Starting today, we’ll be posting up more intimate profiles with each of the models from The Real Bodies Manifesto, our collaboration with Retrofit Republic. First up, Gabrielle Patacsil.
“Body issues have dominated my life for a while. I don’t know how it all started but it’s a daily struggle. I’ve been in therapy, hospitals, support groups, on medicines. I’ve done a lot to accept who I am. Theater and Vagina Monologues have honestly been the best part of my road to love and acceptance.”
Theater artist and design strategist
How do you do good?
It has taken me some time to know how I can give my best to the world. I have not grown up the most confident in who I am and what I can do. Distorted body issues and eating disorders had taken a toll on my life and stopped me from doing so many things. It has been a process that’s seen so much growth in the last few years. Starting in college, I began to take part in VDAY’s Vagina Monologues and have continued to take part in this production almost every year after- 6 times as an actress, 2 times as a director. This production changed how I view myself and how I view the power of art and community. It has been a place where I and so many of my fellow Vagina Warriors have found internal strength and support- and acceptance in who we are. Seeing the confidence and community develop in the women that I directed (and with myself) brought me back year after year. Theater has long been a part of my self-description and, with a bold, expressive, community-focused productions like Vagina Monologues, has done more for my personal development than probably any other presence in my life. It is the place where I feel most genuine.
Where do you find inspiration?
My mother, my friends, the love of every mother for their child. When I need to believe in myself and what I want to be, I look to the unconditional love that surrounds people I know for others and myself. It’s powerful in knowing I will never be without support and open arms no matter what successes or failures I encounter.
What do you love the most about yourself and why?
I love that I love to laugh. I find humor in almost everything and it makes me happy.
When people talk about bodies, I still find it hard to just “love” something about myself. I’m still working on it but I know loving me is the way for me to be truly happy. Some days I love my hair. Some days I love my eyes. It’s a process, and I’m getting there.