“I Had Just Taken Pictures, Naked, In a Forest”

The Thrill is proud to spotlight an original personal essay courtesy of one of our daily editors, Kate Lindsay ’15.

Ah, nature. The perfect place for some nice, relaxing nude photography.

If you had asked me on my first day at Kenyon what things I thought I would be doing during my time here, taking naked pictures of myself in the woods would not have been high on the list. I was a reluctant introvert, someone who wanted to have stories to tell, but couldn’t bring herself to say yes. Which is why I promised myself that at college it was going to be different. I was going to get out of my comfort zone and try new things. There is no better place to do this than at Kenyon.

As a part of my new can-do attitude, this semester I signed up for my first ever art class, Digital Imaging. I figured I would take it, squeeze out a bit of creativity I didn’t know I had, learn from it, and move on. But as it turned out, I really struggled with my first assignment. I just couldn’t see things the way the other art students could. Every time I tried something, it felt constrained, and this was reflected in my grades.

Our current project is based on magic realism. I had the idea to play with visually representing insecurities, and wanted to have my friends pose, and then make it look as if their diary entries were written on their skin. When I pitched this idea to my professor, she told me she had another thought. What if it was just me, just my diary entry, on my naked skin? I paused.

Did she really think it was necessary for me to be naked?

She did.

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