Picture This

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Do you know a beautiful wonderful woman who won't let her picture be taken because she is unhappy about the way she looks?  Why does she thinks she isn't a human being worthy of being preserved in a photograph?

Are you one of those women?

I was.

I hated the way I looked in the mirror.  I hated to see the weight I had gained.  I didn't like my "fat" face.  I didn't like my "fat" arms, my "fat" neck, my whole "fat" body.  It seemed even worse to see myself in a photograph.   When I saw myself in the mirror, I could get really close and not see it all, I could look at one thing, but not another.  Without the aid of Photoshop, photographs seemed to show everything I hated about my body and my appearance.

These self-rejecting thoughts have affected how I felt about myself.

I felt that I wasn't the person I was supposed to be.

How did this make me feel about other women?

I didn't judge them the way I judge myself - I wasn't as harsh on them, but I did judge them almost as harshly as I judged myself.

Then one day, I heard a story about a family preparing for a women's funeral.  The family couldn't find any pictures of the woman (their mother, wife, daughter, sister) because she had hidden away from cameras for so many decades.   So she was faceless in death.  They had no pictures to comfort them at as they lived their lives with out her.  That was when I realized, I didn't want to be faceless for eternity.  I wanted my family to have something to look at when they wanted to.

When I began accepting myself in the mirror and in photographs, I was better at accepting other women who also didn't measure up to the standards set by the fashion industry.

And I let my picture be taken.

I saw I was better looking than I thought - especially without the pained look on my face - that pained look which revealed my shame at not measuring up to standards of beauty that  I never had a say in.

It was really that look of shame reflected on my face that made me hate pictures of myself - it wasn't my looks, it was my feeling of shame that I hated.

I blog at shewalksandtalks.com

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