From a young age I learned that a person’s beauty is both external and internal. I have tried very hard throughout my life to never judge someone based on their appearance, including myself. I thought I had a healthy self esteem, that is until I got pregnant. I was prepared mentally for just about everything I would go through during the pregnancy, except seeing my body change so drastically. Even though everyone around me told me that I was “glowing”, I had never felt more unattractive. Every body part was stretched and swollen and sometimes I did not even recognize myself in the mirror. After giving birth, I canceled my son’s newborn session twice. Granted I was feeling awful from my c-section, but the thought of being photographed terrified me. My amazingly talented friend/photographer Brittany refused to let me cancel a third time and said I simply had to get in front of the camera with my son. She claimed if I absolutely hated the photos I could just delete them, but that I would regret not having taken photos with him for the rest of my life. I was shaking when she took the following shots. I tried to focus completely on Joaquín and it worked. When I saw the photos for the first time I cried, as I have never loved photos of myself more. I do not love the way I look, but I love the woman I have become and I think that my internal beauty is radiating. Being a Mother is the hardest thing I have ever experienced, however it is the greatest job I could ever imagine having. I am being challenged in ways that I never thought possible and I could not be more proud of myself. I am forever grateful to Brittany for pushing me out of my comfort zone and reminding me the truth about beauty. I hope this post reminds you about the truth as well. Next time you are being critical about your own looks, remember everything you have accomplished in life whether it is a higher education degree, volunteering on your weekends, or traveling abroad — these things make you more beautiful than a new dress or losing five pounds ever could!
February 26, 2015