Believe In Your Selfie

This isn’t a selfie but it’s a photo Scott took of me a year ago. Apple Photos recently reminded me as it came on history timeline. I winced every time I look at it and scroll through quickly to not look at it in my feed. I don’t like leaving bad feelings cooking, so I had to dive deep and figure out why this photo bothered me so much (and of course had to write about it, lol).

It was a good photo and a good day, what was there not to love? I spent time doing my makeup that morning. Inflammation was down that day. I slept well. Hormones were balanced. I was probably in the right lighting, thinking of Sebastian Stan, laughing at a joke Scott was telling while Miko was making a funny face, and it was a pretty moment captured.

I had comments saying it was fake. I had comments asking if I had my nose done. I had comments asking why my hips look “so silicone”. I had people message me saying they have seen me at Disneyland and I didn’t look like this. Of course I don’t look like this- I’m posing, looking at the lens, smiling from ear to ear and when they saw me at an amusement park, I was most likely running after a toddler, with fogged up glasses and a sweaty face, not caring much about my RBF and bloated from a churro. That’s fine. We all post our prettiest selves online anyways.

There was more positive reaction to it and I’m grateful to everyone taking the time to celebrate this little photo of myself, as vain as it sounds. There are moments when I can live comfortably without outside opinions while some days I wonder if what I’m wearing merits the favor of others. I’m a work in progress! It was one of my most popular photos I’ve ever posted and that was hard to live up to. I think what bothers me about this photo is I didn’t see myself as this. I stopped posting photos of myself shortly after this.

I look at the tired mom in the mirror and then I look at this photo and it does seem fake but there was nothing digitally compromised about my face or body, just a filter to bring out the pink wall to post on Instagram (OF COURSE!!). I’ve been open about everything I post, why would I compromise this for a photo? I would think about this photo every time I went out in public. Do I look like this? Is this what “goals” is even though there were so many things I had to work on (makeup, sleep, hormones, etc) and had to be lined up just for this moment? This isn’t what I wanted and I felt defeated when I couldn’t fit the face to the photo.

Over the past year, I learned a lot from this photo- I can still have moments of looking healthy and happy and capture them. I also learned to pay attention to the people that celebrate these moments and the people who question if it’s real. I want to be loved no matter how I look. This photo kind of ruined my self esteem for awhile because I didn’t live up to it again but the reality is I can’t live up to the lie in my head that I had to look a certain way. Getting ready in the morning, Miko’s by my side watching all my reactions to myself in the mirror and mimics everything mom does. I felt so dumb realizing how one photo can ruin everything I’ve come so far for. I’ve fought so much to be here and is one good photo going to distort my reality of my self esteem? I’m posting this because I know I’m not the only one who believed this lie. Once I pictured Miko’s mind being shaped like this, it was easier to let it go. She’s perfect. And so is my RBF and the smiles in between. 

Here is the original photo, the filtered photo is posted on my Instagram feed.

Here is the original photo, the filtered photo is posted on my Instagram feed.

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