Today my son decided to pull out some of the old home movies. I was usually the one behind the camera and there were two reasons for this:
- It was my camera and at the time I was not real good about sharing.
- It decreased the chances that I would actually appear on film.
Because I have always been self conscious about my appearance, any photos or videos that you will find of me have been against my will. I am not real sure when I went from a normal carefree child to one who was completely ashamed of my appearance, but it happened at a very early age. I can remember being as young as 7 or 8 and feeling as though I needed to diet. Well, I can tell you all about my childhood and my feeling as though I never fit in another time. This blog is about the most wonderful thing that happened to me today.
Back to my story. My son and I were watching all these videos from when he and his sisters were younger and somehow, all of a sudden there I was. Not just a head shot or a fleeting glimpse either. I full minute or so of me in all my glory waving at the camera. I am not real sure how the camera was wrestled out of my hands, but my son was only about 7 or 8 at the time and he was behind the camera.
I started crying. I have worked very hard to stay away from full length mirrors and any type of cameras for a very long time. At the very least I always managed to try to hide behind someone or something, so I had no idea that this existed. Frankly, I probably blocked it from my memory long ago because I truly have not liked myself since I was a child.
I wasn’t crying because I was in my pajamas or that I really looked a mess in this video. I was crying because of what my son said to me. Please keep in mind the video was from 2002 and I weighed roughly the same as I do now, or maybe slightly less. He said to me “Mom, look at how pretty you are!”
At first I thought I misunderstood him, he is 16 years old after all. I don’t usually get compliments from him anymore. So, I asked him to repeat it and he said it again. What? He thinks I am pretty? Why? I know when he was little he would always tell me how pretty I am, but small children think their mother is perfect. He is 16 now and he STILL thinks I am pretty. What is wrong with this boy!?
Well, it made me take a closer look. While I was large I was not nearly as horrible looking as I always felt I was. OK, I was in my pajamas and my hair was pulled back, but I was smiling and having fun with my family. To tell you the truth, I have not changed much. The only difference is I have grown tired of trying to hide from everyone, including myself.
In light of today’s revelation, I am going to try to dig out some of the old pics and see if I can find one or two where I am not hiding so I can really take a look at myself then, and now. I think that will help me be a better me in the future.