Clearly I’m not in the best shape of my life, quite frankly its been a while since I have been. Over the course of my life I’ve developed and harboured a number of insecurities about my appearance as most of us do. Currently I’m not a huge fan of my mum tum/apron which I’ve also heard charmingly referred to as a ‘gunt’ (gut that hangs over your… *facepalm*) but I also kind of feel like its not reaaaaally worth worrying about til after we’re done having babies.
For the most part however, I actually really like me. My body tells a story, especially now that I’ve had children. She tells that I love cake, but not such a fan of exercise. That my boosies have given sustenance to my babies, that my belly has held life in it, that my skin has enjoyed the summer sun and not enough SPF. All these things sum up to the journey my life has been up until this point, and I’m grateful for where I am now.
I saw a social media post today which asked women why they hate their photo being taken. I thought it was a strange question, why would I not want my photo taken? Then I read the comments, and it made me so sad. Over two hundred responses and I could count the number of women who were confident and happy having their photograph taken, on one hand. These beautiful women disliked aspects of their physical appearance so much that they loathe or actively avoid being in photographs. Many cited their weight, appearance, confidence, ‘flaws’, or any number of physical attribute as a reason to avoid getting in front of the camera.
I’ve been at kids parties where Mum wont have her photo taken, and that more than anything really hits me. From a personal point of view, and knowing how much I have loved looking at images of my own parents especially since Dad’s passing, I go out of my way to make sure I have photos with my loved ones. If something happened to me today, and I wasn’t here tomorrow, I would want for my sons, for my husband, mother, siblings and friends, gosh ANYONE to have access to a snapshot with me if they wished for one. Call me crazy but I cant imagine my kids looking at a photo of dead-me in however many years saying “she’s so fat, her face is weird, her eyes are too small” or whatever, they’ll be thankful that they have photographs of themselves, with their mother.
A while ago I kickstarted (or tried to) #mumsinonmondays and I feel like maybe its time to bring it back again. We SHOULD be in photos, we SHOULD be confident, we SHOULD love our selves, because we deserve to be but also because there’s a whole heap of us setting the standard for a new generation. A generation who will grow in a world where botox and plastic surgery is pedestrian, where people doctor their own images to look slimmer, tanned, taller, more ‘beautiful’. If we cant be real enough to put ourselves out there and actually get into the frame how do these tiny people have any hope? We should be the ones showing them how to live with confidence, to shake off that inner voice that tells them they’re not good enough.
I pay enough attention to know that low self esteem and body image is an increasing issue however I feel quite naive for not realising this was such a widespread issue. More than anything it makes me achingly sad, that we cant all see beauty in ourselves.