“My hair looks too fluffy.”
“I look bloated.”
“I am only 25, why do I look like I have wrinkles?”
“I don’t have wrinkles in person.”
“My shirt looks too wrinkled.”
“I would rather just take pictures of you and Scarlett.”
“I wish I was 16 again and looked good in every picture.”
“My eye looks wonky.”
“My smile is crooked.”
“That one was taken from my bad side.”
These, these are actual words I have spoken about myself in order to delete a picture from my phone or to not share it with family. The sad reality is I don’t think I am the only woman who believes these things about herself. In fact I was recently in Florida, I went down for my “little” brother and sister’s graduation. While we were happily taking pictures outside of the convention center my sister turned to me and said, “Wait, I need to be on the other side, it’s my “good” side.”I actually cringed at the thought that she thinks she even has a bad side. I assure you, there is not a bad side, angle or 3/4 finger on that girl. She is stunning on the outside and just as stunning on the inside. It made me stop and think though, I absolutely don’t want to sound like that to Scarlett. I NEVER want Scarlett to think she has a bad side, up, down or sideways. My daughter is breathtaking and I want her to know she was fearfully and WONDERFULLY made in the image of Christ. I also want her to get the message from me, her momma, that taking pictures and capturing memories is of the utmost importance.
I know we all find ourselves criticizing every crooked smile, double chin, laugh line, fat arm and ugly cry in the pictures we take. The plain and simple fact is, we see ourselves so much differently than those who know and love us do. We see the grown out balyage dye job, the toe nails that were haphazardly painted in a hurry and maybe a little too long, the one hair that is slightly out-of-place, and that awful crooked smile and how that left eye closes a little too much when we laugh. When they see a gorgeous natural brunette with peekaboo blonde showing through as though it had been naturally kissed by the early summer sun. They see the awesome pink polish on her toes and the smile of a woman who loves her family and friends, who might I add has a fantastic laugh that you can tell comes from the JOY deep within her soul and fills the room. You see perception is everything and if we perceive ourselves as these horrible creations made by Dr. Frankenstein as opposed to gorgeous sculptures created by the master potter, each of us hand crafted with the utmost care and after His own image. After all we were not put on this earth to please others who are living in the flesh but to please and praise the Lord.
We shouldn’t be worried about what flaws others may see in our photographs because to tell you the truth that flaw you see, someone else wont even notice. I promise in all reality that flaw probably isn’t even there. All of our pictures don’t have to be magazine worthy and we don’t need to look like Instagram models in our pictures either. We don’t need to take 101 selfies to decide that number 14 was the winner. Why are we worrying ourselves to death over a picture? I want when Scarlett is 25 and has a baby to happily show them pictures of her and her momma. I want her to smile with joy and remember the fun we had. I want her to have pieces of me with her even when I can’t be. I don’t want her to have to scrounge up a ten-year old picture of me, I want her to have one that was taken two weeks before. I don’t want her to have to beg her me to just please take a picture with me momma. Even if I am not the size I want to be or my hair isn’t perfect, because I promise I still think my momma is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. If I had to guess I’d say Scarlett will probably feel the same way, not because I really am the most beautiful woman in the world but because I love her. I want her to be able to see that through pictures and home movies and smile and know it’s true. So get from behind that camera momma, because I know your babies feel the same way.
Get from behind the camera momma and show your children how happy you are to be taking a family photo or a silly selfie with dog ears or kissy face. Get from behind that camera momma and let your babies see your beautiful smile, your gorgeous hair, those pearly white teeth your parents spent so much money to give you. Get from behind that camera momma and take a sweet picture with their daddy or who ever you love so they can feel and see the love in your eyes. Get from behind that camera momma with tear-stained eyes. Let them see the utter joy on the day they were born. Get from behind that camera momma and make memories with your family. Don’t leave them wondering where you were on what looked like an awesome zoo day. Get from behind that camera momma even if you are makeup free, or sweaty or whatever your reason is, get from behind that camera momma and get in front of it. I promise your babies will thank you.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.