I’m entirely too old to be taking a selfie. But, for some reason, this morning, I did.
And, it happened because I was trying to add some flair to my hair (yes, you can steal that from me) by adding one little tiny braid. I’ve watched Youtube videos to get cool styles out of my long locks, but this is really all I can muster with three kids. Remember, how my blog is really awesome? Maybe I will do a tutorial later…
But, as I was adding my hair flair, all I could see was gray. Lots of it. So, I decided to take a picture of those gray hairs for some reason (and maybe I need a little dandruff shampoo also). Do you see them??
And, then I took a selfie. I hate that word, by the way. But, it is what it is.
And, THEN, I studied that selfie on the computer. In a large size. And the thoughts began:
“Is this facebook worthy? No.”
“Look at those wrinkles!”
“Why does one tooth look darker than the other?”
I was picking myself apart. So, I started looking at the editing options on my computer. Crop. Check (you don’t want to see the rest of my bathroom, I’m sure). What other things could I do? Enhance. Retouch. Effects. Adjust. Those were my options.
Under Effects, I found another set of options. I liked the one titled antique. It softened me up a bit. Ironic that I was “antiquing” myself. My birthday is coming up at the end of this month. I will be 36. Far from an antique in the true sense of the word, but I feel like I’m starting to age.
One day, I WILL be an antique, though. We all will. While an antique is technically given in reference to furniture, I think it can apply to people as well. Some of us are lucky enough to live to 100 and beyond, right? But, when you look at the definition of an antique, it says, “A collectible object such as a piece of furniture or work of art that has a high value because of its considerable age.”
Here I was staring at my aging face in the mirror this morning and giving it anything BUT value. And, wikipedia goes into more detail:
An antique (Latin: antiquus; “old”, “ancient”) is an old collectable item. It is collected or desirable because of its age, beauty, rarity, condition, utility, personal emotional connection, and/or other unique features. It is an object that represents a previous era or time period in human society.
How would it be to look in the mirror and see my face as desirable BECAUSE of those things?
I started really thinking about that. I am unique. I am rare. I do have a personal emotional connection to those lines, wrinkles, and gray hairs. Yet, do I see it? Do I assign my aging face the value it deserves? No.
Instead, I pick. I scrutinize, and I think of how I can change something on a computer to make me look like something other than I am.
How often have we wished we could crop something in real life (Hello!?? I would definitely do some cropping around the mid-section and thighs).
How often have we wanted to enhance those things we DO like about ourselves?
How often would we like to just adjust a little here, and add some special effects there?
We’re all guilty of not seeing the value of the beauty that lies right in front of us.
So, I force myself to take another look and look for the beauty instead. I see hair that has never been colored. I’ve always liked it just the way it is. Maybe, I will be one of those women that goes gray and just leaves it that way.
I see teeth that never had braces.
I see eyes that show that I smile and laugh a lot.
I see someone who is healthy.
I don’t see frown lines.
I see a person who has changed a lot in 36 years, and is still changing, and growing. And, hopefully becoming something of beauty.
I see something special. If I force myself. If I make the effort. Granted, I have make-up on, so that helps, but baby steps, right?
And, we all can. It’s easy to pick apart. What’s hard is to find the beauty in something that has true value. Deep, meaningful value. I see a child of God. A person with talents, hopes, dreams, and love. I can see the rare, the beautiful, and the unique. If I really look.
It’s something that takes practice.
We all wish for that editing software in real life. But, why put our time and effort into editing that which is already beautiful? Would you do that to a photo that you already love? No way. You would proudly display #nofilter alongside it.
So maybe the question is, do we love ourselves enough to be proud when there is no filter there? When there is no editing being done?
I think we should all be trying a little harder to just see what is already in front of us.
A beautiful person that is getting better with age. Maybe not by the world’s standards of beauty, but by what matters most.
If only we could all embrace ourselves a little more. Jack can do it. Can you?