Learning to Love the Woman in the Mirror, errr Picture.

I have never liked to have my picture taken. Or at least, not since I became aware of my appearance. I think I was all of ten when I realized that I didn’t quite fit the American Cutie mold.  My glasses were a little too thick. My hair was a little too long. And I, of course, was just  a little too round.

So I hid from the camera whenever possible.

There were exceptions, of course. There are lots of pictures of me at prom. And at my wedding. There are even a few of me from the days after I gave birth to Tori that I’m proud of. But those occasions are few and far between.

And when candid shots were taken? I usually shuddered with horror at the results. No matter how thin (or fat) I was, I could always find fault. My belly pooched. My zits showed. This one  made me look like a wrinkled mess. That one made me look like the Wicked Witch of the West.

You get the idea.

But then, about two and a half years ago, I got to be part of a “professional” photo shoot. There was a makeup artist. A photographer’s assistant. Even a fan to blow my hair strategically. The results were awesome. This is the one I’ve been hiding behind ever since.

But you know what? I don’t really look like that anymore. My hair color’s changed (to better hide the gray). A few new lines have popped up. And, of course, I’ve packed on a few pounds.

So yesterday, I did something I’ve never attempted before. I took pictures of myself. Pictures I intended to share with others. Strangers, even. But even as I held down the shutter, I fully expected to be disappointed with the results. To be ashamed of what “the real me” has to say for herself.

But I wasn’t. It seems that, after 34 years, nine months and 18 days, I’ve made a kind of peace with myself. Because this mug? Is  pretty much alright with me.

Those eyes are the same ones that stare back at me from my daughter’s face.

That nose is the same one that makes her giggle when I beep its mirror image.

Those wrinkles are the result of a lifetime of joy and sorrow, laughter and tears.

This face has gotten older. It has battle scars and worry lines.

It’s no beauty contestant’s face.

But it’s mine, and I’m proud to be me.

How’s that for maturity?

20 Comments on Learning to Love the Woman in the Mirror, errr Picture.

  1. AmyBlam
    July 29, 2010 at 10:03 pm (6 years ago)

    AMAZING post and amazing attitude-the pics are great too!

    • Amber
      July 30, 2010 at 9:55 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks. This is one of those posts that I wasn’t sure if I should publish or not, but eventually decided, “what the hell.” There are only 5 billion strangers out there to judge me…

    • Amber
      July 30, 2010 at 9:54 am (6 years ago)

      Well, I dunno about that, but I thank you, just the same!

    • Amber
      July 30, 2010 at 9:53 am (6 years ago)

      Well, I’m not sure how long it will last, but thank you!

  2. one cluttered brain
    July 30, 2010 at 12:05 pm (6 years ago)

    i like your “new” pictures you posted!! YAY for stepping out and revealing your face…If i ever went to a blogger conference that u r at, i might not have recognized ya. Your hair is a lot lighter red than the other one. Which is nice. :) Yeah my kids have given me wrinkles and gray hairs too.

    But I don’t seem to care what I look like. I still post any and all pics of myself along with video. I’m CRAZY like that…lol.

    I enjoyed reading this post and hope U have a wonderful time at Blogher!

    • Amber
      July 30, 2010 at 4:51 pm (6 years ago)

      I love that you’re out there with your bad self. It’s much easier to hide behind cartoon pics…but I figured if I posted a photo of the real me, maybe the two people who read me who will be there will actually recognize me!

  3. SaucyB
    July 30, 2010 at 4:18 pm (6 years ago)

    Well said and what a wonderful, strong point of view to pass on to your daughter. Girls need to hear those things and it sounds like you’ve got the right message for her.

    • Amber
      July 30, 2010 at 4:50 pm (6 years ago)

      Lets just hope I remember that when the time comes. I’m just trying not to screw her up, really.

  4. dusty earth mother
    July 30, 2010 at 6:29 pm (6 years ago)

    You are too cool. And you have a wonderful, lovely, happy face! This was great, Amber.

    • Amber
      July 31, 2010 at 9:51 pm (6 years ago)

      Ha! I think that’s the first time I’ve ever been called cool. But hey, I’ll take it. Thanks!

  5. Elona
    July 30, 2010 at 9:22 pm (6 years ago)

    I LOVE the new pics! And gone forever are the horror of the red glasses.
    I love your blog, I want to be your when I grow up!

    • Amber
      July 31, 2010 at 9:50 pm (6 years ago)

      Well, we can trade places for a few days, if you like! 😉

  6. Alexandra
    July 31, 2010 at 5:59 pm (6 years ago)

    You know what, Amber, I love seeing what you are now, since I’ve met you. I loved this.

    • Amber
      July 31, 2010 at 9:50 pm (6 years ago)

      Well, thank you! I feel like I’ve been super self-absorbed this week…but oh well.

  7. Linda
    August 1, 2010 at 7:34 pm (6 years ago)

    Your writing never ceases to amaze me. Thanks for making me laugh and cry at the same time! Great message, and your site is awesome! Thanks for sharing.

    • Amber
      August 2, 2010 at 8:53 am (6 years ago)

      Awww, shucks. Thanks lady. You just put a smile on my face!

  8. Erin
    April 20, 2011 at 10:00 am (5 years ago)

    OOHHHHH – this one gave me goose bumps!!!

    I love your face and I love that you have learned to love your face – such strength in owning that –

    you are such a talented writer – I truly believe you could make an owners manual entertaining!!!


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