Top to bottom: Michelle, Fiona, Joanna, Avril, Natalie, Sue, Helen, Kat, Frances and Donna
10 women. Beautiful in many different ways. Uncountable unique attributes. Mother. Influencer. Wife. Daughter. Sister. The message I'm trying to get across is that they're Real Women. These photos were taken using available natural light. Other than the removal of a teeny tiny zit and saturation/exposure adjustments, NO extraordinary photoshop magic was applied. None of these women spent hours being primped within an inch of their life before the photo shoot (but they all had plenty to drink beforehand.....).
The blogosphere and in fact, every media platform is rife with unrealistic portrayals of THE perfect woman. You look at the photos and you think, darn it, I feel crap about myself. In reality, we can all look like that if we have a hair and make up team, personal trainer, dietician and incredible Photoshop mastery. Being in your 20s help especially when the body hasn't been stretched, snapped back, stretched.... during every pregnancy.
Here's what I've learned at this impromptu photo shoot:
1. Every woman looks at her photo and zooms in on her "flaws" (I have stumpy legs, I hate my face, I'm fat, I hate my teeth). Yet when I show the same photo to the others, the response was quite the opposite. They look at the overall photo and notice the positives (I wish I have her legs, did you see her startling blue eyes, gosh...would you look at the luminous skin, I wish I have her figure). Moral of the story? You're your worst critic and find flaws that others overlook.
2. The perfect woman doesn't exist. Keeping up with false pretenses is tiring. No one is infallible unless you're God.
3. No one on their deathbed ever said "I wish I had looked more beautiful." If anything, people remember how you'd made them feel.
4. We spend too much time worrying about our inadequacies when others spare us nary a thought. They're too busy worrying about theirs.
5. Your flaws are what make you relatable. And compassionate. And kind.
6. No one can walk in heels through cobbled lanes without looking like a drunkard navigating through a minefield. Myself included.
7. When you put yourself down the way you do, imagine your child doing the same. How heartbreaking is that to hear? They mimic their hero. That's you.
Now, tell me 3 things you like about yourself. I'll start with mine - lack of wrinkles (thanks, mom, grandma, great grandmother, great great grandmother!), my hair (losing it helps me appreciate it more) and language skills (I can mimic most accents well). What are yours?
p.s. don't forget you still have 5 days to enter the Monica Vinader giveaway. You don't need to pop your email address if you don't want to but remember to check back after the 9th of March.