” she recollects. “After which all of the sudden it wasn’t pet fats, it was a drawback.” By the point Trayler-Smith reached secondary college, she was scrawling the phrase “Fats” onto the covers of her workbooks. On a web page of her diary, a checklist of causes to drop some weight included: “No extra problem from mum + dad, they might be proud of me as an alternative of being ashamed [sic].”

This sense of disgrace adopted Trayler-Smith into her grownup years – proper up till the day she met Shannon. The photographer was attending a well being companies occasion for younger folks and noticed Shannon learn a poem on behalf of her weight administration class, pleading to the professionals within the room for understanding relatively than judgement. Trayler-Smith was floored by her eloquence and confidence. “She was the courageous teenager I had by no means been ready to be,” she says.

From this time, Trayler-Smith and Shannon launched into a photographic partnership that will final for greater than a decade. Half of the photographer’s long-term collection, The Large O, which examines the problem of obesity at school age youngsters and younger adults, the photographs have now been collected into Trayler-Smith’s first monograph. Kiss it! explores the life of an unusual younger girl as she makes an attempt to navigate a world decided to decide her not for who she is, however for a way a lot she weighs.

Easy, putting portraits of Shannon observe her as she transitions from teenager to grownup, and as she navigates friendships, household, first boyfriends, promenade nights, holidays and jobs. The pictures overflow with color and with persona – Shannon’s sense of self is infectious, seeming to emanate from every of the amount’s pages. Nonetheless, this fierceness is offset by moments of cruelty – one picture exhibits a textual content which reads: “ya so fats nobody wants you ahah and your a fats face aswell ya fats slag [sic]”.

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