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 www.lorileighwilson.com to view the video)