About the real beauty
Sometimes I find myself thinking about how many times we need to hear that we are beautiful, that we need to learn to love our body and that one day someone will be able to see our beauty even when we can’t see it for ourselves. Blog posts, websites and magazines tell us how to dress, what shoes to wear and how to style our hair. But where do we learn to be ourselves? To quiet down those insecurities and truly embrace the only body we have.
I think about all the women that come across our path, gorgeous and full of personality who end up being highly critical about their bodies when they see their picture. They analyze everything in a heartbeat and end up murmuring “the picture is beautiful but I never get to look good”. Talented women, fighters, with stories so emotional that would make a sumo wrestler cry like a baby and still can’t accept their looks or some body feature that makes them unique and even more special.
I´ve learnt these past few years that I should take good care of my body, that it faces tremendous challenges just to give me something I want and that it deserves to be treated with respect and care instead of being a burden that is never up to the challenge. Also learnt that beauty comes in unexpected shapes, sizes and age and that it all comes mainly from within. I can see how dressing well to feel beautiful can help, but most of all we need to be so much more than the clothes we wear and the make up we put on; we need to be comfortable with ourselves. Where does the acceptance process begin? When we quiet down those thoughts that tell us that we’re not beautiful and we finally learn to see our pictures as a way to tell our story, with all the faults we may have at that time. We criticize our bodies in a way that we would never criticize a friend (because we know it would break their heart and ours)! Why do we keep doing it? Why won’t we replace a cruel comment for a compliment every time we see ourselves in a mirror?
The second image above is a portrait of my mother. An example of strength and resilience who, despite the hard time life gave her, would still be strong on those days when I, as a teenager, would think of myself less than the others because I didn’t own that special pair of jeans. At the same time she was (and still is) fighting against a severe skin condition that affects the whole body and I never – ever! – heard a word of depreciation about her looks. She taught me about self worth and respect for my body. I will never be able to thank her enough for everything she has done for me but what I can do is continue her legacy and teach our kids the same values.
We want, above all, happier people, who can live without prejudice, who are able to hug with a full heart, who smile with their eyes and who accept that we are all perfect in our own way. People who won’t compare themselves constantly to those highly retouched magazine pictures and learn to look at pictures with love and care, who will let their guards down and let us in that bubble to do what we know best: photograph that genuine moment when we’ve laughed so hard our cheeks hurt, where we hug the tightest or that moment when we are simply bursting with happiness. That is what we want to see and be able to show the world.
May I propose a toast to all women in the world: we are all beautiful in our own special and quirky way.