What’s in an image?

It’s been said that a picture says a thousand words. Last night I was challenged by a video that Dove recently put out called “You’re More Beautiful Than You Think”. (http://youtu.be/XpaOjMXyJGk) This last year has been an intense look at my body and how I see myself. To watch the way the women viewed themselves hurt my heart. But how true is that of most women? Social media teaches us to be critical, to find flaw in something that is ornately beautiful. The uniqueness of a woman is something to behold! There are no two of us shaped alike. We each bring a mystery and a depth to the world.

Why am I so critical? I’ve challenged myself this year. When I look in a mirror I have to tell myself 3 things I like instead of what I hate. You know what I’ve discovered? My nose really isn’t as horrible as I’ve been telling it it is. So what if it points a little left..it balances out my face :) My eyes are a gorgeous shade of blue that makes me think of ice and fire all at the same time. Yes, they are tiny but that just makes you look deeper :) My tummy houses a lot of muscle. I know I give it a hard time and I used to hate it! But I found that the more I take care of it, the better I feed it, and the more I love on it with ab exercises the more beautiful it has become.

My second challenge was to record my results. How do I do this? Each week I take a self portrait. I force myself to look in the mirror. {For years I never had one in my room because I hated it} It has completely amazed and astounded me to see my body change. Not only my body but my inner self. This shy little girl now walks proudly with her head up. .for years I never held my head up but stared at the ground. I had a traumatic experience in middle school with one of my friend’s moms.

Living in Senegal, West Africa, it is culturally inappropriate for the youth to look an elder in the eye. I was accustomed to looking elsewhere and really struggled to look men in the eye. {I’m not gonna lie I still struggle with it occasionally.} That day I didn’t look my friends mom in the eye and she proceeded to yell at me until I looked her in the eye. From then on I really struggled with it. I didn’t like the feeling of intimidation that came with it.

Jen Davis, Self PortraitThis morning the journey continued. I saw a work of art that I would love to see shown in a gallery. It’s an intimate look into the lives of those who struggle with their weight. I was challenged as I moved through the self portraits of Jen Davis. I knew that I was guilty of judging others based on their size, what they’re eating, and how they look. I guess because I’m so confident in my appearance and carriage that I’ve too quickly forgotten that I once fell into the fattie category too.

But imagine what it’s like for the girl too be trapped inside her overweight body. The feelings, the emotions, the inner thoughts that she must endure.

So today, think about you. Are you more beautiful than you think? I think you are <3

Advertisements