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I looked in the mirror and I saw myself big and white and luscious in the garment of another land. I put on my own makeup and completed it with bright red lipstick. I had bought with me a dark blue ribbon: on an impulse I defiantly tied it around my head like Madonna and twisted the floppy bow to one side.
I stood on one of the flat rocks in a sand garden under a parasol, gazing at the lens of the photographer as the Kashiwai family stood to one side. After a time I forgot they were there. I became enchanted by the sensations of the silk on my body and the way it slid down the back of my neck, and the slight breeze that tickled the tiny hairs there and the simultaneous heaviness and lightness of the fabrics and the gaze of the stranger upon me.
I shifted and posed for him as the fabrics caressed me. I was craving recognition. I wanted to be looked at and recognised, seen for what I was. But it wasn’t me that the man saw through the lens. I was nothing now, not Australian not anything, just this large and malleable female form.
He asked if he could take some photos of me in the flimsy undergarment, the white and orange kimono. We went inside and I knelt on the floor and held my arms out to display the wings of the kimono. At one point he seemed to gesture to me to show more skin: I pretended not to understand.”
ABOUT LUCINDA HOLDFORTH:
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