Throughout February, PAPER is diving deep into all things love, sex and relationships. To kick off the month, we asked YouTube sensation Connor Franta to create a series of original self-portraits inspired by self-love. Here's what he came up with:
The road to loving yourself is one filled with smooth curves, sudden twists, thin skins and thick hazes. We're all on an individual journey and I can guarantee you this: whether your's leans towards appearance, personality, lifestyle or health, everybody's drinking a little poison from at least one of the cups.
There are days where I think I'm the shit and there are days where I think I'm just shit. I'm slowly finding ways to make the first of the two more abundant in my life.
Related | Connor Franta on Spreading the Love
If I'm wearing an outfit that leaves me feeling fresh and bold, then I'm most likely going to walk in and out of this day with confidence radiating from every pore. If I manage to muster up the strength to do some form of exercise in the morning, there's a solid chance I won't be as self-conscious and stressed over every piece of food that passes my lips throughout the remainder of the day. It's the little things like those, just to name a few, that seem to make the largest difference for me.
Photography has swiftly become a major donor to my daily wellness. There's something about the entire process, from the concept to the subject to the execution, that gives me a buzz I'll sound too far too ridiculous and somewhat pretentious trying to put into words, so I won't even begin to try.
I spent the day capturing a series of self-portraits that depict, in many ways, the process of loving oneself. Enjoy and be kind.
"Overgrown and overbearing, but in time the beams will slice through."
"Blending in while he learns how to fall again."
"Head in the clouds with his arms wrapped around / a fire breathes behind those eyes / the world can feel its glow."
Photography: Connor Franta