So I’m 33 and just had a revelation of how pathetically insecure I am about my outward appearance. My little revelation seriously made me mad at myself and had me asking ‘Seriously Sarah….how completely vain are you?’. I am a youth pastor’s wife and thought I had it all together because goodness gracious I talk to the young ladies in our youth group ALL.THE.TIME. about loving who you are and inner beauty and whatnot. And heavens to Betsy I am a perfect example of being confident in how God created me. …..Or am I?
Recently my over processed deeply damaged blonde hair started to break off at quite an alarming rate leaving me frantic. ”But I need to stay blonde. My natural hair color is ‘mousey’ as someone once told me. I feel more powerful and more beautiful as a blonde….I cannot go back to my God-given natural color that I’m not sure I have even truly seen since I was 13″. As these thoughts rolled around in my head I realized I was terrified of leaving the blonde I had taken comfort in for so many years as if that defined my beauty or something. I felt that if I left the blonde behind, even if it was damaging, I’d say goodbye to something that made me stick out in a crowd…something that made me feel more powerful and confident. That’s when I got a check in my spirit….that’s when I realized how insecure I really am when I thought I had everything together. And that’s when I started evaluating other areas in my self esteem besides my hair color.
I’m leaving that stinking blonde behind. We had some great years together, but now it’s time to slowly make my way back to my natural color. It may take years as I have done quite a number to my poor little hairs….we have to move slowly to prevent more damage. I am proactively reminding myself that my worth is not found in my ability to stick out in a crowd visually, but to be known for my integrity, love, sense of humor and warmth. That’s how I want people to remember me. Some fake hair color cannot achieve that, so why try to look like something I am not.
I’m not sure what your physical ‘vice’ is. Maybe you feel as if you have to be a certain number on the scale to feel beautiful. Maybe you wish your hair or eye color was different. Maybe you hate your nose or ears or feel as if your arms are too big/little or whatever. Believe me…I’M A PHOTOGRAPHER….I hear all of your complains about yourselves all the time. Your complains frustrate me quite frankly and while I smile and am polite as I listen to them I just really want to yell SHUT UP YOU FOOL!!!! DO YOU NOT SEE HOW AMAZING AND UNIQUE AND BEAUTIFUL YOU ARE??!?!?!?!
And now I need to say that to myself.
So here’s my declaration: I will go back to my natural hair color and I will rock it. I don’t care if you like it or not. I will eat that occasional donut and not feel shameful of my existence for it. I will proudly protect my ivory skin from the sun and not try to have a ‘healthy glow’ that’s not really healthy at all in reality. I will be proud of the family nose I inherited as it lets other people know I belong to the ones I love. I will not stare in the mirror with disapproval. I will laugh hard, enjoy this life and love the skin I’m in. My imperfections are a part of who I am….and besides, what I see as imperfect others don’t even think twice about when they look at me. I will be a true example to the young ladies in our youth ministry of someone who is confident with the body I have been given. I will take care of it, respect it and love it. Most importantly I will honor God with it. My body will age and that’s totally ok because this body of mine is only my temporary home.
So what is that vice of yours? Identify it and then toss it away. Life is too stinking short to spend nitpicking ourselves to pieces. And to all of you clients out there…..look at your photographs though the eyes of your loved ones. I promise you, they don’t see that extra roll around your belly or the bags under your eyes….they see you, the one they love, in all your glory. You don’t have to strive to live up to your definition of perfect in real life or in how you’re portrayed in a photograph. Just be YOU and know that you are BEAUTIFUL and you are LOVED. You are really the most beautiful when you are confident. Confidence equals beauty. Love equals beauty. Compassion equals beauty. Grace equals beauty. Laughter equals beauty. Forget your vices and live life to the fullest!!