Today someone found a picture of me online. I was actually on the phone with him looking at websites, when suddenly I saw this horrible picture of myself in a photo gallery we were both browsing. It was a candid photo I did not even know was being snapped. I sat there silently praying he wouldn't see the picture, but he found it. "There you are," he said. "Ugh," I thought. Yes, there I am looking like a scary monster.
When my photographer took my headshot photos, we went through about three or four rolls of film. Some of the developed photos were just awful. The photographer told me the first roll and a half would be unflattering and awkward until I got used to working with the camera, and she was right. The photo I use on this blog was one of the last photos she took that day. Although I didn't select that photo for my headshots, I really like it. I wish I looked that way all the time, but I don't.
Wanting people to see you looking your best is normal. Letting someone see you when you aren't at your best can be so hard. Especially when you want to impress them.
Juju laughs at me when I come out of my room in the morning. Because my hair is a bit longer right now, it looks crazy when I get out of bed. Imagine a cross between a muppet and Kramer. Or a really beat up paintbrush with the bristles all twisted and protruding. Yet, I feel completely comfortable with Juju and don't mind if she sees me like that. And I have seen her in a hospital bed with tubes inserted in her body and looking weak and pale. But I'm glad we can see each other looking, shall we say, not so hot.
One of my blogger friends wrote me recently and said, "Isn't it funny how we spend so much time looking for just the right pictures that present us in the best light possible, when in fact the lighting is rarely ever that perfect, our skin is never that clear, and our abs are never that flat..."
Yes, it is funny. And a little sad too. I really want to get over this feeling that I need to apologize for my appearance. It is easy for me to tell other people not to be insecure about how they look, but I struggle with the same feelings they do. I need to start taking my own advice.
When you grow up overweight, it is so hard to let go of your fat self. Even when you lose the weight, you have to work so hard at not walking around like you are still fat. I have to constantly remind myself not to slouch, although working out and strengthening my torso has helped me tremendously. It is easier to stand tall and proud when your muscles don't feel flabby. Actually, it is impossible for me to stand anything but tall since I am 6'6". But because of years of wanting to be invisible, I still have to work at keeping my shoulders back and my head up.
I hope that I keep learning how to be proud of my body. This summer will certainly help. I am appearing in a show that scares the hell out of me. And I don't really want people to see me naked, but if I don't get over this I will never let go of the past.
Today is a new day. I let go of my insecurities as of this moment, and I will no longer be ashamed. My body is not perfect, and I am not perfect. But I can't hide it anymore. I am proud! I am confident! I am Hot Toddy!
But I'm still not telling you where to find that candid photo of me.