By Leslie Butt
All Photos credits: Kit Sora
I first met Kit when we were both working for a local modeling agency in 2010. I have been following her photographs on her personal Facebook page ever since. When she began posting the photographs from her “52” project, they definitely hit me hard and I knew that a wider audience would benefit from her work. I don’t know many women who have not dealt with body image issues at one time or another, and I feel they are so deeply ingrained into our subconscious and social culture that they are almost unavoidable.
Although only a portion of the population are statistically diagnosed with eating disorders, our culture is rampant with idealistic images of women’s bodies and an inherent pressure to look a certain way and I know that we can work from the bottom-up to change our socially constructed ideas of how we are supposed to present ourselves as women. Although this is only one woman’s journey, I know that it is relative to a large portion of women who struggle every day. This being said, we also have the power to recognize ourselves as worthy, confident and capable women, no matter what our body type.
It is estimated that 1 out of 100 Canadian women will be affected by an eating disorder at some point in their lives. A tragic 10% of these people will die within ten years of the onset of the disorder due to health related complications or suicide (CMHA 2015). Kit Sora, a 24 year old St. John’s woman, has been stunningly capturing both the internal and interpersonal emotions associated with dealing with an eating disorder in a series of photographs entitled “52.” Her goal is take a photograph every week for a one year period.
“The reason I started it was because I could never find the words to put to such important things, so I took to photos,” said Kit when asked to describe her project.
“The photos definitely speak for themselves.”
As of March 2016, Kit has taken 9 incredibly powerful photographs in her series. Kit identifies as a self-portrait artist and states that she has been fighting with mental illness from a young age.
“I’ve been taking photos as long as I can remember, and recently started this project to both spread awareness and make it tangible, as well as for some self-preservation and personal growth.”
Kit’s amazing ability to capture emotion in her photographs, combined with her desire for community outreach, certainly makes her a force to be reckoned with. What started as a New Year’s promise to herself to take one self-portrait per week has become not only an astounding encapsulation of eating disorders, but also a source of hope for others who may be struggling with similar issues.
Kit’s photos can be viewed on her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Kitsora.Photography
Anyone struggling with an eating disorder are encouraged to contact the Mental Health Crisis Line at 18887374668 or the Eating Disorder Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador at (709) (709) 7220500.
You are not alone.
Leslie Butt is a writer, artist and mother of two living in St. John’s. Her books “Fifteen” and “Bring on the Dark” deal with struggles of mental illness, addiction and the resiliency of women. Her art has appeared in venues across Canada, and she has been working in community outreach since 2010, with a specific desire to work with struggling youth and sex workers.
She can be followed on Twitter @leslierb123, or her personal blog www.goodmorningsheeple.blogspot.com