This will sound vain, but I felt my self esteem was based on others’ opinions of me.
What I didn’t know, was that self esteem was based on what I thought of myself instead. Instead, I cared so much about what others thought of me.
Maybe I should tan. (yep, did that for a summer)
If I wear these clothes, they’ll like me. (that thought did cross my mind once or twice)
I’m too tall.
My nose isn’t straight.
My teeth aren’t sparkling white.
I’m not pretty.
And there you have it. Those words that should never be uttered, came out of my mouth. At the ripe age of 24, after growing up, out of the awkward teenage stage, and into my adulthood, I thought I wasn’t pretty.
I honestly believed others thought I wasn’t pretty. I was too plain. That my husband married my because I was a WIP (work-in-progress). And I was.
What I didn’t know was that I needed to work on me – the inner me. The part that controls what I see when I look in the mirror. Not what is actually in the mirror. And it hasn’t been easy. It has taken me 7 years of looking in a mirror and telling myself, every day, that I am pretty, gorgeous, beautiful and worth it to realize that what I am saying really is true. I have realized that I don’t need compliments from others to believe this, either. While compliments are nice, they don’t “make me pretty.”
It also takes moments captured and looked back upon, with a better eye, to realize that even 7 years ago, I was pretty. I just couldn’t see it.
I am proud that I am in a better place and I am able see beyond my flaws and into my beauty. It is really important to me to portray a good role model for my daughter. I don’t want her to grow up with the same body dysmorphia symptoms that I have.
I want her to see that she, too, is pretty.
I am blessed to have the opportunity to have taken some gorgeous photos recently with the talented Ginny Haupert, here in Denver. Working with her really helped me get out of my shell and see the beauty in me. I saw so many angles of myself through her lenses and saw that I truly am a beautiful woman – something I would never have said even 3 years ago. I would have picked apart her photos and selected 1 or 2 that could be shown to the public. Instead, I found 50+ photos that were stunning, beautiful, and made me feel like a model.
I could accept that my nose isn’t perfect – and that’s ok. My teeth aren’t Hollywood white, who cares? The photos are still a work of art. And something I should be proud of to show.
I am pretty.