I have a pretty sad story to tell you. If you don't know, I am also a photographer, and I absolutely LOVE to take Senior pictures because I want every girl to feel beautiful and special--and I think Senior pictures can do just that! Well recently I took pictures of a beautiful girl. I didn't know her prior to meeting to take her pictures. Right before her session, I received a message from her mother saying, "My daughter is very pale--can you make her look more tan in her pictures?"
During the senior session, some of the girl's insecurities started to show. She shared that everyone in her family was tan but her, and she didn't know where she got her light freckly skin. I tried to make a joke out of how us pale girls were going to be the new cool because people are scared of tanning beds and cancer. I didn’t know her well enough to address this insecurity yet.
After I posted the sneak peek, I was excited to hear what she thought of the pictures. I wanted her to feel beautiful and special, but instead she messaged me that she thought that she looked fat in the pictures (she didn't AT ALL) and that she thought her lips weren't relaxed enough. My heart was broken, and all of the pieces of her story started to unfold--especially as even her grandmother had negative comments towards her pictures. It was a generational problem of finding flaws and pointing them out.
As parents, role models, aunts, uncles etc--we are being watched. When we pick ourselves apart, or say negative things about ourselves…there are always people watching us. They learn the same behavior and start to look in the mirror and see their insecurities instead of their beauty, talents, and intelligence. We are raising a generation of kids who have no self-esteem and no belief in themselves.
What if I told you that your child would have the same self-esteem about themselves that you have for yourself? Would you stop making excuses for why you aren't living to be the best version of yourself? Would you stop insulting yourself in front of your kids? Would you start speaking highly of yourself to others so that others would follow the trend and do the same?
I recommend every morning when you are getting ready for work or school, or whatever it is that you do--that you look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself one thing you love about yourself. If we had a little more self-love in this world, I bet we would have less depression, suicide, and negativity. The change starts with you and it starts with me.