So I was reading a blog this morning, it is called “ Beauty Beyond Bones”, and it is written by a recovering anorexic. She made a post about this week being “body positivity week”. She had a great perspective on this body positivity thing, so I have put a link here if you would like to take a look. https://beautybeyondbones.com/2016/05/12/body-positivity-week/
Her post got me thinking though about the pictures that we take. This is on my mind lately, because my husband is starting to be heavily involved, dare I say obsessed, with photography. He is always trying to get me to take pictures, so he can learn to use different techniques. I never remember being so weird about taking pictures, but then again, I have never been this old and there have never been so many picture taking opportunities available. I mean really, Facebook is full of them. So as I was driving, I began thinking about this woman’s solution in regards to body image, and then I thought about my own. It is funny, as I write this I am sitting at a desk with a mirror over it. So I am basically staring at my own face, thus the picture I have posted. I find this slightly ironic. I even had to take two pictures, because I caught myself in the first one trying not to smile so big. Jeez!!
So I thought about the pictures that I take. Sometimes they are funny, silly, but usually they are for a remembrance of a time, occasion or friends. Some of the pictures that I have taken recently are ones that I do not like very much. Why? It seems that I am more concerned with trying to look cute than enjoying the “why” of the picture. How do I know? It is evident in my body language, and I can just tell by how I look. These pictures show a woman who is not comfortable with how she is perceived. The funny thing is though, I pretty much am OK with how I look. I am old, well not that old, but old enough. On the edge of still being kind of cute, but sags and weight are taking a toll. I thought about that, and I felt stupid. I love looking at pictures, and I thought of the pictures that have spoken to me the most. The ones that made me really feel things, and they were of people who were not necessarily looking their best. Dorothea Lange immediately sprang to mind. Her pictures of people who were struggling through the depression in the dust bowl are some of the most important pictures of our time. These people are NOT looking cute. What you do see is pain, resilience, struggle, fear, and maybe even some hope. These photos opened people’s eyes to what the effect of unemployment was on the entire family. These photos still have the ability to touch people today. And I am worried about if I am cute?
The pictures that I like best of myself are the ones where I forget about the camera, and I concentrate on enjoying the moment. Then, my smile is genuine, if not a little large. There is a twinkle in my eye, even if you can’t totally see it through my glasses. My body language is relaxed, even if it is a bit, how do I say this? Chubby? And if my gray hair is peeking out? Then so be it. This is who I am, and I like that me. I like the me who is more concerned with celebrating a birthday than looking cute. The one who is having fun, being silly with a friend, better than the one who is trying to get her good side. The one who is willing to show her tears, even when she is not a pretty crier. So I have decided, that I am not going to worry about how I look. I am going to focus on enjoying the moments God has given me. To be fully invested in who I am with, and what is happening around me. So tonight as I go and celebrate a wedding with friends, I choose to forget about how I look, and remember to let the joyfulness of the day be my beauty.