Looking back at my family’s photographs over the years I have noticed that I have fallen into the trend of hiding from the camera. I absolutely cringe at the thought of having my picture taken. As a photographer, I will be the first one to tell you how important it is to be in photographs with your family. However, knowing something is important doesn’t make it suck any less!!
I have struggled with my weight my entire life, and I learned at an early age how to avoid being seen. In fact, I didn’t want to be noticed at all! I was so insecure and ashamed of my body that I simply wanted to disappear. Now, I could go on to say it was the media who made me feel this way. If it weren’t for Hollywood and magazines constantly portraying their idea of the “perfect” body, then I would have grown up without these insecurities. That may very well be true! However, I also knew a girl in high school who was shaped similarly to me and who also grew up with the same media influences, yet she seemed to LOVE to be in the spotlight! She acted as if she didn’t have a care in the world. She loved life and she loved people. She was the first one to jump in front of a camera with her friends. In fact, she valued those photos more than anything! So, my question is “What was different?”. NOTHING!! Nothing was different!
After a while we became close friends, and I learned that behind closed doors we felt exactly the same!!! How could this be??? I mean this girl lived to be BOLD and have fun no matter what!!! And there it was!! No matter WHAT!
No matter how much she disliked her body, she valued the experiences she was having with her friends more!! The memories she was creating was worth more to her than her own self-awareness! She saw other people and how valuable they were to her before she even had a chance to think about herself.
Since then, my friend has passed away. And I can tell you that every time I think back to our time as friends, I can only remember her laughing!! She knew what it meant to live and enjoy life no matter what circumstance surrounded her.
I am not telling you that you have to love yourself and your body first before you can be happy (that would just be a bonus!), but I am telling you not to let your self-awareness stop you!! Bottom line, we all hate our bodies in some way, but some people choose to place their life experiences above that! Personally, I believe when we take action and step out, the love for ourselves and our bodies will soon follow.
So, go and do ALL the things!! Play with your kids at the pool or at the park, and be the first one to jump in front of the camera with them. You don’t have to have the perfect body before you can enjoy your life. Just get out there in whatever way you can, because this is your life. Don’t miss it!
I know this is so much easier said than done, but I have made it my personal goal to try! I don't want my children to look back at the photos of their childhood and say "where's mom?". I want my children to be able to look back and remember me laughing! I want them to remember me having fun with them! I want them to remember me living!!!
XOXO ~ Christy