My vulnerable year

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.

58 years old and out of shape
One year ago

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.

Last week

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.

Jessica Janis Johnson shared a completely naked photo of herself in a beautifully written piece on shame and courage.

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.

It just may be freeing.

Reader Comments

  1. Sherry

    I absolutely resonate with this. We all struggle with self acceptance and insecurities and I love how you are embracing YOU!

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Thank you Cindy!!

      Isn’t it interesting that we all (at least I’m pretty sure) struggle with our own self love!?

  2. Lana

    Congratulations on your anniversary. I love this post and everything you’re doing. Due to a difficult upbringing, I have never liked myself very much, let alone loved myself. Since my father’s passing a few years ago, I’ve done a lot of soul searching and work on myself – and I’m finally starting to heal. One of my favorite quotes is “courage is not freedom from fear – it’s being afraid and going on anyway”. It’s hanging in my kitchen so I see it every day – might need to post that on IG today! Thank you for a beautiful post.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Lana, thank you so much for sharing this. I so appreciate hearing your story too.

      I think we all struggle with some form of self-love, and it does take courage to keep going!

  3. Cindy Perkins

    Your blog is perfect today! Loretta, we need more women like you to represent for us! Keep up this most excellent work!

  4. Hilda Smith

    Loretta, I saw the pic on FB earlier and wanted to read the post before I commented. Well done, you are an inspiration and you are beautiful. As I wrote before I love your honesty and openness. Thank you… xxx

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Hilda, thank you. I appreciate you taking the time to read it. My goal wasn’t to shock people, as much as to get people to sit up and take note.

      You have been so kind to encourage me and continue to follow my progress! Xx

  5. Dawn Dacquisto

    I so agree and love this post! I am actually working with these same things – which of course would not surprise you. Keep writing. Love!!! xx, dd

  6. Angie

    Love this Loretta, so much💋 Also because it fits so totally right in with my upcoming book “ReBelle Me. Discover the magic of your Yes.
    l would love to find a way to work together, help each other and spread the word of a new amazing confidence and revealing the art we truly are.

  7. Amy Kennedy

    Loretta,
    You are so authentic, and your heart is so kind and caring for women. I loved your post! You are a powerful writer, and your message is life changing. This quote literally took my breath away because I and so many others I know have felt this very thing: “All the while the inner us is screaming out to be heard and seen and accepted.” Bravo! Well done!

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Amy, thank you so much for this. It truly is from my heart, and I’m lucky that this last year has taught me so much about speaking from the heart.

      You picked my favorite line in the entire blog post…we just want to be seen and heard!! Xx

  8. Julie Augustyn

    Everything you stated Loretta is why reading your blogs make it so interesting, so relatable and keeps me coming back! Even though you say you’re not brave I still think you are because you’re willing to share so much about yourself and all aspects of your life.

    You’re beautiful just the way you are…Happy Anniversary!

  9. Wendy Allott

    Well done Loretta. It’s such a pleasure and a privilege to be reading your story. It’s nice to know that when we expose our vulnerable hearts, we do get love in return.

  10. Leslie Clingan

    Yay YOU!! In so many ways, yay YOU!! And yay me, too! I am finally learning to love myself after years of listening and taking to heart the negative talk inside my head. It is still there but being drown out now by positive affirmation that I am pretty ok.

    Would love to take a photo like this one. But still scared. Maybe someday. Thank you for sharing your journey, for your encouragement to all of us. Just look at these comments and see the lives you have touched.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Thank you Leslie…you have been such a great supporter of mine, and I so appreciate it. I totally understand the negative self talk, and the struggle to shut her up!!

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