Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Taking my own advice

I talk to a lot of women. It’s inevitable; most people I photograph are women. And most women I talk to don’t see themselves as beautiful.

Pretty? Maybe. Beautiful? Almost never.

Instead they talk about their flabby arms (me too), hips that are too big (me too) or skew eyebrows (yes, me again).

I listen to them talk and I realise that women are really hard on themselves. We find it a lot easier to see someone else – see the beauty – but when it comes to ourselves, no no no, all we see are the “bad” bits…

From this side of the camera I see something very different when I look at you. I do not have these preconditioned ideas of what to see. I see you.

"You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."

- A. A. Milne,
author of Winnie the Pooh

I'll add:
You are more beautiful than what you see.

To quote myself from 5 November 2013 on Facebook:

“I said something yesterday which I decided was smart (true) enough to share...

"You can always come for another photo session when you've lost the 10kg (or... or... or...), but you can never come back to this time in your life."

We all have things that keeps us back (I am missing large parts of my life believing I was "too fat to be photographed"), but we need to learn to love ourselves at every phase of our lives.

You are beautiful, right now.”

But guess what – I have been feeling mmmppppttttt. I get invited to go out with friends and my first thought is “how am I gonna hide these hips?” See – I have gained quite a bit of weight this past couple of years. Very nearly 30 kilograms. I am by no means proud of myself, in fact I scold myself daily – how could I let this happen?

And then it hit me – I am so living in the past (before 30kg) and reaching for the future (hopefully after 30kg), that I am neglecting who I am today. I don’t put in much effort with makeup. I wear almost only t-shirts and long, long skirts (to hide what I see as ugly legs). I have stopped caring for myself – I could not see the beauty.


I took my own advice, and booked myself a photo shoot – with me. First I had my hair and makeup done (I’m Goth – at least when I’m not lazy – so the look I wanted was a bit of a challenge, but Eunice and Morne from StudioHairCom made me feel like a million bucks).  It was a little tricky to do the actual shoot and I had to use a remote to trigger the camera on the tripod.

But I see it now. I even feel it again.

I. Am. Beautiful.

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