29 August 2013

Being Brave

Okay, first.  The title is inspired by this song, Brave by Sara Bareilles, that my friend Bethany introduced me to this evening.  I've been listening to it on repeat, it's really speaking to me right now.  This post started out as a Facebook update and then I went, "whoa, this is wayyyyy too long for Facebook. I should put it on my blog."  Which is what I'm doing.  And it's taking a bit of courage.  (Hold on, gotta push play again.) Okay, now on to the point of my post.

This article/project (Ashamed and Embarrassed That Her Daughter Posed For This Project) (heads up: Along with the article are photos of a nude fat woman - no nipples or genitalia is shown) is making waves in a Facebook photography group I am.  There are a lot of people saying, "well, as long as she's healthy it's okay for her to be fat" and other bullshit like that.

I have always struggled with my self esteem, and a lot of it manifests with issues my weight and other "imperfections".

Shortly after I noticed Carus mimicking me in saying she's ugly and she's stupid, I started really working on my self esteem.  I've been working on showing I think I'm beautiful even when I'm not feeling particularly beautiful. I don't want my daughter to ever think she is not good enough because she isn't _______.  That blank can be filled with anything, by anyone, - not tall enough, not blonde enough, not thin enough, not enough boobs, too much hair, too curly of hair, too straight of hair, too much of this or not enough of that.

And it's all a bunch of crap.

We all have our insecurities, but we STILL need to recognize that they are just that.  Insecurities. (And here I have to say that along with other friends, my friend Bonnie and her pro body image posts she shares has helped me a lot.)

When Carus looks at me, she sees her mom. She wants to wear makeup like me.  She wants to wear pretty shoes or pretty clothes, or curl my hair or blow dry it straight when I do.  Because she is my daughter and I am the most important woman to her.  She is looking to me to show her how to be comfortable in her own body and how to love herself.  I can't just tell her to love herself, I have to show her how it is done.

So I've been working on it, and I think I'm doing a damn fine job at it. I no longer lament how fat I am or how ugly I am.  I will say that I'm feeling blah or frumpy - and then I hang out with friends, do my hair or makeup or nails or, if I have a few bucks, go buy myself a new shirt or something, and THEN I say, "there, I feel better."

Carus is still working on her self esteem.  I did damage before and she's going through puberty, which can be a bitch.  But she is doing better and I think I will succeed in showing her how to love herself.  (And note - I'm just talking about being pretty/feeling pretty, but it's also extending into recognizing and celebrating my, and in turn her, intelligence. Also note, me having a positive self esteem also has benefits for Adam, but in different ways.)

So anyways, back to the article, and my point.  This is the comment I posted on that thread* and I want to share it here too.

"Stop trying to qualify beauty.  Stop saying "it's okay to be fat, as long as you're healthy".  Everyone has a right to be - a person.  You are a person, they are a person.  And all people are beautiful BECAUSE OF their differences (not 'despite' or 'even though').  The differences (short, tall, fat, thin, smooth, hairy, wrinkly, botoxed, crooked teeth, uneven feature, deformities, scars, stretch marks, big boobs, small boobs, saggy boobs, short hair, long hair, no hair, ETC are what make us beautiful.

I think Sue Bryce's message is that EVERY WOMAN is beautiful.  She uses glamour photography to pamper women, who notoriously don't take time for ourselves and notoriously make excuses not to be in photographs.  The pampering makes them feel good about who they are.  And they love the images she takes of them not because she minimized their waist or arm or bum; or because she smoothed out a few wrinkles - they love those photographs because they are a window to their soul.  They show the beauty that she sees.  The beauty that all of those that love them see.  They allow them to say, "I am beautiful and it is okay to love myself."

And it is.  It is okay to love yourself.  As is, with flaws - imagined or perceived or real.  And it is okay for those women in that project to love themselves.  It's okay for you (man or woman, by the way) to love yourself.  Love yourself for who we were yesterday, who we are today, and who we will become..."

*It's a photography group that focuses on glamour photography in style with the amazing photographer, Sue Bryce's style.


  1. "They show the beauty that she sees. The beauty that all of those that love them see. They allow them to say, 'I am beautiful and it is okay to love myself.'"

    YES!!! Becca, I'm honored to have played a small part in this post (isn't that song the BEST? I watched the video about 20 times in a row while I was making dinner tonight so I could learn the words) because this post is perfect. LOOK HOW BIG YOUR BRAVE IS.

    Also, I've met you and Carus and I know for a fact that you are both beautiful, inside and out. I'm so proud of you for not only realizing that your negative words about yourself were affecting your daughter's self-image, but actually making changes so you weren't putting yourself down anymore. And of course that benefited YOU most of all, and your daughter and everyone around you. :-) I'm just all verklempt here. And I'm gonna share this post on FB. I hope that's okay!

  2. OMG! This is so beautiful how you wrote this,It has brought tears to my eyes. really dear, You are Awesome in every way possible. I am lucky to have you in my life. So thank you for being Just You!. Lots of Hugs BV


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