Mommy Mondays

**This week for Mommy Monday I planned to interview myself (insert narcissism here) ok not really interview..but tell you a little story about my weekend. Next week we resume with interviews from Mothers who are not me (see I'm generous) (yes I have had this planned all along)(in case you were wondering)(but you were not)(there is that narcissism again)**

As women I believe many of us have bought into a lie.

A lie about beauty, being Mothers, women..attaining perfection.
At some point in each and every one of our lives we have believed it.

Maybe it was when you read that first Cosmo article at a young impressionable age that promised..


Or the first time you saw your favorite movie star, 2 days post baby looking like a million bucks.

On Saturday I spent the day with 20 remarkable women. Women who posses a strength that comes only from knowing extreme adversity.

Women who have been victims of domestic violence.

For a few hours every year the YWCA in Spokane host a "Day of Beauty". Ladies are able to come in for a few hours of pampering, hair, make-up, nails and finally a photo (that is where I come in). It's a pretty awesome day. This year I walked away with some very strong emotions, mostly about the idea of our self worth as women.

Many of these ladies struggle with the idea of being worth something, really worth anything. They have bought into the lie. Many had not had their picture taken EVER, or very long ago. Who would they give it to? Why would anyone want a picture of me? Were just a few of the comments I heard.

They did not believe me when I told them they were beautiful..they had amazing smiles, glowing skin and pretty eyes.

One lady lifted her shirt to show us the bruises...she was new to the shelter, "I've only just come here, I'm hoping they can help me get back on my feet." My stomach churned with anger, fear and deep sadness.

I watched as they sat down..battling insecurity, battling the past, battling every negative horrible thing she had ever been told. My heart broke.

Then peeps, I got a little angry at us women. Ladies, I have a something to tell you...

God did not make a mistake when you were knit in your mother's womb.

Those thunder thighs? Not a mistake. Eyes too close together? Perfect.
My double chin??**sigh** Thanks a lot God, I really could have gone without that one.

I'm tired of the lie, tired of all the comparisons. The movie star in the magazine only looks that way for one reason..

Adobe Photoshop.

Because the reality is..the sex is not always amazing, and 2 days post baby I looked a little like the lady from the movie The Exorcist. (google it, it's UBER scary) I spend more time with my hands in dirty dish water than at a salon, the last time I shaved my legs was in a month that ended with "er", I eat too much when I'm upset (insert a mental picture of Amber shoveling chips down her gullet at rapid rates) and sometimes at night I cannot wait for my children to GET TO BED ALREADY!!

I met a lady on Saturday who was legally blind in one eye, her eyes did not track in the same directions..she was refreshingly honest and frank with me as we discussed the best way to capture her portrait. The thing is..when she smiled, both her eyes tracked the same direction..or at least it looked like they did.

It moved me, tears pricked and I saw the woman she once was in her eyes.

For those few moments she forgot about the lie, she knew she was beautiful, worth something, special, unique, not a mistake...fearfully and wonderfully made.

Really dear reader, there is not much that can compare to that kind of beauty.

One of my favorites from the day..NOT retouched.


Anonymous said…
That's beautiful, glad the day was full of meaning and life-changing! you're a blessing!
Sheila said…
What a privilege you have to inspire the women you photographed!
Wendy B said…
I am so glad that I know not to read these at work. I cry every time. You are one of those amazing woman.
Jamie Maupin said…
Oh gosh, I really needed that. Great post!
Beth E-R said…
I think I have an idea of how old you are chronologically, but when it comes to having wisdom and compassion, you are an old soul. With an absolutely immense heart.
Julene said…
You inspire me Amber. Great post!
Valerie said…
Your words are as beautiful as the portraits you take. God bless you and all whose lives you touch.

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