Home > Health, Love, Parenting, Photos > Modeling self love (and honeymoon hair!)

Modeling self love (and honeymoon hair!)

I hated gaining weight at the beginning of this pregnancy. I’d gotten used to seeing my slimmer, small-sized-for-the-first-time-ever self in the mirror.

At some point, I decided it was a waste of my limited energy to spend much more time being dismayed by my appearance. I accepted the temporary added weight and tried enjoying this image of myself, too.

Sandra (Square One Notes) blogs to create a record for her young daughter. When I read her invitation to post a selfie in exchange for a chance to win a Starbucks gift card, I wasn’t as intrigued by the prospect of a gift card as by her rationale:

I encourage you to show yourself. I need to know it’s okay to live in a world where we like ourselves. I want my daughter to grow up with a sense of self worth and confidence so that others will hold her in the same regard. Help me show her it’s okay to be in our own corner. 

A lot of life, time and energy are spent here in the U.S. hating our bodies and faces for what they are and wishing they would be something else. It’s such a waste, when these bodies are a gift. Ellen Page touched on this briefly in a beautiful eight-minute speech that should be watched for all its affirmation of life.

So I offer this image of me, now, in celebration–not rejection–of what is:

feb 2014 selfie

That’s me, folks, crooked glasses and all. This is also me, enjoying a lazy honeymoon:

hair selfie feb 2014

This is me, too. I’m 35 pounds heavier than I was last July, but happy with what I see:

side selfie feb 2014

I don’t want to be or waste my time striving to be someone else’s image of perfection. I do want my kids to understand the beauty of human bodies–and faces–is not in how they look but what they do.

For my kids to see that, I have to play a role in modeling it. So model it I will, beginning right now.

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  1. February 16, 2014 at 8:35 am

    You look just as you should in each and every picture – happy, healthy, and full of life.

  2. February 16, 2014 at 8:48 am

    You know how to pull on my heartstrings. Body image and self love are issues I’m continusously revisiting. Thanks for giving me an extra ounce of encouragement today!

    By the way, you look beautiful. I love the full body shot of you pregnant!

    • February 16, 2014 at 9:22 am

      Two things. First, thank you. Second, I’m so glad you read this! As I started writing it, I hoped I’d find a way to include your “Falling in Love With My Shoulders” post. That’s been on my mind a lot the last week. You have such a beautiful way of being vulnerable and strong all at once with your words. I’d love everyone to read your post and be moved by it, thinking about that one thing they do like about themselves. Once that’s identified, it’s easier to see other things. Maybe not easy, but easier, but that’s a start. Each small step is important, and practice for bigger steps to come. It’s so worth it. And it’s easier thanks to the encouragement of loving folks like you. ♥

  3. February 16, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Healthy and beaming! Beautiful, you are ❤

  4. February 16, 2014 at 9:12 am

    You’re a beauty! I’m so flattered by your participation! You nailed the sentiment I was groping for. Thank you! ❤️

    • February 16, 2014 at 9:26 am

      Thank you for the opportunity to reflect on these things and turn free-floating thoughts into something a little more concrete . . . and lasting! ♥

  5. February 16, 2014 at 9:43 am

    You are beautiful. But more importantly, you are strong, thoughtful, caring and fierce as a mother and defender of the innocent. And that’s just what I know from your blog!

    • February 17, 2014 at 5:01 am

      Thank you for these words! They filled me with joy when I first read then yesterday, then again now.

      It bears repeating that I still love your selfie post. So lovely.

  6. February 16, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Just can’t *like* this enough…

  7. February 16, 2014 at 11:30 am

    You exude beauty in each of these photos. I agree, Ellen Page’s speech is extraordinary.

  8. February 16, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Love this post. I believe in the idea of #selflove and have the same goals for my daughter to learn to love all of herself and not be critical. I blogged on this on the I’m FitPossible website. My name is Emily if you would like to head over and read it 🙂 http://www.imfitpossible.com under blog tab

    • February 17, 2014 at 5:06 am

      I’m not sure yet whether my second child will be a daughter or a son, but I do believe either will benefit from my modeling self love. Actions really do speak louder than words, so I want there to be both. I’ll figure out with time what form “both” will take, in part in response to what my kids show and tell me, but this is a start. 🙂

  9. February 17, 2014 at 1:01 am

    Deborah your self deprecating is unfounded. I can tell from your writing and from your snaps that you are real.B

    • February 17, 2014 at 5:13 am

      I honestly didn’t mean to be self deprecating, just honest about what I feel. There can be a huge divergence between what self and others perceive, which does not make either perception right, but a product or the individual’s experience. I want to be honest about my own, and this is being honest. This is part of my journey, this figuring out what is important to me not only as an individual but a parent. I have spent most of my life glad to be “substantial,” so it has been strange to face this particular kind of struggle. What I take from the last year is that I want my kids to feel good based on who they are, not what they look like. There are many ways to be a good kind of substantial. So when I posted this, it was not to be self deprecating or desparaging, but to evidence another facet of substantiality in a way I hope my kids will someday appreciate.

      • February 17, 2014 at 2:00 pm

        I really appreciate your openness and realness Deborah. It is so refreshing.B

  10. February 17, 2014 at 7:42 am

    You are so beautiful! And I love the crooked glasses in that first photo ^_^

    • February 19, 2014 at 8:01 pm

      Thank you! Asymmetrical things used to drive me nuts, but then I started adopting my mom’s take: Imperfections give things character. 🙂

  11. Nicole
    February 17, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Such a wonderful post. The world would be a better place if the whole world shared your opinion.

  12. February 17, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    You look so happy in all those photos. And you need to gain weight when pregnant ( Right? I’m not having kids, thank god).

    • February 19, 2014 at 8:04 pm

      You do! 25-35 pounds are recommended, which means gaining too little or too much get an overzealous response from medical practitioners. Actually, one of my illustrations for this post touched on that.

      And as for the happy? I was. Totally. 🙂

  13. February 18, 2014 at 7:32 am

    You look great! We may have the same glasses.

    • February 19, 2014 at 8:05 pm

      Thank you! This pair of glasses needs to be upgraded soon, but “soon” keeps stretching into a slightly longer period of time, so it might be another two years yet . . .

  14. G M Barlean
    February 18, 2014 at 8:23 am

    You’re adorable!

    • February 19, 2014 at 8:07 pm

      Thanks! I definitely feel more adorable early in the day than later. By midday, my tiredness shows. But it’s all good, every bit of it. 🙂

  15. February 18, 2014 at 9:56 am

    Rose and I had a hard time documenting the “baby bump” for either of our kids. It wasn’t something we found ourselves doing as often as we intended. But the ones we did take are some of our favorite pictures of her. We look at them and we feel good. Every time. Both of us.

    • February 19, 2014 at 8:08 pm

      The first time around, I took pictures every week and then every other week. I intended to do the same this time around, but it was harder because of how I’d gotten used to the new, lower weight. I’m glad I captured a few regardless! It’s neat to show Li’l D how I looked before he was born, and I’m glad I’ll be able to have a little of that with the next one.

  16. February 20, 2014 at 6:07 am

    You are absolutely beautiful. Pregnant and beautiful. Crooked glasses and beautiful. Honeymoon head and beautiful. How could you be anything else? You are complete, loved, confident … you are utterly beautiful.

    • February 21, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      Dittoing back those last four words.

      I really wish I could reach through the screen and hug you. Now. Always.

  17. February 21, 2014 at 11:31 am

    You are so gorgeous!

  1. February 16, 2014 at 10:27 am

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