Dependency and Control

Tony Ryan - Saturday, September 10, 2005

This website is about following our passions and being free from fear and judgement. Many of the models who choose to appear nude on the site have to go deep into their hearts in order to have the courage to pose. Many face fear of judgement from boyfriends, parents, friends and peers.

Recently a young woman approached me to have some photos taken. She wanted some shots to look back on that she could be proud of. Throughout the day we shot a range of images from fashion through to nude. We also talked on a very deep level about life and emotional sensitivity and freedom from fear.

By the end of the day the woman...lets call her Eve for the sake of keeping her identity private...was in a fantastic mood. She was thrilled with her shots and had a very positive self esteem as she left the studio.

Eve would have left by about 6pm and by 9pm I received an sms which read as follows – Do you mind if we put the nude shots on hold for a bit..my boyfriend is having a hard time dealing with it. I replied to Eve to the affect of ..could you please sort it out quickly as I have already started preparing the shots for publication. The next morning I received another sms.. He just said that I had disrespected myself. He made me feel really bad last night. I ended up sleeping on the couch. But you know what I am happy with them and I say use them.

I was very pleased that Eve had followed her heart until another sms arrived later that night. It read ..Hey before you put the shots up would you mind emailing them first? I had a big chat and will let you know what happened. I would like to involve my boyfriend so he knows whats happening. He just needs to see what sort of shots will be used. I then replied that there were too many to email but please bring your boyfriend over and he can select the shots with us.

The next morning I received another sms with the following...Can't talk as my boyfriend is here..will call you later when I am on my own. On Saturday I cried for 5 hours as we nearly broke up. We talked but he doesn't want any nude shots published and I respect that. I am sorry and will pay for your time. Happy for the clothed ones to be published – just dont want to lose him.

My belief is that Eve is already losing her boyfriend and is at the same time losing herself. She is supporting his act of control. In doing this she is allowing him to ignore his own insecurities and is just buying time until the next time he gets upset about something she does. Also by going against her own beliefs she is losing her own true self in the process. If she continues to only undertake activities that her boyfriend approves of she will eventually lose memory of who she really is. His control is from a lack of understanding and resultant fear. In supporting his act Eve is actually stopping him from understanding.

Quite naturally she places staying with her boyfriend as much more important than having the photographs published.. this is obviously not the issue. However she loved her shots and her sense of self was very high when she left. Her dependency on her boyfriend's opinion was obvious when she said that he made her feel very bad about herself. So many of us allow others to dictate how we feel about ourselves. We seem to have a high dependency on the opinions and judgements of others when deciding who we are.

I believe that we should all make each other aware when control fears surface. We all have them especially when we are dependant upon someone or something. We fear losing control of the object but don't realise that this fear takes away the true beauty of the person or activity. It is akin to a sports person who loves their sport but becomes dependant upon a desired result. They start to lose the freedom and enjoyment of the activity and very often suffer what is termed 'chocking'. In tennis for example a player who is dependant upon the result and becomes stressed ceases to hit the ball cleanly and performs well below his potential. This also causes the player much frustration and anger every time the ball doesn't go where he wants it to.

I believe that Eve's boyfriend is chocking the life out of his girlfriend. He is scared of losing her as he feels so much for her. However if he continues to try and control her he will lose this feeling of love. From Eve's viewpoint she is placing her self esteem on keeping her boyfriend. As such she is scared to act in any way that displeases him. If they continue to play this game in each other's lives they will systematically kill off their passion for life. Their existence will become a struggle to control and to survive their relationship. It will be a struggle just to keep it together.

In a physical sense we are so intent on controlling each other. I think it is why we are so self absorbed over nudity and bodies. It is a manifestation of the physical. However we don't own each other and love should be about the soul of our loved one not the body. I am sure Eve's boyfriend thinks he is doing the right thing and is showing love. However if he loved Eve's soul he would not make her feel guilty for doing something that she felt with passion.

Eve also came from a life with an abusive step father. However she is being abused now emotionally and doesn't even realise it. She was negative on her mother for staying yet is staying herself.

I truly believe that the hurt Eve felt was related to how great she felt when she left the shoot. For her boyfriend to rip her apart for doing something she was so proud of
was making Eve doubt her own soul.

A close friend of mine experienced something very similar. She had written some amazing poems about life which were truly incredible and they were from the deepest part of her soul and truly were representations of who she really is. Her husband at the time ridiculed her writing telling her she was stupid for even writing them. This came from his insecurities. Instead of believing in her poems and in herself she chose to believe her husband's words. This crushed her as she lost all faith in who she was as a person.

Just as my friend is slowly learning to believe in herself again so too must Eve. Her heart is real ..very real and our day together and the resultant shots were material proof of her worth. I believe that we should all work hard to connect with our hearts..to know them and to keep them open..to take in as much experience as possible from life and to not be hurt. We are very valuable to each other but only when we are valuable to ourselves. We should endeavour to know and love ourselves fully and never need anyone else to validate who we are.

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