A Tale of Two Photos

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It’s not every day I get ready in the morning and think, “I look good.” It may be more accurate to say this never happens. 

A few days ago I got ready using some new makeup. I was wearing a new top in a, particularly flattering color for my skin and hair. I completed the look with my beloved dark wash jean jacket. My newly purchased night cream, which touted radiant even-toned skin, seemed to be following through on its promise. And my crazy curls even managed to pile perfectly on top of my head held tight by a single jaw clip. 

Photo Number One 

I felt pretty. I don’t feel that way very often. It was refreshing and confusing all at the same time. 

So I did what anyone would do in the year 2021. I took a selfie near some natural light to capture the moment. I didn’t post it on any social media platform or text the image to anyone. It was just for me, surely to be deleted the next time my phone indicated that storage space was low. 

Still, I went to work feeling good about myself. Feeling confident. Feeling strong. 

When I arrived at work I was tickled to discover three of my besties had also shown up in dark wash jean jackets. So we did what anyone would do in the year 2021. We asked our friend (who clearly didn’t get the message to dress in denim) to snap our picture. 

Later that night, that friend posted the picture to social media and tagged me in the photo. 

Photo Number Two

Instantly I winced. It was a horrible picture of me. The worst. Immediately I started listing all the parts of the picture I hated. 

Thankfully, most of my face was covered with my mask, but that still left plenty of parts of my physical appearance to pick apart. The hair that I thought was perfectly piled looked like a poorly built bird’s nest. The perfectly selected shirt barely contained my double-bubble belly, and, per usual, I had the largest body size of any of the people in the picture. 

Yuck. 

I spent the rest of the night feeling horrible about myself. Feeling gross. Feeling ugly. 

A Clearer Picture

Worst part? The pictures were taken less than an hour apart. How could I go from loving the way I looked to despising the way I looked so quickly? 

Why am I so mean to myself? Why are we so mean to ourselves?

I find myself not knowing how to end this post. I don’t know how to do better, how to love the way I look in both photos. How to remember my worth is not attached to size, stomach bubbles, or hairstyles.    

I do know this, however, I didn’t think one negative thought about my friends who were pictured with me in the second photo. I didn’t pick them apart even a little bit. It’s clear I hold my physical self to an unrealistic standard of perfection that I would be embarrassed to apply to my friends.  

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Jessie is a talkative storyteller who enjoys making new friends. She is married to a Colorado native and together they have four beautiful children: Leela, Cora, Lincoln, and Theodore. Her oldest son is a pediatric-cancer survivor and caring for him has earned her the title of momcologist. A teacher by trade, Jessie loves to collaborate with others. In her free time Jessie enjoys movies and popcorn with her family, browsing the aisles at Target, and trying to find an excuse to eat out.

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