Celebrate Your Beauty

Valentine’s Day is about five weeks away.  Not that any of needs to think of the next holiday!  If you are like me, you are still trying to recover from Christmas and embrace the new year, maybe while feeling a little more worse for the wear.  I used to think Valentine’s Day was a silly, made up holiday, invented to sell more chocolates and cards and fill restaurants.  But now I choose to look at it as a time that we celebrate those we love.  I like to make sure that those that I love know how I feel and do a little something special for them on Valentine’s Day, maybe just by leaving a kind note.  However, not until recently have I thought that one of those people should be myself.  I bet you didn’t either.  In order to really love others, isn’t it necessary to love ourselves first?  I think so.

I believe there are two reasons why women have a difficult time feeling happy with themselves as an individual.  First, so many of us have a hard time even defining who we are as an individual person, apart from being a mother and a wife.  We are so wrapped up in caring for, worrying about and helping out those around us that we often have difficulty separately ourselves from those roles.  And, then we feel insecure because believe we are falling short in our roles.  I can’t/don’t cook a spectacular and healthy meal for my family every single night (like Gwyneth Paltrow does) because sometimes I haven’t made it to the grocery store or I am just too tired.  Our laundry often sits folded on the couch in my bedroom for a week before it gets put away.  I don’t wear sexy lingerie for my husband (like Angelina Jolie does for Brad) because it is mostly uncomfortable and I can’t find it in my messy drawers.  I sometimes lose my patience and yell at my kids.  I could go on and on and on and on… but I am often feel like I am not very good at being a mother, wife, housekeeper, etc.

Piled on top of this insecurity about our familial roles, is the expectation (self induced on my part) that we should look perfect.  After all, Gwyneth and Angelina look flawless and they have children and careers, so I why can’t I do it also?  We compare ourselves to whatever crazy ideal we have made up in our minds and thoughts like, “my boobs are too small and saggy”, “I have too many wrinkles”, “my belly is round and not flat like hers”, “my butt is drooping”, “I have perpetual under eye circles”, “my nose is too big”, “my eyes are to small”, “my hair is too thin”…. creep into our daily thoughts and make us feel less than beautiful, even ugly or worthless.  What a shame this is!  What a effing shame!  Think about all you do (that is why you have those under eye circles) and how much you give you others!  Think about how deeply you and love.  Think about how smart you are!  Think about how much you contribute to the world, just by being alive.  You are a beautiful person (regardless of how much you weigh, how clean your house is, how many wrinkles you have, what you have done today….)

Women are beautiful.  They are life givers.  They are strong.  They are fun.  They are interesting.  They are all this, just because they are.  I know that being photographed by yourself (where you can’t hide behind your children, husband, etc.) is scary.  I know that.  But, I am not scary.  I know exactly what you will be feeling.  And, even if you are scared, please let me.  I would like to show you that you are beautiful.  I would like to photograph you in a way that illustrates your own unique beauty.  I would like to give you this gift so you can see your own beauty that has nothing to do with your kids or husband or age or all of that.  And then, you and maybe kids and grandkids and everyone else will have proof of your beauty.

What are you waiting for?  Let me help you celebrate your beauty!

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