I posted my first blog entry two months ago, showing my name and no photo. Since then, I’ve been trying to take a selfie that makes me look attractive - like a blogger whom people would want to visit, but it’s been a long process finding a picture that I feel represents the best me.
Since the purpose of this blog is to encourage others to be brave enough and confident enough to try new things, I must follow my own words and lead by example. What am I talking about? In this case, it’s finding the courage to publish my own photograph.
It seems that society has always dictated what people should look like: how we should dress, what size we should be, hairstyles, makeup, etc., etc. As have many people, all my life I have fallen into the trap of trying to look like what society deems to be attractive. I remember phrases used by adults regarding my image from when I was very young. A child’s self perception begins at an early age, and we must be extremely cautious of how our words concerning appearance and ability may be perceived and digested by little ones.
While my siblings are tall, I am short. While they were always slim, I was plump through middle school. This made me different from them, and I viewed different as not as attractive. Having my mother buy Chubby brand clothing for me didn’t help with that aspect. Labels - more times than not, they result in feelings of negativity.
Looking back at pictures of myself when I was in my twenties, I see a very pretty young woman - though, at the time, all I could see were my flaws. Looking back on my wedding photos from ten years ago, I see a gorgeous bride - though, at the time, I didn’t think I looked that great. Hindsight. Skewed perceptions.
Now, being 56, I see all the changes time has thrust upon my reflection. Each day, there seems to be a new line or wrinkle. But, I’ve earned them all! Each line represents a belly laugh, a worry, a scar, a loss, too much time in the sun, or just plain old gravity. The lines and wrinkles will continue to multiply as I age, but instead of fighting and resenting each one, I have decided to embrace them. Maybe the old saying that wisdom comes with age is true.
From this day forward, I am determined to be happy with my present appearance and stop comparing my current image to a younger version of me or to society’s declaration of how I should look. I’m determined to learn from my history of not appreciating my image in the mirror, because my view was always skewed by what I thought I should look like.
I look exactly how I should look. I look like me. Though I’m far, far from perfect, I try every day to be a good person. And a good person will always be attractive. Focusing more on the inside, rather than the outside, is so important. And, if people don't like what they see on the outside, they probably shouldn't be in my life anyway.
Today, I am publishing my photo for everyone who visits my blog to see. And, I am doing it with a smile.
Judge yourself by no one else, appreciate all that is you, and always remember that kindness has the power to change the world!