July 20, 2012
I had to take a photo of myself today, for a photography challenge. But I hate taking photos of myself.
Ten years ago, before I had kids and I was 25kgs lighter, when my jawline contained only one chin, rather than the 3 that are visible today, and when my skin wasn’t showing the results of years of sun damage, I loved having my photo taken. In fact, I used to get in as many photos as I could as I always looked good.
But that was then, and this is now. Now, I hate even looking in the mirror, disappointed with what I see. I am ashamed of the grey hairs, and of the teeth that have become more crooked and are no longer white. I hate the wrinkles that appear when I smile or frown, and my thinning lips that no longer frame a beautiful smile. I used to feel beautiful, but that was long ago.
My husband still tells me I’m beautiful, and so do my children. But I no longer feel it. I feel old, and I feel tired, and I feel like 6 years of stress, sadness and anger have eaten away at me. The twinkle that was visible in my eyes has disappeared. The smile has diminished, and when it does appear it is anything but genuine.
So my self portrait through a mirror was the only way I know how to photograph ME without feeling ugly and self-conscious. It is me behind my camera. This is how my children often see me these days, especially since I’ve been doing my Photo a Day Challenge. I can hide behind my camera, and through the lens I can produce the beauty that is missing in ME. I can still be beautiful through what my camera produces.
And one day, I hope to come out from behind that lens and smile for a camera once again, with a smile that is real. One day.