These photos are difficult for me to post. Until this last year I’ve struggled with skin that wasn’t clear, I didn’t have the “glow,” and had insecurities about looking at myself in photos or a mirror. I always felt prettier than I thought I looked. In my mind’s eye, the person in the mirror, with the broken skin, the baggy, dark rimmed eyes and the nose that got red whenever I was frustrated or ate something warm, that wasn’t me. Clearly. I always asked myself “why can’t I be the outward beauty that I feel? Why can’t people see that instead of… this?!”
This has caused me to hide behind my camera, my art. I photograph other people. Prettier people. I don’t like being in front of a camera. My own, and especially never another photographer’s. I tell my clients “You’re gorgeous, don’t worry! You’re amazing.” I never lie. I simply tell them the truths they refuse to believe.
I struggled with these photos this morning, even though I’m better, even though my skin is more clear. Even though I KNOW where my value lies. I still struggle with how huge my pores are on my nose. I spent the greater part of an hour worriedly un-blemishing my nose.
Clearing me up.
This is a lie.
I am beautiful.
No one else needs to see it (although they do), but I need to see it. I need to start seeing myself the way my husband sees me; drop-dead, all out, fucking sexy. Inside and out.
He uses words like “gorgeous, beautiful, ravishing, sexy.” He tells me I’m “brilliant, intelligent, clever, caring,” and “your heart is so big to help others.” He told me the other day that he will tell me I’m beautiful every day until I start believing him. He gently kissed me: “Then I’ll tell you twice a day.”
If I want my clients to believe me, I have to start believing what I’m selling. If I can’t trust him. If I can’t believe him. Who can I believe? He has tied himself to me, and I see the pain in his eyes when I shrug off his earnest compliments. It’s like I’m personally hurting him.
So here I am. Un-photoshopped, un-even skin, large pores, bump on my lip from plucking hair, unruly eyebrows, no makeup, and absolutely, 100% Lydia Gorgeous.
I will stop buying lies.
— xo Lydia