AS IS story
"As Is" is a project that is so very dear to my heart. I think a lot of us especially in this day and time with social media, ad campaigns focusing on the guy with the perfect body, we've been mind fucked into thinking we are not good enough because we are not the picture-perfect bodies that have filled pages of magazines, television, movies, and even billboard ads.
What is "As Is" simply it is my artistic vision showcasing all types of men with all body types. It's a coffee table book with a positive message that tells us we are good. The fifties sex goddess, Marilyn Monroe once said, "All little girls should be told they're pretty even if they aren't." Great advice right especially since it comes from someone in today's standards would be considered fat. What about little boys though what should they be told? Maybe they should be told they are handsome smart and good "as is".
My passion for photography began when I was in college studying art. I had taken a photography class which was short-lived because I was kicked out and told by the instructor I would never be good at it because I questioned everything and refused to follow the rules. Should there be rules or limits to creativeness? The teenager I was then did not believe so, but his words stuck. Fast forward some twenty years later I had returned home to help take care of my dad who had Alzheimer's. So mad at the disease and what was becoming of my father, I needed to focus my anger into a creative outlet. At first, that outlet was, PlayBear, an online magazine that featured guys of all shapes and sizes. I did that for two years, but by the end of the second year I was threatened and sued by a similar publication for using all things the word "Bear." I was tired of taking care of my dad whom I lost in January of 2017, I didn't want to put forth the effort in trying to fight, so I let PlayBear go. What bothered me is in that time I had received many emails and messages from guys with similar messages saying that PlayBear made them feel comfortable, sexy in their bodies that they could go to the beach and take their shirt off and not care what people thought. Around this time I came across this quote by, Steve Goodier, where my book ultimately got its name. “All of us sport an invisible sign around our necks -- “AS IS.” It means, take me as I am. I may not become what you want me to be. And I’m far, far from perfect. But I have some great qualities, too, as well as my share of faults. You will have to take me “AS IS” and I’ll take you that way, too.” To me it was perfect so I sat out to photograph all body types to put them into a coffee table book, to celebrate the message of basically "Eff your unrealistic perfect body standards."
Body image isn't just a women's problem. Many studies reveal that a surprisingly high proportion of men are dissatisfied with, preoccupied with, and even impaired by concerns about their appearance. One American study, for example, found that the percentage of men dissatisfied with their overall appearance (43%) has nearly tripled in the past 25 years and that nearly as many men as women are unhappy with how they look.
Men with body dysmorphic disorder are most commonly preoccupied with their skin (for example, with acne or scarring), hair (thinning), nose (size or shape), or genitals. The preoccupations are difficult to resist or control and can consume many hours each day.3 Nearly all men with body dysmorphic disorder perform repetitive and time-consuming behaviors in an attempt to examine, fix, or hide the “defect.” The most common are mirror checking, comparing themselves with others, camouflaging (for example, with a hat), reassurance-seeking, and excessive grooming.
My own story I remember being a kid already distraught because it was a different time in the '80s and '90s before I knew I was gay and that weighed heavily on a teen in those times but what caused more anxiety would come from the perfect example Calvin Klein cologne and underwear ads. Of course, I was aroused by the ads just to see the suggestion of sexuality that faded fast when I would catch a glimpse of myself in my own Calvin's and my body and bulge nowhere in any stretch of the imagination reflected that of Marky Mark now Mark Wahlberg. I think that is when my dysmorphia started that I was not as good as is. My weight has yo-yo'd my entire life and I can tell you people treat you very differently when you weigh 140 lbs as to when you weigh 240 lbs.
Some people will say that I am objectifying men and just as guilty and that is alright they are entitled to their opinions. However, I ask you when was the last time you opened up a coffee table book that showcased all body types and drizzled with positive words. That showcased all races and is inclusive.
So I am asking you to join me and help get this message out there that we are all beautiful and have a story to tell. The money raised will be covering publishing, marketing expenses and any other things that sometimes arise in the creative process. I have no choice but to do self-publishing because I am not producing a book of chiseled demigods. Even a dollar would be one step closer to my goal. I have worked on this for four years, and it is nearing the finish line now. There is some hefty cost when it comes to putting something like this together and that is why I am now asking for help to bring "As Is Vol1" to maturity. If you have ever seen an image of mine and loved it or have felt inspired by one of my pictures I ask for your help; every little bit helps it doesn't matter how small or how big. Everyone who donates will be thanked in the book. Also, I will be giving 5% of all sales to Alzheimer's charities in my dad's name.
So Please donate today if you can or simply just share this page on your social media.