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Yana Kamps Headshot

Anybody Home?

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Male body, female body, fat body, skinny body, short body, ugly body, body, body, body!!!

If you ask anyone what is more important, a beautiful inside or a beautiful outside, everyone would agree, even if it is just to avoid sounding shallow, it's the inside that counts. So, inner values count -- at least to some degree.

Yet we all obsess on the box we live in.

I've never heard a woman say, "I shouldn't eat those fries they're bad for my inner peace." No guy checking himself out in the mirror ever tells himself, "Your values and morals are looking hot today."

We invest insane amounts of money and time on our bodies, anything to make ourselves look better. But when was the last time you splurged on a crème that promised to tighten your serenity or considered a bliss workout? More frightening still, after all that money and time spent, weren't we still obsessing on our defects?

We are all doing it. My 80-year-old grandmother was just complaining to me about her boobs. After a long life in an A cup, Gran is very bitter about becoming a C. I can't tell you how many models on photo shoots have told me how "fat and ugly" they feel. So if the girl in the swimsuit ad who gives me a complex isn't happy with her body -- then who is?

I know for me, learning to love and accept my body has been a journey. To start, being born into the wrong sex didn't exactly encourage a healthy body image. Talk about looking in the mirror and thinking: "Hey, this AIN'T right!"

Even at 5 years old, I was aware of the powerful truth of my inside being. I was a girl and this body did not make me a boy.

Today I sometimes marvel that despite my knowledge of the importance of the inner beauty, I ended up working in fashion and film -- both industries that preach unattainable standards of outer beauty. I really don't make it easier on myself, do I?

I am not saying there is anything wrong with enjoying our bodies. (Stressing the word enjoy!) Not at all! It's empowering to have a beautiful and healthy home, after all your body is your temple. But we shouldn't forget about the tenant who lives inside. We need to wake up from the illusion that it is solely our bodies that define us in this world and learn to take care of our soul.

The other day while sitting in a café I couldn't help but noticed a strange woman who behaved oddly. She was really uptight, clutching her bag and looking around neuroticly. I could tell she was nervous and very uncomfortable with herself. That phrase, "Imagine people naked when nervous," came to my mind. I guess I thought about ways she could get over her nervousness, but of course I wasn't going to go over and tell to picture me in my underwear. Instead I thought it be more fun for me to imagined her in her underwear. I shamefully admit that was the first place I went to -- let's "judge" the weirdo.

But then I had another thought: Imagine her really naked, strip it all down. And I imagined her soul, what she was thinking and feeling. I was overwhelmed by an enormous amount of compassion and I saw her with a new clarity, a soul trapped in a body who, just like me, is struggling with life.

Its amazing what you see when you change your perspective. None of us are perfect, me included. But I try my very best each day to become the woman I aspire to be and see things from a different angle.