Friday, January 18, 2013

Self-Portraits January 10-17: Body Image After Babies

One of my favorite parts of being a photographer and artist is self-portrait photography. This is why I am super excited to be taking on my 2013 photographic challenge of photographing myself everyday of this year. How can I tell the story of 2013 through self-portraiture? I will be sharing my self-portraits from the week every Friday. I invite you to e-mail me your self portraits at throughout the week and I will post them here with mine. No matter what, self-portraits tell a story about the beautiful you that exists that very moment you hit the button.

I don't think I can talk about self-portraiture at this point in my life without addressing what every pregnant woman is thinking the second she steps out of the delivery room "will my body ever be the same?"  My quick answer is no.  But, I have to ask myself, do I want to be the same?

Women's hearts and brains change when a new life enters the world.    As much as UsWeekly and People Magazine would love to advertise that a woman's self worth after having a child is measured by how fast she can regain her pre-baby body back, I am choosing to stay away from those magazines (probably for the rest of my life).  Instead of trying to be Heidi Klum, I am choosing mental and spiritual health.

I have stretchmarks (oodles of them) and a c-section scar that is currently trying to heal itself, but they tell stories.  With my badges of honor (as I call them), I still do yoga, run, lift weights, eat healthy food, create art, photographs,  drink fancy lattes from fun coffee houses and take moments to hang out with the people I love most in my life, and fit into clothes that reflect my love for color, funk, and flair.  My stretchmarks and c-section scar are the accessories that will be there for the rest of my life to remind me of the changes that have occurred inside me since having kids.  They are reminders that God loves us way too much the way we are to let us stay that way.

The moral of story:  I am learning that to gain the best body image, we have to engage with our mental and spiritual health.  If I want to have a good body image, I need to live a full, healthy, whole life-with my c-section scar and stretchmarks along for the ride.


Tara said...

I love your perspective in this post! What a great reminder that our new post-baby bodies are a reflection not only of the outward appearance but of the amazing changes taking place inside our hearts and body. I couldn't agree more- steering clear of those US Magazines! ;)

julie johnson said...

Thanks Tara!!! I am glad you feel the same way!!! All the pressure we put on ourselves to be Heidi Klum's is just daunting! We have to live out our stories, with the scars and all.