OPEN PHOTOSHOOT EVENTS
May 2018: "Blossom" Event
On Sunday, May 6th, April, showers were still taking over the day. Still, the Flaunt It team did not let that prevent them from making St. Stephen's Community House's Youth Arcade Studio filled with May flowers.
The "Blossom" series focuses on celebrating self-growth and development. It is designed to remind us to prioritize our mental health and well-being as we reflect on the pathways we shape toward our aspirations, dreams, and goals. In this series, we asked our guests to reflect on what blossom means to them. With an open mic, flower crown station, flower bouquet station, self-care activities and more, it was a beautiful Self Care Sunday with over 60 guests from across the GTA.
Thank you to our trustee organization — St. Stephen's Community House — for helping us make this event happen and for providing us with the Youth Arcade Studio space. We would also like to thank our funders — The City of Toronto, Adobe and Ryerson University's Faculty of Arts.
To bloom. To grow. To nourish. To strengthen.
We asked each model to self-reflect and write us a paragraph to tell their story. Tell us: “What does blossom mean to you? What does self-growth entail and how does it affect you?” The following responses are their sincere, creative, unfiltered and unedited responses about self-growth.
Blossom to me means a group of amazing people with gorgeous personalities that come together to create a loving comfortable environment. None of us are perfect but together we are perfectly imperfect ( kinda cheesy but you get what I mean). We all come together to celebrate our growth and share our stories which I think is beautiful. Self-growth is so important. It changes our aspects of life, we begin to understand ourselves and our feelings and we learn to love ourselves. Growth and change are very important. It’s what shapes up and makes us who we are. It’s what makes us different. With self-growth comes confidence, courage, embracing empathy, changing your mindset and understanding the things and people around us and why people are the way they are. The hard situations that we often find ourselves in are what make us stronger and teach us new lessons and skills. We are all gorgeous, strong warriors and we will blossom!
To me, blossom means to realize your full potential has no limits, it's time that is of the essence. I often struggle with time-management and not using it effectively towards the skills that are fruitful like the mass of flowers blossoming on a tree. But, as I dive into post-secondary life, I still struggled and is in the process of getting the hang of using my time sparingly. I guess that also leads to my pitch of self-growth: it entails spending your time wisely on your favourite hobbies and self-discovery through new activities. At Queens, I came to discover a love for theatre by trying something new, which, like many of you, I often don't feel comfortable with. It could not have happened if I did not set time aside to volunteer with Queen's musical theatre, which was the only thing I came around to, fitting into my busy schedule. In this day and age (don't mind me sounding like an old lady) where we are often surrounded by interminable information, we feel we have all the time to consume it all. Realistically we don't, and realizing that we have to be careful and to pick wisely what information we should feed on, will enable all of us to reach our limitless potential.
Within the past two years, I have grown and changed in ways I can't even begin to describe. However, one major change I would like to highlight is my level of self-worth and self-reliance. I have always been a smart, strong and opinionated person; never thought of myself as emotionally dependent. However, due to the numerous changes that have occurred in my life in the last few years, I see now how selfish I was, not to everyone else, but to myself. I believe life is about serving others, not just occupying space on earth before you die. But you can't truly come to that realization if you aren't first investing in your own emotional, physical and mental health. We sometimes forget that it's okay to be selfish; pour into yourself. We can't be the best versions of ourselves to others until we are the best version for "US". And in being the best version of yourself, you discover self-worth and self-love, which is what Blossom is all about.
Experience teaches wisdom, and I have so much left to experience in life, but I just want to say my experiences definitely shaped who I am today as a strong "selfishly-selfless" beautiful black woman. I implore more women to take time to self-reflect and get to know themselves on an intimate level as it sets the foundation for strengthening those fundamental qualities of self-worth, love and independence.
Blossom was a way for me to uplift myself and come to terms with my insecurities. Having had a photoshoot cantering around what I’m insecure about most allowed me to embrace – rather than shy away from – what I find the least attractive part of my body, my stomach. In participating in this event, I feel like I am one step closer to self-love. I know it’ll be a long journey, but Blossom, like the word itself, gave me the opportunity to begin to grow out of my habits of self-doubt/hatred, and become a renewed, beautiful girl, carefree about what judgements may come my way. I not only noticed a newfound sense of confidence in myself, but in my best friend as well, who also participated in the photoshoot. We both felt inspired and empowered after reading stories of growth and self-love. Developing self-growth and self-love is an extremely long process, but with the help of Blossom, I am motivated to love every inch of myself and encourage others to do so as well.
The word blossom is the beautiful growth in an individual, like a flower. When I think of this word, I think of one as their best self, not fearful of the world, honest about their opinions, and owning their mistakes! Self-growth entails what many to believe as the purpose of life: finding your core values to be authentically you. It gives you a thrill, a sense of freedom and happiness the more you become in tune with this instinct. Through self-growth, I've become more patient, accepting of myself, and others. I've become more aware of those who spark energy while avoiding what drains me as well. More importantly, realize that self-love is a lifelong journey and is the truly only love you need.
Blossom to me means blooming into something phenomenal after hard work and dedication, just like a plant. After being first planted, a plant goes through the difficulties of adapting then it uses a lot of water and energy before it can produce but in the end, there’s such a beautiful result. Blossom also means to allow yourself to shine. Forget opinions, negativity and insecurities and just be a star ⭐️
We experience new beginnings all the time, but don’t appreciate how easily the slate can be wiped clean. Whether it’s a new job, new year, or even a new day, we get the opportunity to blossom and become better versions of ourselves. I often take small things for granted and tend to look at the negatives. But waking up each morning, is a blessing in disguise. I started surrounding myself with things I enjoy, cut out the negative people I was holding on to, and made sure I was happy. Turning a new leaf on life made me blossom into a happier version of myself and helped me with loving myself and all those around me.