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This Is What You Look Like

by Jessica Amey

I am extremely un-photogenic.

I like to think HOPE that I look better in real life than I do in photos.

When we were at school, and at the age where we thought playing tricks on each other was funny, my friends decided that donating three of the most horrific photos of me to our yearbook would be funny. I can’t say it made me laugh, in fact I ripped out the three pages I was on, then later did the same to Mr C’s (we went to school together) – yes they were THAT bad.

Then there was the time I heard about how a guy in the year above at school had seen a photo of me and made a comment along the lines of ‘nice body, shame about the face’ – as it goes this guy looks like an Ooompa Lumpa so I have no idea why it stuck in my mind but that’s the thing about negative comments. They get remembered over all the positives ones.

Anyway this isn’t a post about me feeling sorry for myself because I don’t.

I have issues with how I look, and some days it’s worse than others, but that’s nothing new. It is a sad fact that even the most beautiful women in the world have days where they feel ugly.

The thing about photos is that all you have to go on is appearance. It’s actually people’s personalities that decide whether they are beautiful or not but you can’t see that in a photo. All you can see is their physical flaws, photos are very un-forgiving.

I have reached the point now where I don’t avoid the camera. It’s still difficult when I look at photos of myself and see things I don’t like but at the end of the day, it’s me and I am (usually) okay with what I look like. As a parent, I have to be, I have a responsibility to Cherry to be happy with myself because I don’t want to be responsible for her not being happy with herself when she is older. I read such a lovely blog post recently about how important it is to tell your daughters that you are beautiful as well of just telling them that they are, it makes such sense.

Pregnancy is a time when I think you have to just get in front of the camera, because no matter how crap you feel at the time, there will be a point in the future where you want to look back and remember how bloody amazing your body is. This is why when my friend, who is building up her photography portfolio, asked to photograph me throughout my pregnancy I agreed.

It was difficult to look at the photos at first as all I could see were the things I didn’t like about myself, shining out at me like a bright light, but now I can see the changes my body is going through, I am so pleased I will have these photos to look back on in the future. When I am sure I would do anything to be this age again!

Here are some of the photos that were taken when I was 14 weeks, the funny thing is that at the time I thought I had a bump but looking back now I can’t believe how flat my tummy was!

And here are some of the photos from when I was 22 weeks….

I would say the last one is the most difficult to look at because I can see at least five things that I don’t like about myself, but at the same time that photo has captured me laughing and it would be incredibly sad if I didn’t like looking at myself when I’m happy.

I’m not going to point out the things I see because I know a lot of it might not even be visible to other people, I know I shouldn’t even complain because there is nothing ‘that’ wrong with my appearance but we can’t help how we feel in our heads. Looking at these photos does help though because the more I look at them, the more okay I feel about myself. It’s good therapy!

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