My husband is a fashion photographer; I think he’s a really good one. But basically he makes really beautiful women look even more beautiful for a living. People often ask me how I’m able to handle it, they ask me because they love me, but it’s a common question so I’ve had to really think about my answer. A lot of people assume I must be a really strong woman, I guess I might be, I was raised by a very strong mother. But let’s be real, I have serious insecurities like everyone else in the world. Others might think me naïve or too lenient – ‘that poor couple must be struggling because of Trever’s work’…good news, we’re not.
But here’s what’s hard about it. These women will be eternally 18 and I will continue aging. I think aging is a beautiful thing, and I would NEVER wish to be 18 again…but sometimes I have to remind myself of that when her skin is just. so. perfect. Add to that, he is always aiming to bring out the best in the subject’s features. This means he is naturally analyzing all the aesthetics, but specifically the model, finding her best angles and subsequently and maybe subconsciously her worst. So, I have to remind myself and he always reminds me that he isn’t doing this with me.
One of the hard facts of life is that physical beauty fades, but I think that’s ok. It’s a tragedy that our culture prizes physical beauty above everything else, and it is such a huge loss that we don’t see the greatness in age. I guess I am just lucky enough to be getting over my own hang-ups about my appearance earlier on in life, because I will say this, a big huge mirror is shining on my own obsession with appearance and the only thing I can do is try and work it out.
The topic of beauty isn’t generally what people ask me about though; rather they seemed more concerned with the potential sexuality of the situations or the photos. I can really say this is not an issue for me. Partly because I have been on set with him and see the way he works, and partly because I honestly, and not naively, trust him. During a TED talk radio hour from NPR, Guy Raz interviews Alexander Wellman who did a scientific art project. In this project he interviewed people in 17 countries to ask what they liked in art. Through these interviews he was able to get an understanding of beauty and cultures affect on one’s perception of it. The whole radio hour is fascinating so I would recommend listening to it, but in the interview he discusses the results related to nudity. The French seemed to see nudity as art and saw it as being very beautiful, where Americans disliked it, as in our culture nudity is only sexual and can never be artful. I think the point I’m trying to make is that the human body can be viewed differently depending on someone’s upbringing personality and perspective. I truly believe that Trever's work is about form, beauty and fashion, and not sexuality. He grew up in one of those weird artist families where they had painting tutors in their garden while listening to Yanni…sounds pretty weird to me, but whatever.
I am also well aware that a lot of men couldn’t, and many don’t, do a fashion photographers work with integrity. But for those who do, I think that fashion is really beautiful. I love the images and work that’s coming out of that industry. Ask me about these women as symbols of perfection, or unrealistic body types being propagated…I don’t have an answer for you. I guess I’m still working out my opinion on that.
Trever and I talk about this topic a lot because we want to be aware of it’s potential to be harmful to our marriage. He’s still working this out too - how to do well in a career he loves and not only be a Christian and faithful to his wife, but exemplify that in his professional life as well. Conversations always end with that fact that Trever respects me as a person, finds me beautiful and honors me as his wife, and that really is what matters to me…on my good days.