A few days ago, I posted this photo of myself on my personal Facebook page to show off my new haircut:
Courtesy of my husband—both the photo, and the haircut.
I thought it was a pretty good picture (lighting and color balance issues aside, but that is what Photoshop is for), and I liked the manner in which it did indeed show off my shorter hair. I was also partially trying to forestall as many in-person exclamations as possible of, “It’s so short!” from people who I don’t see often. Posting this picture showed me two things:
- I apparently need to take spur-of-the-moment headshots in my PJs more often
- I finally have the ability to agree with people when they tell me I look beautiful
As I think I’ve mentioned, I’ve spent a fair portion of my life not feeling especially beautiful. People would earnestly tell me I was, and I would smile politely and thank them…and die a little on the inside every time. I don’t think I quite realized that until this blog post began forming in my head, because I would always try to shove that feeling down and ignore it. …not that doing so would stop me from wallowing in self-pity at some point in the future.
But this photo? This photo received over fifteen Likes from various friends, which is a lot for something I post, and some of the people who Liked it are not people who normally Like my posts (please note, friends, that I find nothing wrong with lurking, as it’s called—and because it’s Facebook, who’s to say you actually get to see everything any of your friends post, anyway?). This photo also elicited comments such as, “Wow”. I don’t know that I’ve ever been the subject of that kind of “wow” before.
And you know what? For the first time, I think I agree. Timidly. Cautiously. Because who knows what will happen tomorrow? But that day, for at least the span of time it took to take that photograph, I fit my definition of beauty. And as we are so often told by wistfully-captioned stock photos on Facebook, loving oneself is of the ultimate importance. (And really, it is—I think I’ve mentioned that before, too.)
It is very soul-feeding, very validating, to receive such an overwhelming positive response from such a simple photograph, and completely unsolicited. Thank you, friends, for being my friends. You just made some part of me feel whole.