Friday, December 6, 2013

You Are Gorgeous!

One of my closest friends posted on her Facebook this Huffington Post article "So You're Feeling Too Fat to be Photographed" (read it here). The points are aptly made in the article from the author that life is happening now; capture it because life's not slowing down and waiting for you to lose those extra 10 pounds to feel better in front of a camera. We must stop this negative body image consciousness that is shoved down our throats when we don't conform to the ridiculous, and I use the term loosely, 'standards of beauty'.

I'm all for a healthy lifestyle but that's not the point I want to make. My friend who posted this is one of the most incredible women I know. She's a fantastic mother, wife, and woman who is still standing after going through hell and back. She is someone I admire and could only hope to emulate as a mother once I have children. When I see her and the photos she posts, I see this beautiful, courageous woman. And when she posted the article, I was surprised because I don't see the flaws she does in those photos. I see a gorgeous mom, adoring children, and a loving husband.

I am guilty as charged in finding my flaws in every photograph of myself. Every one that is uploaded is judged with one of the following: I look fat, my arms look fat, my face looks fat, I look overall fat and need to lose weight, oh my gosh why didn't anyone tell me my butt is so big, and then every once and awhile, oooh that's a nice one I don't look fat there! Prime example, my cousin recently posted some of her wedding photos that her photographer took. They came out incredible and truly captured what an amazing wedding it was.

There was this photo of me included with the snippets posted on the photographer's website. It stopped me in my tracks. I remember the conversation I was having with the woman who is not shown. I was shocked at how perfectly a single, simple, in the moment photo captured me and my personality so completely.

Said photo. Copyright Luke Eshelman Photography
Then, I looked closer and thought, "Man, my arm looks fat. I need to work out harder on my upper body".

WHY DO WE DO THIS?!

My brother asked me later that day if I saw the photo. I told him I did and that my arm looks so fat.
He just stared at me. You know what that stare said? "Natalie, you are crazy, your arm does NOT look fat, it's a really nice picture of you".

And you know what, he's right. I'm good looking. I may not be a size zero, but I'm pretty, and gosh darn it people like me. We have to stop looking at ourselves and finding only our flaws because we don't fit into these 'beauty standards' and instead start seeing us for who we are...Beautiful.

But it's so hard. It's probably the most difficult thing to change about our conscious mind because we're defaulted to find the bad. I'm making it my goal to try, each and every day from now on, to stop judging myself so harshly by what 'society' expects me to be.

So this is to you, gorgeous woman or handsome man reading this. Look in the mirror. Say I am beautiful, handsome, and more then just what's on the outside. And mean it. Life is too short to let it pass you by and leave you saying 'I wish I had a picture of me to remember that'.

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