It’s time to Love my Spanxless Make Up Free Self the Same Way I Love My Smokey Eye Self

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This image is one of my favorite pictures from my most favorite photo shoot.   I mean- it is everything I want to look like…dramatic eye, smooth complexion, windblown hair…  This is…….not what I look like today and even 11 years ago when this was taken, I didn’t look like this in the “before”shot.  I remember my friend and now very successful celebrity make up artist, Jamie Greenberg did my make up for headshots and came with me to the shoot.  Afterwards, we played around and took some other vamped up shots for fun .   She transformed me and achieved this eye with nothing but a Q-tip, an eyeliner pencil, and her finger. This woman is GENIUS.   The photographer, Gabriel Goldberg ,  brilliant and successful as well, has  worked with some of the biggest iconic stars.  I feel so fortunate to have done a few shoots with these two before they became some of the most sought after artists in their fields . This is my “with the right team, you too can look incredibly glamorous “ picture.  This is me with exquisite make up and extraordinary photography with some post-production editing going on.

It’s no secret to those who know me that I  have beaten up my body for as long as I can remember. I have punished it and shamed it and blamed it for ruining much of my adolescence ….like pool parties, and prom dress shopping and then later-  headshots and auditions. It’s all my body’s fault for not being skinny enough and it’s my nose’s fault for not being small enough….Right?   And the thing is, I don’t know why exactly. I was the one putting this pressure on myself. Was it all the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit pictures that adorned my brother’s room? Was I just comparing myself to Elle McPherson and Cindy Crawford every bathing suit season?  Was it the models in my Seventeen Magazine staring at back at me as I flipped through?  WHY?? I had parents who loved me and encouraged me in everything I pursued, be it academics or the arts or even my attempt at sports… I remember my mother giving me countless pep talks (mostly in fitting rooms) telling me I was smart and beautiful and funny….But for some reason, this pressure to look perfect never went away.

Recently, my dear friends from college invited me to do a photo shoot to use for my blog and to help me grow this idea of mine.  They have a flourishing photography business in New York and had some work here in La. (I am so grateful to my husband who convinced me to go out and meet them on a very rainy LA night…sometimes when it rains here, you feel like it’s the apocalypse , really you do) I felt so honored to reconnect with them after all these years . Their very presence breathed life into me. For anyone that has been to drama school- these are some of the people that I went through it with… They have seen my soul torn apart

and left on a rehearsal room floor!

I don’t look glamorous in these shots. That wasn’t the purpose of this particular shoot.  But, in many of them, especially the ones with Issy, I look really happy. Excited.  Positive.  When I first scrolled through the proofs though, I could feel myself getting slightly  disappointed that I didn’t magically look like a super model with my normal everyday make up and a Spanxless frame. But I refused to do that to myself again, I looked at my smile and I could feel my energy come through. I am genuinely filled with joy.  And I decided … I decided-  you will no longer hate yourself. Today you will start loving yourself. If not now at 41, when??? How many more years do you have left to go through life loving and appreciating this vessel that carries your soul??  I am so tired of hating myself.  I am so tired of telling myself I look too fat or too soft  or too pale … Its just- IT’S ENOUGH.  Can I start thanking my body for showing up FOR ME??  Through all of my verbal abuse towards my physical self- bulimia.. crazy diet pills- can I just finally love and accept myself and say thank you. THANK YOU body for generously carrying my soul through this life for 41 years. Thank you for being so strong and carrying my child for 9 months and going through 36 hours of labor… It’s as if I have been the worst boss and all of my organs and flesh are my employees and  despite my terrible attitude, they still show up to work everyday. Imagine that …

I realized, my heart beats every second of everyday of every month of every year for me. Isn’t it time I appreciate that?

 

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.

-Buddha

 

One of the proofs of Issy and I from the shoot with my friends from Dirty Sugar Photography

IssymeDS

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