I decided to take 14 days of various self-portraits from the 1st of November until the 14th of November – my birthday, yikes!
I hope I’m not the only one who gets chills when their birthday is being mentioned. No, I’m not afraid of getting older, in fact, I f*cking love it! Now when I get older, I dive into this pile of awesomeness and confidence. Seriously, can’t mess with my mojo (anymore).
But my birthday has always had kind of a bad taste to it. Ever since I turned of legal age – a steep downhill descent started. Drama, crying, people leaving and not caring was surprisingly just the tip of the iceberg, since last year I was on my way to celebrate after MANY years when I found out that a family member passed away…
This year I was close to giving up again, when an individual who had been a part of my life/partner (ew) for 5 years, decided to once and for all spit in my face and lit my heart on fire. Happy b-day to me, yay!
Needless to say, years of being used as a consolation price leaves a mark on your soul. It kind of makes you have that irky disgusted feeling about yourself, always creeping around in the depths of your essence. So, I spent years being my own biggest hater.
‘’Am I cursed?’’ Like, come on, wouldn’t you think that? And call me a narcissist, I think in this shitstorm of life, a proper birthday is a must! Not because of the presents or the alcohol (mm maybe) but because of the people closest to you, who take time to meet you, come together, have an amazing time, and create beautiful memories. Gift me a slot in your busy schedule and I will cherish you for life!
14 days of self-portraits is a way for me to come to terms with myself, the good and the bad. Each day I try to showcase different personality traits or quirks through the photographs. Obviously, I can’t prove it to anyone, but in this series, I follow 2 rules;
1. Never take photos in advance, only take them on the posting day
2. Never edit out your ‘’insecurities’’ (like acne, body hair, extra rolls on the stomach, not-that-white-Colgate-commercial-teeth, etc.)
So far the results have been surprising. Not only have I learned to let go of my control issues, but I’ve also kind of started to be nice towards myself. I spent most of my teenage and adolescent years trying to change every little detail about myself that irritated me. Because I was convinced that “Brad” didn’t want me because of my below-average boob size and that my love wasn’t worth jack shit because “Olaf” said my hugs make him angry.
I recommend this to any person out there who seems to struggle with accepting themselves. Be playful, creative but most of all- be honest. And if you don’t have equipment? Honey, I didn’t even have a tripod so I tied the camera to an onion jar and hopped in front of the camera just before the timer ran out. (Don’t tell Antti, he will never give me the camera again haha)
So, this project is a celebration, an understatement between me and myself. It’s a realization that even if at certain times I don’t have much – I will always have myself. So I better be on good terms with Teini, because I’m stuck with her forever.
Teini Piibemaa is a 22-year old Estonian artist, studying Fine Arts at TAMK University. With a hint of sarcasm, Teini focuses on the sore spots of our society, especially the hardships and double standards surrounding the modern-day woman.
Follow the rest of the series on Teini’s Instagram @teiniart