Monday, August 11, 2014

Self Portrait Project 2014

Ok, while on the surface this post will seem extremely vain. Self centered even, but let me explain. Like most of my gal pals out there, I tend to pick myself apart any chance I can. Who's with me? As women I think that we are just conditioned to do that for whatever reason and I think I have just had enough of it. Enough of looking at magazines and the internet and seeing perfect bodies and faces everywhere. Enough self hating on myself or other women. Enough wishing that I could change something on my face or for lord sake, my thighs! I don't have a flat tummy and I suffer from boob butt syndrome, lol! I have them in spades and I tend to look down on them instead of embracing my curves.Well, enough! Enough of the male dominated, social media, fashion magazine culture that tells us that we have to be on and perfect all the time. Haven't you had enough? There is way too much fat shaming out there...skinny shaming too. Did you know that now the debate is about thigh gaps or lack of thigh gaps? It's just crazy!

When my daughter was born, I swore I would never let her pick herself apart. I told her every day that she is a beautiful and wonderful person, both inside and out. After all, our children are gifts and should be cherished. However, some of my self loathing leaked out of me and onto her, for lack of a better analogy. For she too has developed the same syndrome as her Mother and my Mother and all of the other ladies out there. It is sad really...sort of breaks my heart. My syndrome got worse after I suffered a bells palsy a few years ago from untreated lyme disease. Because I did not know I had been bit, and it was untreated, lyme is with me for life now and I deal with its effects every day. So, after I healed and my face got back to normal, well the new normal really, I tend to struggle to find myself in the mirror every time I look. It has been hard and damaging and a whole bunch of other emotions. I tend to beat myself up for it a lot.

So, I thought that I would start a sort of project to see if I could find something beautiful about myself. I do not usually like photos of myself, I picked that trait up from someone who I love, but will remain nameless. So, today I shot some selfies. Something I am not super good at, but I try. Don't worry, there are no duck lips to be seen, lol. I picked 4 that had something I liked about myself in them. These are not photo-shopped at all. (but I do have makeup on.) I just brightened them a bit. My faults are there, I have crows feet, a somewhat droopy eye and some weight to me. But it's ok. My eyes have seen beautiful things through the lens of my camera and my smile has greeted many friends warmly. My body brought a wonderful girl into this world and helped my husband through some tough times.

Today, I choose to stand up for myself and say enough is enough Anna. I hope that maybe it may inspire all the ladies out there too. You are beautiful! You are good and kind and enough just the way you are. Go ahead, hug yourself. Like your shoulders and your toes. It's ok. And maybe if we all start to love ourselves, we can change the world? Well at least our world, lol! After all, life is far too short to be anything but happy with yourself.

Have a blessed day my Mothers, my Sisters, my Daughters!

Photo Copyright Anna Patten 2014

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