Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Shame On Me!

First day of school

What do you see when you look at this picture?  My guess is that you see a family who laughs easily.  A mother who adores her girls.  Two teenagers who might not think their mom is half bad.  Three, smiling, happy faces.  A picture of love and laughter.

Can you guess the first thing *I* saw when I looked at this picture?  I saw an overweight woman whose smile is too big, whose eyes are too squinty, whose double chin is quite noticeable and whose fingers look like sausage links.  THAT was my instant reaction.  And I cringed when I saw it.

Two years ago this picture would never have been taken.  I despised being in FRONT of the camera. I hated having all my imperfections recorded for all time.  Before two years ago, I avoided being on the lens side as much as possible. Then, a few things seemed to click. Won’t go into all the details here and now, but I decided that it would really suck for my kids if they did not have pictures with their mom. Or worse yet, it would really suck for ME if, God forbid, something happened to one of them and I didn’t have record of us together. At that point, I started allowing my husband to take more pictures of me. I would still cringe, but I allowed it. Still hating to have my picture taken but understanding of its importance.

Then a few months ago, I read a blog post that felt like the author was talking directly to me.  She addressed everything that I had been feeling. And although I had been getting better at allowing others to take my picture, I did not welcome or encourage it. 

 I want to share the segment that really struck me.  And I encourage you to read her whole post here:

“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.”

After reading this, I started doing something I’d never done before.  I began to actively ask my husband to take my picture.  My instant reaction is still to cringe and hide, but I don’t.  I want a record of my relationship with my children and my husband. I want them to look back and remember the laughter and silliness that runs so rampant in our family.  I want them to remember the love.

So, I closed my eyes, pushed back the critical voice in my head, took a deep breath, and when I looked at this picture a second time I saw how gorgeous my daughters are. I saw their sweet smiles and I could hear their wonderful laughter. I saw my love for those girls on my face.  I looked at my youngest and noticed that she has MY “squinty eyes and MY big smile”… and she is beautiful

Shame on me for looking at this photo and seeing anything less than the beauty of love and laughter that is so obviously present.


  1. I feel you, Lady B, I feel you. When I posted those most recent photos of DB on his graduation day, all I got several compliments on how wonderful I looked, but I found it hard to take any of them seriously because all I could see were my self-perceived flaws.

    On a completely different note: The blog you linked to is syndicated on a site called BlogHer - and they have a section with Tips, Tricks, and Tools for writing and promoting blogs.

  2. I totally, totally, TOTALLY 'get' what you are saying - I struggle with the exact same issue and I am also trying to 'get over it'. That being said I want you to know that when *I* saw this picture all I thought was "Wow, that is a beautiful picture! They all look so gorgeous!" :)

  3. I like and agree with your second look at the picture. The first thing I saw was how happy you all look, and of course those beautiful dimples of yours. But, I know where you are coming from because I do the same thing and am trying to get in more pictures since I used to take all the pictures and rarely got in any of them. Love you Sweetie!

  4. I have been a little worried that some people would think that I wrote this to garner compliments. I promise this is not the case, but I do appreciate the love. I wrote it because I know SO many women (and even some men) have the same problem. And for the sake of our families, we need to get the hell over it. They already KNOW what we look like and they love us!

  5. Right. I realize that I speak from a position of a lifetime of a weight in under 110 category, but my WHOLE life, I've thought I was fat. I look back now and realize how ridiculous that was. I'm still fat though. Lol.

  6. All I see is the totally beautiful woman that I love!!! I love every laugh line in your face - because you laugh often, and every one of your curves - they help you give great hugs! You will always be my beautiful friend.