I guess I can call yesterday a success. I didn't eat any junk food, I didn't have any soda (or 'pop' now that I live in the south,) and for my birthday dinner I skipped the bread, crackers and appetizers and dessert. Win.
Today, I want to share something I wrote a few years ago. It was titled "It's not just you." I think I was on to something there but I never really went beyond that article. Maybe It was because I published it on my photography blog under my "personal" section, or maybe it was because I was not ready. Either way, reading through it I can see how little has actually changed regarding my feelings toward myself. I had great intentions but it remained the same. Eventually I fell down again. But It is time to try to pick myself up again. They say diet is 90-95% of the battle. I am going to say that your state of mind is 99%, diet and exercise are the remainder. Unless you are ready to do this, you will fail. I am ready. Let's do this
Ken and Barbie. Oh and He-Man too
I was reading a blog post the other day about Barbie. Someone created a doll who has a body shape represents REAL WOMEN! Wow, finally. After all we don't need our daughters playing with a doll that creates unrealistic expectations of what women should look like. And when she is in her Barbie dream car with the perfectly fit and chiseled Ken doll, she is will be smiling from ear to ear. One thing that I find interesting, no one seems to be outraged by Ken. I guess most boys are too busy with other toys, like He-Man. Not too unrealistic I guess. I mean most guys have massive muscularity like him, right ? Well thank goodness I outgrew He-Man quickly for WWF (now WWE) wrestling. Wait, those guys are pretty fit (for the most part) as well. I guess my point it that men and women are not so different after all.
Fact: Men have body issues. Myself included. Sometimes I look in the mirror and I don't like what I see. Maybe its my hair, or maybe I put on a few pounds this year. Either way something is not right. But I am a guy, guys don't say those kinds of things, do they ? After all, we are supported to be the stereotypical alpha male. I mean, that is what society says we should be, isn't it ? Well it turns out I am not alone. There are so many men out there that feel that same way, but you almost never hear about it. It makes us sound weak, like we are less of a man. Ridiculous. Because we are men, we are always expected to be confident , strong, and masculine. Again, ridiculous.
FACT: I am photographer. I hate photos of myself.
Except selfies of course. Laugh if you will. Those are the photos I can control. I know exactly how I am going to look. I know the right angle, the right lighting and the right expression. Anything else is unacceptable. And it only takes 10-15 tries. Although over the past few weeks, I realized I would rather have amazing photos with friends than sit and worry about how bad I look in them. Progress.
What I am slowly starting to understand.
The mirror is not a reflection of who I really am. It is not a reflection of how people see me.
I have confidence. (At least that is what other people tell me.)
I am a product of my environment. People affect who I am and how I feel. Negativity is a virus.
As a photographer I am proud of the images I create. Every single image is important to me.
So why am I writing about this ? What made me feel so strong about this topic that I put it out there for the world to see ? I feel there are just too many men like me. Men who keep everything to themselves, or maybe share their feelings with just a select few people. It does not make you less of a man to feel this way. Just understand that you are not alone. And for those guys out there that have all confidence in the world. I applaud you. Maybe it’s not you that I am writing about. Maybe it’s your brother, your best friend, or even your son.
Every day I learn a little more about myself. Every day I understand what really makes me happy. Those are the things that I am learning to dominate my thoughts. Eventually, that reflection in the mirror won’t matter at all.