Every day on instagram our generation gets to experience the opportunity to see every part of each other, but only the parts we choose to publicise. Whether it’s personal, political or just for entertainment, social media shows us how people want to be seen. Today’s TITLE EXPOSED features creative director and artist Anouk Jans. We got a chance to talk to Anouk on a very intimate level and understand her sense of freedom in self-discovery, solitude, nudity and her Calvin’s. In a series of black and white self-portraits Anouk offered us an insight into her mind, specifically her insecurities by illustrating her thoughts across the images and through that giving every woman out there a chance to relate. Title’s EXPOSED series allows for these intimate behind-the-screen moments that Anouk shared with us today.
When do you feel true intimacy? And how would you define intimacy today?
I feel true intimacy when I’m not being judged, reduced or restricted. Intimacy for me means not needing to play a role or hide my imperfections, my flaws and my fears. Intimacy for me is a bond between people who put their hearts on the table. Intimacy for me is a space where I can be vulnerable, childish, unpredictable and incomplete. Intimacy for me is a feeling of trust, honesty and pure openness.
Do you feel a loss of intimacy behind the screen?
Absolutely. I compare myself even when I’m alone. I compare myself with the best version of myself that I showed on Instagram and therefore lose these moments without judgement. I feel the urge to share so much, which is another reason for less intimate moments. But I’m learning and for the first time in years I don’t feel like sharing every detail of my mind and my life anymore. I’m slowly getting back in control. I’m reconquering my intimacy!
How did social media change your self-awareness?
For a long period of time I judged myself and my work on numbers. I was infected by the illness of my generation. More likes and followers seemed to mean more attention, more recognition, more value and more freedom.
But this year I’m more than ever separating the ratings I receive from strangers on Instagram from the opinion I have about myself. My self-awareness should not be influenced or guided by others, only by myself.
What did you learn about self-isolation this year?
That being alone and being lonely are really hard to differentiate. And that no feeling is final.
What was one of the biggest realizations you’ve had as a woman in today’s society?
Being honest about my needs, dreams and desires. And telling a man what I want and what I need as honest as I tell him what I don’t want and don’t need.
At one point in a relationship do you feel sensual?
When I’m with someone who knows my darkness as he knows my light. And when I can see the love in his eyes. Knowing that I’m seen, loved and appreciated makes me feel very sensual and sexy.
How would you describe “false intimacy”?
The moment when someone gives you the impression that he or she is for real but in reality only wants to take advantage of you.
When do you feel a strong connection to your body and when do you feel disconnected?
When I’m lifting weights in the gym, when I’m running and when I’m touched by the one who loves me. I feel disconnected when my nutrition is bad and when my mind is playing tricks on me.
What feeling do you connect with nudity?
How do you feel about nudity on Instagram?
I accept and sometimes really enjoy it as there is great art with nudity. Many photographers I love on Instagram share inspiring editorials where nudity is a big part of the story. But it’s still a difficult topic. I think pictures with nudity or lingerie can be very poetic but on the other hand we are getting so used to showing off our body’s that I often fear what it will do to our mindset.
What are your pictures for Calvin Klein about?
Of course I wanted to create pictures in which I like my look and body, a series that I consider authentic and real. But it was also very important for me to show other women that no matter how perfect someone might seem and no matter how beautiful they might look, there are always hidden fears, insecurities and a lot of self-criticism behind every girl we see and idealise on Instagram and in real life. This series is a reminder to all of us that all we see are human shells and that it’s nearly impossible to get a real look inside someone’s mind. Superficial beauty and perfection do not indicate a healthy mind and a healthy mind is nothing we have everyday, not even the happiest of us. No feeling is final and we should never forget that we as humans are connected by our weaknesses. When you break it down we all share the same fears and the same ending.
Featuring: Calvin Klein