It’s been a long time since I looked into my own eyes. I think the many years of working in the fashion industry executing retouching orders made me incredibly shy about seeing myself. There are no digital tools that I can use to finesse my postpartum body, there are no brushes that erase my memories of a disrupted childhood and there are no color changes that can perfect my hair, eye or skin color. This is just me as I am and maybe if I don’t see me, I don’t look at me, others won’t look at me either.
But what if I wanted to see me? What if there was so much good in me that it radiated out past all the physical features? What if the hard worker, the loyal friend, the new mom was there too. What if my success story and my drive was what made me. What if alongside the pain in my eyes there was hope? Hope for my child, my partner, but also hope for myself. What if I was my own best teacher and all my lessons and stories were deep within, behind my skin and underneath somewhere just a little further?
These thoughts led me to this moment. I asked Taylor, the photographer, to capture me looking at myself in the mirror. I told her I wanted to look like I used to look when I worked in New York City and when I was at the height of my self-love and self-discovery. I wanted to be the business woman I know I am with a little more softness from becoming a Mother. I wanted to take a moment to see myself. Really, see myself. Not how others might, not what judgement I could or couldn’t predict but just me… as I am today.
At first, I felt foolish, is this vain? But after a few moments I really saw who I used to be evolve into who I am today. I am still a business owner, I am still a retoucher, I still love what I do in an industry that made me hate myself but there is more there, I am human. I am not a work machine or robot, I am not just a girlfriend or a Mom, I am me, too and there is so much about me that I love.
I’ll speak more to my journey to understand myself as it evolves but I want to take this moment to extend the invite to see yourself. Maybe for the first time today, maybe for the first time ever. Take the time to dress how you feel best represents you and then spend 10 minutes with yourself in the mirror. I promise you the first few minutes are awkward but as time passes something might begin… and it might just be the conversation with yourself that’s been waiting for you.
If you feel so inclined to share your story please tag @selfkind on Instagram or email me your story + photo to firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can share it with our group!
Love to you all, always!