I change my photos on social media sites frequently these days.
Part of it is pure vanity, sure, I’ll admit it. It’s nice to get ‘likes’ and comments and all that sometimes. (Except when the comment is from a facebook ‘friend’ that feels the need to mention how often I change my profile picture.) That was just annoying. But not untrue, so I can’t be mad at that comment, either.
I’m not used to the attention, so it still feels monumental each time someone tells me I look pretty. I’m always kind of suspicious of it, in fact. Like, they don’t REALLY mean it. Or, they will change their mind. Or, tomorrow I may not be anymore. Pretty, that is.
Except, something has shifted. As evidenced by the fact that I am changing my photos so often. You see, that NEVER would have happened ten years ago. Or five. Or even one. I wouldn’t even have been taking photos I felt good about posting. Until recently.
I have always enjoyed taking pictures, but the only ones I typically felt good about were the ones that didn’t have me in them. I felt ugly growing up. A product of staring at my own reflection in the mirror day in and day out in the ballet studio, years of looking at glossy Photoshopped versions of models in magazines, and the usual dose of insecurity that accompanies adolescence.
My feelings of ugliness settled deeper, though. A feeling so intense that I was constantly in a battle with myself. To do, and accomplish, and strive, and achieve. And at the same time to hide, and change, and look outside of myself for a way to be beautiful.
The moral of this story is not that I am now, nor ever will be, a model. Unless it’s the ROLE model kind. (That would be pretty cool.) But rather, the reason my photos might be ‘good’ now? I feel good. About myself. On the inside. That’s what’s coming through. I still have plenty of insecurities that creep in. Ones that could and would completely take control again if I’m not careful. (And I also have plenty of pictures I don’t ever plan to share with the webiverse.) But in spite of, and maybe because of those insecurities, I have finally grown into myself. My real self. I have found a confidence and acceptance that was always there, somewhere, but that I could never reconcile. Until one day, it seems, I did.
I have finally stopped struggling against who I think I SHOULD be, and come to appreciate who I in fact, BE.
I wish this for anyone out there who struggles with insecurities. Above all else, BE.
Photo Credits: All photos by Aanya Photography. Styling by Styled by Ali.
Here’s to another day of creativity…