Learning to Love Yourself

Did you know that you are beautiful even if you aren’t the “perfect” weight?

Did you that you're beautiful even if your hair has started to gray?

If things don't necessarily sit where they used to?

Even if you don’t meet your own personal standards of beauty, you are beautiful.

As I sat in a chair in my studio for a consultation with a new client, she said something that really stuck with me.

One thing that I always make sure to discuss with my clients is their own body image. I find out the features they love most, but I also try to find their areas of insecurity (because no one wants their “issue” to be front and center, right?).

to love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance-oscar wilde
to love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance-oscar wilde

Here’s the thing, these “flaws” that we have? We’re the only people who see them as flaws. To everyone else, those are the things that make you who you are.

So as I spoke to her and got to know her better, I was blown away by her own personal body image. Up until that point, every woman I had had this conversation with had eagerly volunteered her problem areas-the double chin, the stomach pooch, etc. But she was different. “I want to actually look like myself in my pictures. I’ve worked really hard for the body that I have, and while it isn’t perfect, I’m proud of it.”

I’m pretty sure that I just stared at her in amazed admiration.

It’s not perfect, but it’s mine, and I’mproud of it.

The amount of self-acceptance and confidence that it takes to say something like that is staggering.

But why?

Why is that such a difficult thing for us to do? Why can’t we, of all people, see past our own perceived “flaws” and treat ourselves with some grace?

The women who share their insecurities with me? I’ll be perfectly honest, I never notice their “issues” until they’re pointed out to me, and even then, I don’t see what that woman sees when she looks in the mirror. I see a beautiful woman that I can’t wait to have in front of my lens. A woman who has a lifetime of experiences that somehow led her to me. A woman with an adoring family and group of friends who love her as she is.

But there was something else that she said that stuck with me even more.

I’ll be the first to admit, I still have a long way to go on my journey to accepting myself as I am and being confident in my own skin. 

So as she talked about her own journey to self-acceptance, I was fascinated. How can I be like that?! That’s the kind of person I want to be, but how do you get there?!

And then she said something that just clicked.

“I’ve noticed that the areas that I am insecure about are the same no matter what weight I am.”


The areas that I was most concerned about now?

They're the exact same ones that I was insecure about years ago.

Ultimately, we can always pick ourselves apart and find our perceived flaws, but in reality, the only person who sees those "flaws" is the face staring back at you in the mirror.

Give yourself some grace. Celebrate who you are at this stage of your life. Learn to love yourself.