This is… me.

My daughters often amaze me. In the past few years one of the things that I’ve been in awe of is their ability to love themselves. As they are. Yes, they wear a bit of makeup, and dress well (in a teenager-y kind of way), enhancing their natural beautiful selves, but their confidence on any level is nothing short of enviable.

Each of the girls has their own small digital camera and they use them well. They take literally thousands of photos a year of themselves and their friends, posting them on facebooks for all the world to see. For people to SEE!! They actually don’t mind putting themselves OUT THERE!

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And it’s not as though they veiw themselves as SO-HOT and absolutely perfect in a thou-shalt-worship-me kind of way. I’ve heard them comment “my teeth are so-this” and “my nose is so-this”, or whatever. What puts me to shame is that they love themselves regardless. Regardless of a bad hair day. Regardless of the occasional breakout. Regardless of what other girls may look like. Regardless of what we see in our fashion mags.

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THIS, on the other hand, is how much I love myself.

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I drew a few of these about 15 years ago as how I saw myself. Flattering, no?
How I see myself hasn’t changed, unless it’s for worse (at least THEN I didn’t need Botox).
But honestly – if I am walking down the street, all I think about is “oh, that person behind is probably thinking ‘ohmygosh, her butt is ENORMOUS’!”, nevermind that I am still only a size 0/1 jean. And if I smile all I think is that the person across must be thinking “ohmygosh, she has ENORMOUS horse teeth!’” as though I had a huge broccoli stuck between them or something.

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When I see a photo of myself all I see is “horse teeth”, “huge nose”, “OHMYGOSH soooo many wrinkles!”, “bad, bad hair”, “HOW can I get rid of those dark circles under my eyes?”, “UGH – I have 3 chins at that angle!” and on. AND ON. Why do photos never tell us the same message we give ourselves in the bathroom mirror?? UNfair. And that’s just the face…

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While working on this post, Pioneer Woman wrote along the same lines here (What Women Do, Feb 9, 2009).
And I’m left wondering – is it too late to change? Can I start creating “good” personal vibes for myself? As Julia Roberts says in Pretty Woman, “the bad stuff is easier to believe”. When I hit 40, I want to feel good about myself. I want to be told I’m looking good – and I want to believe them.

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My challenge to myself for 2009 is to take photos of myself. To allow photos to be taken. Lots of them. And to start to see more than just bags under my eyes, but to focus on the beauty of a life well-lived.
And to learn that just right angle so I’m always seen with just one chin.
Well, we can’t be perfect!

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