written by another photographer, too beautiful not to share here – this is exactly what it is about, worth a read:
When was the last time you had a beautiful portrait taken of yourself, just for you?
Women… We are fickle creatures. We set the highest standards for ourselves, and we often put ourselves last – particularly as partners and mothers.
We are beautiful and strong and should celebrate ourselves, and yet it is no surprise that body image is one of the top three concerns for young adults. As teenagers, we pick apart our ‘flaws’ and put ourselves down even when others praise us. This behaviour doesn’t diminish as we get older either.
Everything we do and have done has impacted our bodies and minds, and shaped the people we have become. Our faces become weathered with lines, our skin dappled with scars and cellulite and stretch marks. It’s harder to keep weight off, and we become more watchful of what we eat. We struggle to find the time to exercise as we juggle our careers and our personal lives, and we judge other women – wondering how they appear so flawless and in sync with the world around them, idolising them and setting impossible standards for ourselves based on what we see in the world around us.
Why are they impossible?
Because every woman is different. You are not Jennifer Aniston. You are not Beyonce. You are not Jennifer Lawrence. And these women, they are not perfect. They have flaws, and they have the same insecurities as you or I. But their flaws are what make them who they are. They distinguish them from the women around them. They are role models, but not for the way they look or the lives they lead, but for the messages they share and the beauty they have inside them.
We should not strive to look like these women, to achieve this misguided perception of perfection. We should embrace our flaws as they do, we should celebrate the amazing things we have done and the battles our bodies have fought both mentally and physically.
Amazingly, every one of you reading this will have repeated these same words to a friend, family member or colleague at some time in your life. And you will probably repeat them many more. But how many of you have repeated these words to yourself? How many of you have told yourself that you are beautiful?
Start now. Every damn morning, and every damn night – look in the mirror and appreciate yourself. Appreciate your flaws, the stories behind them, the battles you have fought both physically and mentally. Tell yourself that you are beautiful!
I know it’s hard. I know what it’s like to feel lost and alone, to feel ugly and worthless.I know what it’s like to avoid the camera at any cost. To untag yourself from all those ‘awful’ photos on Facebook that people have managed to take of you. I know what it’s like to have no record of portions of your life out of shame and embarrassment. I know what it’s like to be 40kg overweight and to feel like nothing you ever wear will hide the flaws you see in the mirror. And I’m here to tell you: Nobody else sees them! Your friends and your loved ones see what matters – the whole package.
They see the love you openly give, the beautiful smile on your face and the twinkle in your eyes. They see the wonderful family you have raised, the amazing career you have built for yourself. They see the journey you are taking and will take. They see the way you fight every battle that comes your way, the way you rise to every challenge and overcome it.
They see everything that you see and more. And I see it too. I can show you. Tell me your story, and let me capture your beauty as the world sees it, let me show you how beautiful you truly are.
This year, stop hiding behind the camera and celebrate your life! I am. That’s my goal; we are going to get family photos done soon. Can you believe that in the 4 years since our daughter’s birth that I have NO photos of us as a family? I have avoided the camera and been the one behind the camera, just like you. But one day your children will want to see you as you are today, you will want to look back and remember this stage in your life – and you will regret that you did not document your existence.
Don’t wait for tomorrow. Don’t wait for your ‘goal weight’. Don’t wait for the stars and the planets to align to believe my words. Tomorrow may never come, and when it doesn’t – what will you leave behind? Your children and family will cherish these portraits and look upon them with love. They won’t care that you still had 5 kilos to lose. They won’t care that you had cellulite or scars on your skin. They will not care that you were not the perfect person you were striving so hard to be, because to them you already are.
Make this change for yourself – today – and exist in photos for you. Celebrate yourself and the amazing woman you are – you deserve this!