One year ago I decided to let it all hang out, literally and figuratively.
In my first blog post I decided to “expose the truth” and get real. We live in this fast paced social media world filled with false beauty and unrealistic expectations, and I wanted to challenge that.
And, while I haven’t been the protagonist in some great movement towards freedom from perfection, I have noticed others have slowly joined in. I’ve seen photos of women who normally only show glamour shots, now embracing and encouraging a few “stripped down” versions of themselves.
Last week I posted a photo of my face, not only without makeup but also when my rosacea had flared up. I got a lot of attention for that photo, and a few #brave messages.
I not only didn’t feel brave, I didn’t see why it would be considered a brave act.
When was the last time some guy posted a photo of his naked face and anyone thought he was brave?
It is my opinion that we must change our definition of beauty. When we only post the overly made up, highly produced photos, we are acting no differently than those advertisers trying to peddle their wares by telling us what beauty is.
After my initial post, I then started digging deep to find my own inner beauty and acceptance. I was honest and forthright and most of all, vulnerable.
And perhaps that is what it all comes down to: vulnerability.
We hide behind our clothes and our hair and makeup and even our personas, and hope that no one sees the real us. All the while the inner us is screaming out to be heard and seen and accepted.
An interesting thing happened for me during this year’s journey. I stepped out from behind the façade I had built and decided to find me, and to share my discovery with you. And I was so rewarded for it.
You said not only is it okay to be me, but that you admired me too. But more importantly, I found out I’m okay with me. I’m not brave or courageous. I’m just a woman who has been through a lot and have more than enough bruises to show for it.
And we all have bruises and bumps, which just makes us more beautiful.
I’m not the first and certainly not the only woman who has shared her “truths” with the world.
Jeanie Marsh-Dawson, from the UK, posed nude with two other women in a national magazine article on empowerment. She posed with an 87-year-old WWII survivor and a 30-year-old vitiligo sufferer who had given birth just one week prior to the shoot.
Jeanie also wrote a beautiful love letter to herself for the article.
So here I am, one year later, ready to continue on and encourage others to do the same. I invite you to step into vulnerability, and show yourself and the world who you are.