How I Look

I recently had some new headshots taken. I’d last had them done way back in the 90’s and even though in my mind I’m fairly sure I still look 20 – realistically I knew it was long past time for an update. It was a fantastic experience complete with a makeup artist and a well-known photographer in Toronto. I was thoroughly pampered and entertained during my half day session and I loved the easy and thought-provoking conversations that flowed between Helen (photographer), Cathy Ann (makeup artist) and myself. They are both beautiful and interesting women and it was a pleasure to spend time with them. I was nervous about how the pics would turn out but I decided to surrender to the experience and let the experts take charge of the situation.

A week after my session I received a link to all of my photos. I put the toddler down for a nap, poured myself a cup of tea, steeled my courage and opened the link. And it was hard. Really hard. At first glance, I hated every one of the 100+ pictures that stared back at me. “I look  chubby” I immediately thought, “and old and unattractive”. I’m not proud of myself but those were the things that immediately sprang to my mind. I was upset and that led to me being grumpy and out of sorts with my husband and my kids for the rest of the day. And I didn’t tell a soul – I just wasn’t ready to share yet.

A few days later I had the opportunity to talk with my sister in private. I told her about how I was feeling and she listened and sympathized. I agreed to send her a couple of the shots in return for  her honest opinion (and trust me, I know she’ll always give it).

Her response  came back almost immediately-  “Not a word of a lie….my gut reaction was beautiful.” So I decided to look again. And again. And again. And after a quite some time spent looking, I started to sort of like a few of them and to appreciate small things like the maturity and wisdom in my 41 year old face.


I stumbled upon this video recently and it made me think about my experience with the pictures and how we view ourselves. About how hard  we are on ourselves and how we can unknowingly pass along our insecurities and obsessiveness to our children. This 4 minute video brought tears to my eyes and made me realize that I am much harder on myself than anyone else ever could be. Are you? Have a watch.

(email followers you may have to go to my site at to view the video)

9 thoughts on “How I Look

  1. Lori, you are beautiful! Many years ago I was feeling like you about a picture of myself and an older friend said “You will like it when you are 80!” I am still a decade away from 80 and each time that picture surfaces I smile & think of that moment – she was so right – I like it now.

  2. How honest and brave you are for sharing this Lori! A great reminder to us all to be kinder to ourselves first!!
    The picture here is absolutely STUNNING!! And you don’t look a day over 30!!

  3. I couldn’t agree more with your sister, my first reaction was also beautiful! And although I don’t know you, your beauty shines through in your writing as well 🙂

  4. Hey Lori! I love your headshot – I think you look great! Still, I can so relate to your feelings about your headshot. I’m 46, and these days I hate having my picture taken. Any photo that I pose for never looks good anymore because I’m self conscious about being photographed. The photo I use on my blog is recent, but I’d like to have professional photos taken. I can’t bring myself to do it, however; I’m too nervous about it. We women put too much pressure on ourselves to look like the images we see in the media – it’s really sad. We don’t need to. My husband is short and bald, but he’s come to terms with his looks. He owns it and has fun with it and people love him for it. He’s so comfortable with himself that it’s attractive and charming. It’s one of the reasons I was attracted to him. I think that being comfortable with yourself is more attractive than being drop-dead-beautiful. I believe this and yet I still obsess over my looks. I think I’m getting better about it, however. My husband has been a real inspiration for me in this area. Great post – you made me think! Celeste:)

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