To Three Girls & Anyone Reading

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To the people who have written to me with comments regarding my looks in the past few days ….. I love your emails and the wonderful complements you have for me. Please do not take this wrong, nor think me crass, mean or awful. This is the deal. Real talk.

I am so honored when you love my poetry and words. (as these are actual slivers of my soul, pieces of myself I share with you) I am here for your reading pleasure and delight! (that is why this blog was created)

It is even great when you say nice things about your perception of what you see in photos. Here, is what may be beyond your perception.
I am human. I have good and bad days and have even gone through some very challenging times. I have battled and struggled the same as anybody. (weight, depression, broken heart, death, loss, divorce, shame) You guys see mostly professional photos, with great make-up, and even better lighting. ANY woman would be gorgeous in these conditions. (believe me)

So because I especially love the three teen girls who have been writing, i’m showing all of you guys me at my very worst. Humiliating, embarrassing, vulnerable, raw ….. This is me UNPRETTY. (one without make-up and one when I was big) Young ladies, your insides were never meant to be compared to another’s outsides. In this lifetime you will learn that what matters in the end is WHO YOU ARE. You are not the parents you have come from, you are not your rez, you are not even the things others tell you that you are. The things you give to others is what makes a lasting impression, it is what people will remember about you. Your life will be what you choose and make it. Looks, men, money, are not YOU and will never make or define you. You must believe in and be strong in yourself and who YOU are. It is MORE than enough. You are PERFECT the way you are, right this minute. You are each beauty in the truest sense of the word. I am nothing. I am the same as you. My looks have not had much, if anything to do with who I am. Looks will fade and change. (even with “pretty girls”) It is important to take care of yourself, eat well, and exercise lots. (but since that is fun it shouldn’t be much of a bother really) My life is not perfect, i’m so far from flawless. I’m just lucky, i’ve got some great friends who really love and support me. I come from a good family. My life was not easy and you girls were suprised to learn how much we had in common.

I would love for us to remain friends and continue to talk. You really opened my eyes and heart to what goes on with so many of our young women these days. You are each so cool! I think ya’ll should keep talking together too. We can learn alot from this time we have shared and taken to get to know each other. This is how lasting friendships are built. Remember our talks about building, praying, about why it matters to do good things. Also remember that your lives are just beginning, where things are right now, is no where near where they will end up. All of this is going to be a speck in your rear view mirrors. There is so much more than the first step. You have miles and miles! When you mess up and fall short, we just try harder the next time. (but we always keep trying again until we get it, right?) You come from really strong women, who have never given up. You have to be like that too. A woman brings light and happiness into this world. I would like to think any light I offer comes from within. It’s not something given to me from the world, which means they cannot take it away.

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2 thoughts on “To Three Girls & Anyone Reading

  1. I agree wholeheartedly with every truth you’ve written here. In fairness though, sparing the many technical details of the physical properties of most camera lenses, it’s hard to capture an actual portrait that is a true visual representation of someone without significant distortions. I’ve two good “portrait lenses” which combined cost more than my first few cars. The distortion is negligible with those. With that out of the way, capturing a true portrait that conveys an actual piece of that person is challenging. It takes time and effort on my part to get that split second that shows the partial essence of that person. To show them as I see them and as so many people see them. A little truth in the look of an eye or an expression of the face. I don’t use a lot of lighting, if at all. I ask people to come as they are, to not get all “fancied up”, unless that’s the point of the shoot. Come as you are and promise me a couple of hours. We’ll talk and laugh. It’ll be a low-stress conversation among friends or people just being kind to you. I look for honesty in my portraits. I’ll settle for nothing else. It’s usually dishonest on my part when I get that shot. We’ll be talking and I’ll fiddle with the settings on the camera and say I’m just taking some test shots to nail the exposure. People tend to tense up when they have their portrait taken when they believe that exposure is the real deal. And somewhat for good reason – after all, we want to capture who we are. The thing is, we rarely see ourselves the same as others see us. We tend to cast a harsh light on ourselves (no pun intended). That moment though when someone sees that authentic portrait, the way their face lights up is magic. That’s what I get from it. Aesthetics aside, I see character in your photos that you’ve shared here. I don’t know if they are authentic or not, but the second one in this post seems like it shows a sliver of honesty. What do you think? The beautiful you that I see is in your thoughts and feelings that you share here. I look at the eyes in photos. As cliche as it is, the eyes are a kind of gateway to some truth. Subtle differences in expression show a lot. It’s up to the photographer to be respectful or kind. After all, it’s merely a moment frozen in time. I see sincerity in your photo.. And a few other things that have nothing to do with appearance. Those with a lot of external beauty can back it up with inner beauty or or not. As you said, the inner is what counts. I’ve known some people coming from a very dark and ugly place who at a glance are pleasing to the eye. So, for what it’s worth, you are beautiful. Take that however you want. 🙂

  2. Thank you for liking a bunch of my posts today. I’m 82 and find too much introspection is a waste of time. Your encouragement to others is gracious. Be well, new friend. I’m an author of Romance/Suspense with a theme of Survive & Thrive running through.

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