Since my first self-portrait challenge last week, I've been quite preoccupied with examining the mental image I have of myself. I'm stunned to notice how I ceaselessly criticise various parts of my anatomy, how I fail to see the beauty in the laughter lines around my eyes when I look at my face in the mirror, and how I beat myself up for my lack of control when I greedily indulge in one more slice of chocolate cake.
I believe that what I need is a prescription of acceptance, love, enjoyment, lots of laughter and an end to the useless comparison of my 38-year old body to how it used to look when I was 21... There are so many sexy, confident women in their 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s who don't seem to be suffering from this body angst at all. 38 is kind of like being a teenager, but instead of being stuck between childhood and adulthood, now it's all about no longer being considered "young", but definitely not feeling "old" either.
I dared myself to spend some time really looking at myself: my face and my body, and then eventually I took out the camera... The initial inhibition soon gave way to a carefree sense of enjoyment... A step in the right direction, definitely.
Alexandra of Marvelous Madness posted a wonderful quote by the American ballet dancer Allegra Kent, which ends, "As an adult, I met people who talked passionately about their new Rolls Royce. But that isn't a real posession. All we actually have is our body and its muscles that allow us to be under our own power, to glide in the water, to roll down a hill, and jump into someone's arms."