Thursday, April 25, 2013

How Do YOU See Yourself??

Hello Dear Blog Readers,
I want to share something that had me thinking a lot...

Face Value
Some of you might remember the fascinating photography project I participated in last summer, called Face Value: Mirror Portraits by Juan Luis Garcia. I have been watching the progress of Juan's project through his Facebook page of the same name.

Last week Juan posted a video that is highly connected with his concept of his photography project, but this video is created by Dove, purveyors of soap and skin care for (mainly) women. I saw this same video linked at the blog of my blog buddy Kat from I Saw You Dancing and I knew it was a sign that this message needs to get out there...

Juan's project does ask the question 'what do we see when we look into the mirror' and his intimate photography session poses many other thought-provoking questions throughout the photo session. One of the questions I received during our photography shoot was about lipstick and my feeling about wearing it. I had a story I shared with him, that I will share at the end of this post.

Dove 'Real Beauty Sketches' Short Film
Last week, Juan posted this video made by Dove about a similar project that involves portraits, but they are drawn portraits and they are drawn two times, each time under different circumstances. This project uses women for the portrait subjects and it is a fascinating process. Please watch this video to see what I mean, and we'll talk more about it:

What do YOU See in The Mirror?
This video is SO poignant because it holds the truth that we as women are often our own worst enemies for so many reasons, for so many arenas. We are so hard on ourselves and we don't need to be, but I have always wondered, "Why am I so hard on myself?"

When I see/hear my friends being hard on themselves, I remind them of how amazing they are, as I'm sure you do when your friends go to that place, yet, we have such trouble doing this for ourselves...and we shouldn't.

We are all on the path of Life and we all have our struggles, as well having our joys (which makes Life more bearable!) so why we do make our lives harder than they need to be by being so hard on ourselves?

One thing that helps me to remind myself of my fabulous-ness is my creativity. I truly feel that each thing I create really helps me with my self-worth and my self-value, whether it's binding a book, making an art journal page, sewing a skirt or creating a special gift for a friend.

I will admit that as I get older it's not always easy to see the changes that are taking shape in my face and my body, yet I try to remember that it is part of Life, this aging, and I try to accept it as gracefully as I can...

I 'think' I look old in this picture, but I know my playful personality is shining through and that is a good 'youth serum' =-)

It is not always easy to retain a strong hold on your self-worth in a culture that holds beauty standards that are hard for many of us to achieve. I certainly can't do anything about the fact that:
  • I am a Hispanic with dark skin with dark hair to match
  • I am prone to moles - its hereditary!
  • I am short
  • I have slim hips with large breasts and no waist that makes me look like a 'sausage with boobs' ;)
But I do have:
  • Very capable hands that can sew a lovely garment, bake a quiche and give a firm handshake
  • I have a keenly inquisitive mind that loves information of all kinds!
  • A whimsical sense of humor that loves to laugh and make others laugh in turn

I urge you to make a list of your admirable qualities and your capabilities TODAY, as a reminder of just how fabulous you really are, regardless of the beauty standards going on in our world today. I want you to make your list because it is WHAT WE DO and HOW WE INTERACT in the world that truly makes us all beautiful, not just what we look like as the video above so aptly shows us.

Lipstick: To Wear or Not

Me, wearing lipstick for some self-portraits I felt inspired to create while playing with this colorful yarn

So, now that you have read thorough my blog post, here is my story about lipstick and my feelings about it...

Back in my youth (late teens, early twenties), I was not very keen on wearing lipstick. It was fun to have the color on my lips, but I never really liked the feel of lipstick and it would always fade as the day wore on, especially after eating a meal. For me, I could take it or leave it.

At that time, I had a boyfriend who had different feelings about lipstick - he insisted I wear it every time we went out and he would literally say to me "Where are your lips?" if did not have any lipstick on at all.

Of course I always thought, "Last time I checked, my lips were still on my face!" ;)

I shared a story with Juan Luis about how this boyfriend actually sulked one day he picked me up because I wasn't wearing lipstick...true story!

Needless to say, this fellow did not last long in my turned out he had some old fashioned ideas about how women should look and he actually told me:

"I don't care what she does, but I want my woman to look great when she greets me at the door"

I said:
"So, it's okay if the house is a mess, the kids are screaming and there is no dinner on the table, as long as she looks great when you get home?!?"

That is exactly what he meant and what he wanted...true story!

This is not a mold I would easily fit into, so this fellow was eventually given his walking papers, but my personal debate on wearing lipstick is still in flux. My own dear boyfriend is not keen on the texture of kissing lipstick, so I keep it to a minimum around him and I am okay with that, because I know I don't need lipstick but I do like wearing it from time to time...

Besides, I think a smiling face is the best beauty enhancement, with or without lipstick!

Thank you for stopping by my blog and for reading. There is more goodness coming so be sure to stay tuned!

Many thanks to Juan Luis Garcia for my Face Value portrait and thanks to both Juan Luis and Kat for linking to this amazing short film; please share it with the fabulous women in your life and remember to embrace the beautiful being that you are!

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