Everywhere you look there are messages about self love and confidence. How no matter what size, shape, height, weight, race, hair color, body type, etc. we should all embrace ourselves and love who we are. Sounds great! We can all agree with this, right? Well not exactly. Unfortunately because of the decades of bringing ourselves and each other down and assuming we need to fix what we look like, we have become extremely critical of those who are confident and consequently critical of ourselves when we feel confident.
I realized what a problem this is for myself personally when I took pictures the other day and *GASP* liked them?! Simple, raw, unedited, unfiltered images and I didn’t hate what I saw. For a split second I felt so good about this feeling of confidence. Unfortunately this moment was shattered by a new feeling. A less exciting feeling. This feeling was guilt. How dare I like they way I looked in a picture and not want to change the images in any way. Who do I think I am?!
I decided not to post the images and instead was consumed by my feelings of not allowing myself to feel confident. I became obsessed with looking at them and picking apart what I didn’t like and telling myself why I shouldn’t like them.
Luckily, after a day or so of this I snapped out of it and realized how absurd this was. I am allowed to feel beautiful. I am allowed to enjoy the way I look. This should be the goal! I realized that the reason I enjoyed these images from the beginning was because they felt so real and raw. They were me. I’m not hiding behind makeup or fancy lighting. It’s just my skin, the sun and my emotions.
I took these when I was feeling stressed and overwhelmed by my growing to-do list and dwindling day. The sunlight in my new apartment always gives me a show during sunset, kissing the surfaces and creating stunning shadows. I make it a point to try and be home in time to watch it because it provides a sense of calm and clarity after a hectic day and prior to a most likely hectic night. These images captured this beautiful affect it has on me and I’m happy to love them.