Model: Emily Goodson
Writer, entrepreneur, & workplace culture advisor

Once upon a time, over Saturday morning coffee, I sheepishly confessed to a romantic crush that I was an almost forty-year-old “virgin”. (Yes, we do exist outside the movies.)

As I look back, I find it amusing how I stared at the table during my proclamation (as if it could have given me more courage in my emotional nakedness). At the same time, I’m amazed I managed to maintain a straightforward delivery when sharing my shame with a man I wanted to…ya know.

What strikes me most however is that I clung to a label that shouldn’t have even defined me. I rejected the label “disabled” growing up – I didn’t want it to box me in. And yet decades later, I still allowed the projection of an antiquated Virgin Mary archetype to have power over me.

My creative career explores the intersection of shame, disability, and intimacy. I hope you will join me on that journey at @ecgoodson on Instagram.

I’d also like to extend my deepest gratitude to those who helped me with this project. I could not have broken out of the unwelcome labels I carried without the wonderful coaching of @londinawinters. In addition, this project would not have been possible without the talent of @dawnboweryphotography as well as the incredibly solid support of Justin Morris. All my love to each of them.


Photographer: Dawn Bowery