Portrait of my own Unique Beauty

If what you see in the mirror is ugly, then consider this: chances are you’re comparing your own unique beauty to what, for your entire life, you’ve been programmed to believe is beautiful.

And what is beauty anyways?

Margaret Wolfe Hungerford said, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

And isn’t that true? Yes or no, in more instances than not beauty is subjective. In fact, I’d go even further to say that beauty manifests itself in infinite ways other than what the eye can see.

As a photographer with a fond admiration for women and men alike I can honestly say that I have taken countless photographs and manipulated them to appeal to the mass collective of what is to be considered quote on quote “beautiful.”

Hypocrite. No, I think not. I never claimed they were beautiful but simply did my job in a way that my superior agreed was aesthetically pleasing.

A wrinkle here, a crows foot there, deleted.

Nobody has ever died from a portrayal of beauty, right?

Wrong. Though I’m not an extremist so there are many factors to consider, all of which yes, I agree, may seem like a bit of a cop out or excuse not to hold oneself accountable for taking what is and transforming it into something less natural.

But this isn’t about my career choice or eye in which I behold.

This is about you and that “ugly” reflection in the mirror.

You are not ugly, you simply aren’t. You are you, and you are beautiful.

Those who claim to seek perfection, well, they’re only trying to fill a void. And it’s a bottomless pit because like beauty, perfection is ultimately subjective.

While I sit here and delve deeper into thought, I watch a mother and daughter walk by my window. The mother is flapping her arms as graceful as she can. The child looks to her mother and understands she is trying her best.

In the end all that we can do is try our best to love ourselves enough to fully accept the unique beauty of another.

Any other judgement is of which we have been programmed to believe.

It’s taken a very long while to believe in myself and I willingly admit that each day is a slow progression to further acceptance of my own unique beauty.

If someone tells you you’re not beautiful, that’s their loss.

And I hope the next mirror that you face looks back in your direction as the child looks with grace and marvels at the perfection of her mother’s love.

Portrait of my own Unique Beauty, September 8, 2020

My work it shall begin

We are safe because we want to feel safe

And afraid because we allow ourselves to fear

All throughout the life I’ve know I’ve accepted what was

Hardly ever asking myself the real question, that is

What exactly do you want to be

Do you want to be loved? Feared? Saved?

Am I making myself clear?

Like standing by the railing of a ferry boat adrift

Looking out into the fog of early mornings spent

Nervous though I was, a child full of dread

Patiently awaiting the comfort darkness fed

Full of all my longings, too scared to make a sound

Reeling for the guidance, waiting to be found

But it wasn’t until I spoke the words

Which have placed me here today

And I wouldn’t place the blame where there is nothing left to blame

I could have got out long before that house we knew burnt down

I could have run away, what’s more

I could have made a sound

Though fear and faith are binding

For a child guilt is hard

And safety commonly looks like

A smile from afar

But now I’m counting crows, who’ve eaten all the crumbs

And as for beanstalks stalking, I’ve cut down every one

To grandma’s house goes Red, she no longer has to run

The piglets in their cabin, I hear they’re having fun

Released into the willows are fairytales Grimm

Now safe my inner child’s sound

My work it shall begin