In my piece called, “Emotional Pain”, I like how I was able to show raw and authentic emotional pain however, this time, for my Parsons Challenge, I explore why we sometimes may disguise and conceal these emotions. There are many different reasons why we may choose to do so, but what they all have in common is that they are fear induced. We often make ourselves believe that if we let others know our raw emotions, they will perceive us as weak. Or even less masculine, too sensitive, or even the feeling that people won’t accept us or will invalidate our emotions. Not showing vulnerability is typically viewed as strength.
But in reality, it takes a lot of courage to show how we are truly feeling because the major motives in hiding our emotions are fear-based.I decided to use photography, specifically a portraiture, as my medium because, like they say, a photo is worth a thousand words. In addition, my intentions in using myself in this portrait was to show men, like myself too can feel emotional pain.
I first stripped down to represent raw and authentic emotions, as well as vulnerability. And as for the glass shower, I wanted it to symbolize a barrier from other people one can turn to express themselves as well as a trap consisting of one’s fears that make us disguise and conceal our emotions. I wanted to portray being self-inflicted and afraid so I directed myself to approach and almost touch the glass, or symbolically, our fears, while looking down, showing that we cannot face them. Expressing our true emotions does not equate weakness because in order for us to get out of this glass trap (symbolically), we have to break the glass first, showing strength and courage.I am proud of how this photo turned out and what I was able to convey because it truly shows why some of us hide our emotional pain. And that is because we are trapped in this shower of fears. I relate to the theme a lot because I too once concealed my emotional pain. It was a very dark time for me to be keeping everything within.
I felt very lonely as if I had nobody because I was afraid of what I would be perceived as by others. However, once I learned how to overcome and break that glass of fears of being invalidated, not accepted, or afraid of looking weak, I learned that opening up to someone doesn’t make you look weak, it makes you look strong. It really takes a toll on one’s mental health to be thinking this way and the struggle with concealing how we truly feel, is horrible. We have either heard someone say ” everything’s okay” when in reality, everything was going wrong. I hope that this photograph will open people’s eyes and make one realize that it is okay to experience emotional pain, however, we shouldn’t equate weakness with expressing our true emotions.I like how the water on the glass acts as a middle ground in the photo and as for the composition, I like how the subject is against the light and how we can’t see his face, making the themes presented relatable to anyone.