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writing in the margins

Are you Unhappy with your images OR are you Unhappy with Yourself?

You finally took the plunge. After months of debating, you got your family photos. You are super excited for the photographer to get you your images. Every ding makes you think, is this it?

The day arrives and you receive the message you’ve been waiting for. Your gallery is ready to view.

You stop what you are doing and start following the instructions to access your family images.

As you scroll, your heart sinks.

“This isn’t what I was expecting.” You think to yourself.  

You look at yourself in those images and you start picking yourself apart.

“Why did I wear that?”

“I should have gone with the other dress.”

“Ugh, why I am so skinny. I can see my bones. I’m a walking skeleton. “

 OR

“Why am I so big! I have to lose this weight. “

Now that you’ve beat yourself up—you go after the photographer.

Doesn’t the photographer know how to photoshop?

She didn’t get me at the right angle.

Why did I spend all this money on images I don’t even like?

P A U S E…

Has this ever happened to you?

If so, I’m going to ask you to reflect on this tough question:

Are you unhappy with your images or are you unhappy with yourself?

Now let it sink in before you answer.

We live in a world that has created an idea of beauty based on fades and standards that are not realistic.

Our definition of beauty is not defined by us as individuals but by societies standards.

As a mother, your body has changed. As a human — we age. We change. Gravity sets in and when we look in a mirror, we see the wrinkles around our eyes that we’ve earned with all the smiles we have enjoyed in our journey so far.

I’m not typing to start a movement. I’m typing to ask you to take the moment to define REAL beauty. To create your own definition of it. To own it. To live it and to pass it down to your babies.

Enough is enough.

We have wasted far too many years comparing ourselves to people that don’t even exist. Even though we know that the super models, and Beyonce herself does not look like what we see on the cover of magazines.

We still believe it.

So, let’s rewrite the definition of beauty.

Webster’s definition of beauty is as follows:

That’s just one sad opinion. In the world of words, one word can hold many meanings. So, let’s take a moment to do this together. Seriously, take out a pen and paper.

If you were not born in a world that banked on your insecurities, how would you define beauty? Write it down.

Beauty is __________________________________.

Fill in the blank. I admit I’ve struggled since I was 4 years old with this definition. If you need a little help, I get it. You and I can share my definition.

Beauty is not just the exterior of the person, it’s the confidence that I will no longer allow me to beat out of myself with negative words. Beauty is the transformations of my inner and outer being as I mature. Beauty is me.

My mother would drive me crazy when she’d tell me to talk to myself in the mirror and complement myself. To be honest, this exercise still makes me a little uncomfortable, but if you don’t find yourself beautiful, can we really expect others to?

It’s like that saying, you can’t love others until you love yourself. There is a strong truth to that, and it applies with beauty too.

I can picture my mom’s I-told-you-so dance coming as I conclude this entry. I challenge you for the next 30 days to compliment your beauty. To look at yourself in the mirror and identify yourself in your personal definition of beauty. Write it in your journal if you have to, but for the next 30 days look at yourself and tell yourself:

“self, I am beautiful.”

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