Monday, October 29, 2007

I know most of you don't know what I look like. I've been in hiding. Mainly it's because I want to showcase my art on my blog, but I've also been having a losing battle with my self-esteem ever since I had my daughter 2 years ago. The things I say to myself are horrible. I don't know why we say things to ourselves that we would never say to another person. Before I got pregnant, I lost 30 pounds on Weight Watchers and was pretty happy with the way I looked. I had more money then and was able to dress in great clothes and my lifestyle allowed me to wear cocktail dresses a couple of nights a month and slick business clothes almost everyday. Even though I was in my mid-thirties, I felt like I looked better than I did when I was in my 20s.

Flash forward 3 years. The thirty pounds are back and the weight lives in places it never used to. No one told me pregnancy would change the entire shape of your body forever! My skin is getting dull with age & I even have a couple of age spots. I don't know how to dress my new body or what to wear for my new lifestyle of parks & play dates and art. The combo of pregnancy and aging have really done a number on me & I don't know how to deal with it. So, I've allowed myself to beat myself up every time I look in the mirror. As a result I have the worst self-esteem I've ever had. Worse than when I was 13!

It all came to a head about a week ago. I was a crying heap of self-pity and loathing. But something happened. Maybe it was because I allowed myself to have a pity party and finally get it out. Maybe it was because my mom sent me an email extolling my virtues. Whatever it was, I woke up the next day and felt a little better. I hadn't given it much thought until I took these self-portraits. My daughter and I play "photographer" sometimes & I just sit & snap pictures while she plays and poses. During one of these sessions, I decided to snap a couple of pictures of myself & they weren't that bad. As a matter of fact, they are probably the best pictures I have of myself since my pregnancy.

Nothing has changed. I'm not using some wonder beauty product. No makeover. I don't know if I'm just less judgmental of the pictures or if relaxing & accepting myself gives me an inner beauty that is starting to show. I can't change the fact that I carried another human being in my body for eight months or that I am getting older, but I can change my attitude. The sooner I realize I will never be the same woman I was before, the sooner I can begin loving the stranger that has taken her place...age spots and all.