being beautiful is a mindset!
Over the years, I have been noticing a common theme amongst the many people I have photographed — many of them don’t like what they see in images of themselves, and no, it’s not just the women.
When I first started as a photographer I would take it personally (that was my own insecurity reflecting back at me, that might photos were not good enough,) but since then I have come to realize it’s not about me, but how someone perceives themself.
It’s about how they feel about themselves and what reflects outward. A number of factors from trauma to societal expectations, social conditioning, gender-based expectations, etc. may be contributing to why someone has a negative idea of their own self image.
So how do we change this?
I see beauty in all my clients. Whether it’s their beautiful smile, fabulous hair, or a unique expression that is just indescribably who they are — but when they are able to see it, when they are able to see what I saw in them reflected back in the image I captured, that’s magic.
I have photographed a lot of young children and not once when I show them the image even on the back of the camera have they said things like “I don’t like my smile,” or “my nose looks funny,” or “does that make me look fat?” Not Once!
Because they don’t see any of that, all they see is the beauty inside of themselves. Sadly we seem to lose that somewhere along the way. We let other peoples’ words and actions change the way we look at ourselves. We allow the media, our culture, various expectations rooted in ignorance, dated and false gender norms, etc. influence how we feel about our appearance, and then the worst of all, we let our own minds tear us down and distort how we see ourselves.
For far too long we have been conditioned to think well if we are not a perfect number on the scale, we are not worthy, if we don’t look like what we see in magazines we are not worthy, if we are not married with kids, we are not worthy, if you are a woman, you are not worthy, the arbitrary reasons go on and on.
LEARN TO LOVE YOURSELF!
Learning to change all of that is not easy. It requires unlearning years of things you have been conditioned to believe as truth. If we want our children, to take confidence in their appearance and practice self love, then we need to start by setting a better example for them to look
up to as they get older.
Start by seeing all the beautiful things about yourself. Pay attention to everything you’re good at. If you have spent a lot of time focusing on what you lack it’s easy to overlook what you have. Believe me it’s not easy, but slowly it will become easier, if you start with just the smallest thing that makes you feel better about yourself it will start to grow.
Once you keep on doing this, even when you don’t want to, you will begin to see the magic. You will start to notice other people saying things you have been thinking, they start reflecting it back to you, it’s amazing what you will start to attract in your life.
So, take that picture! Wear the dress! Dance like no one is watching, go to the party, don’t stand in your own way of being happy, loving yourself, and your life.