Listen. I hear you. You’re a few pounds heavier than you like (or a 100 lbs heavier than you like). I completely understand how you feel. I get that same blah feeling about myself when I think about booking new head shots or long overdue pictures of me and Justin. Precious, I even picked a career that has me permanently behind the camera rather than in front of it. Seeing myself in pictures actually produces the faintest sick feeling in my stomach. Isn’t it amazing we can see the beauty in our best friends, sisters, mothers, and aunts without the slightest thought to their flaws… but can obsess for hours on our own imperfections? We fixate on our flaws to the point we shirk at any documentation that our round faces and curvy bodies ever walked the earth. No pictures to show how we LOVE, how we laugh, how we are treasured by our families. How is it possible that a double chin can overpower the beauty of a mother cuddling her child? How does arm fat distract from the perfect shot of a spontaneous hug? I swear y’all… how is it that we can put more value on a TUMMY ROLL than the captivating way you throw yourself into a roar of laughter during a shoot?
In our warped minds pictures become frozen mirrors that we can stare at as we pick apart our features over and over again.
I know girl. I know.
My personal duck-and-cover (or signature “make a funny face”) approach to having pictures of myself changed completely when I had a serious car accident last year (and started over). In the flash of a second (or a flash of the text message the young woman was reading) my entire life changed. I nearly left this earth with no physical evidence of the goofy, wide open and loud love I have for my life, my husband, my family and friends. I haven’t had professional pictures done since our wedding in 2006… always waiting for this elusive moment where I would be thin enough (pretty enough) to have such a permanent record of me. Because, you know, HEAVEN FORBID there be any proof that I look the way I actually look.
So here is the harsh truth y’all. Listen good. Our vanity is no longer enough of a reason to avoid the camera. Life doesn’t wait until you “get thin” enough to capture it. Life is happening… it is happening right now and the only moment we are guaranteed is the one we are living. I shudder at the thought of leaving behind no pictures of my life with ME in it. My mom says of the accident she is “just glad that we’re still a whole family.” My gift to her this Christmas was a family portrait showing just that, nine months post-accident… a whole family.
Do you know what my mom sees when she looks at this picture? Her beautiful family all together.
Do you know what my husband sees? The family he gained the moment he met me (and how much he looks like my dad…)
Do you know what my dad sees? The happy family he has worked for every day of his life.
Do you know what my brother sees? That he got away with wearing shorts…
Shocker: No one is looking at how fat I look.
Can we agree to put the value of family over the value of fat? Can we just accept that the weight you’ve been trying to lose for 5 years might actually just be a part of what you look like… and that if this magical day does come when you’re acceptably thin you’ll STILL regret not having any pictures of you with your kids from ages 5-10? Can we acknowledge that the insecurities we have in our heads will never be a part of how our children, husbands, and friends see us? Can we just please let our loved ones remember the YOU they love?
Your children want pictures with their mom.
Your husband wants pictures with his beautiful wife.
Your mom and dad want pictures of the happy, successful, amazing woman they raised (OK, and more pictures of the grandkids while you’re at it).
And if you’re thinking that high school friend on Facebook will say to herself (“wow she has gained weight”) then… news flash you DID. You gained weight. Shed a tear. Read a book. Drink a sweet tea. Watch Oprah. Whatever it takes. Accept this reality… YOU GAINED WEIGHT. The truth is you’ve gained a lot of other things too (a career, a family, some kids, a house, a love for travel, the ability to coordinate your separates…) and that girl from high school is going to spend a lot more time hating on those things then she ever will on your double chin.
So you’re feeling too fat to be photographed? OK… but you’re the only one who notices. The rest of us are too caught up in loving you.
Teresa is a photographer and blogger. Her work can be found at myfriendteresablog.com.
So, in the last year alone, I’ve been prescribed antibiotics as a result of: dropping a hot frying pan on my own hand, accidentally slamming a hot baking sheet into my own chest; falling off a non-moving boat, and getting bitten by a spider at a 5-star restaurant.
In looking at the bright side… I think my life fully proves that…
Be encouraged, my friends.
Oops, I let a lot of time slip by! It’s been a crazy-whirl-wind start to Spring.
With regard to this post…
And that’s really all there is to say about that.
I promise to be back this weekend with a good story! I owe you that!
I don’t have much to say today… I have a crazy (hilarious in retrospect) story to report next week but it’s Friday and I just can’t today.
I know I’m super behind the hype, but I only recently jumped on Lennon and Maisy’s YouTube Page, and let me tell you – I am now obsessively hooked. Holy smokes! They’re so talented and adorable (Lennon’s only a few years younger than me so I don’t know that it’s really appropriate for me to refer to her as “adorable” but nevertheless…). I love the way they look at each other, such sweet sibling love.
This has become my new favorite, as I’ve watched it like 10 times this week. Check it out and have an awesome Valentine’s Weekend.
Shh. Don’t get weird.
I don’t know where this is coming from right now in terms of why I decided to write about it but… here it goes…
Death does not scare me. In fact, it kind of thrills me. Not in a morbid, suicidal, depressing, freaky kind of way but in like a… “I bet heaven is bad-A” kind of way.
I’ve been kind of interested in it all for as long as I can remember. When my great-grandfather passed away (I was 6), I was fascinated by the idea of him with the angels, or rather becoming an angel, which I’ve since learned isn’t really what happens but that’s okay because I’m sure it’s all still awesome – better even!
And for as long as I can remember, I’ve loved the story of Elijah. How cool would it be to be scooped up by a chariot of fire sent from heaven and to go up in what is repeatedly described as a “whirlwind”? …um, yes please! Even if I do have to go naked like Elijah. Sure, I have some insecurities, but if being naked is what it takes, I’ll strip down, jump on that fire-chariot and let it all hang out.
Haha, my slight obsession with all of this (obviously) freaks other people out. It’s become my replacement “well, that’s a bummer” response to say, “Gr. I can’t wait for my chariot” and my friends will all glare at me and say, “I swear, if you do not shut up about the chariot…” and if somehow the conversation comes up with strangers / acquaintances, they kind of look at me speechless like,
“Uhhh, is this chick serious?”
It all makes me laugh!
Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is that if anything were to ever happen to me… it’s okay. Don’t let anyone be sad. I’ll be so so SO pumped.
I’m also pretty pumped to be a drunk ol’ crazy granny with my girlfriends so… you know, there’s no reason to panic either. Haha…
I am exhausted lately. I don’t know why – it’s not that I’m “going hard” or anything. Just tired. So. So. Tired.
I had two meetings last night one with the Massey Alliance (if you’re in Richmond, we’re planning a Giant Richmond Brunch to benefit the Massey Cancer Center, and it’s going to be awesome so mark your calendars!) and the other with a small group at my church– which I actually didn’t make it to (it was raining and I was going to be so late!).
I moseyed back into my apartment thinking I could go for a little relax and my brain flip-flopped between turning on a yoga video and walking around the corner to grab a drink. I was slumped in my grandpa’s old recliner going back and forth, back and forth when I decided on a compromise:
and sat cross-legged on my yoga mat drinking wine.
It was a glorious evening and I was in bed by 9.
I’ve got to find some energy and motivation soon or it’s going to be another one of those summers.
Haha… but seriously.