Today, I will leave it to others to speak to how powerful and important it is to love your body. I support that for others, but I'm self-involved enough as it is. I appreciate that I'm well-proportioned, that I am very healthy, that I have "good" hair. That works for me.
What I am very grateful for is getting comfortable with my body. I can look at it or think about it without much emotional baggage. (That is my latest favorite book title, Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim by Lisa Scottoline.) Getting older has been a large part of that; not only learning to dress my body but also learning to see the big picture of health and happiness. Nearly a year of photographing myself has also broken down a lot of layers of, well, shame isn't too strong a word. I hope I can explain this feeling.
I walk out the door having put a lot of thought into how I look in the aggregate sense; shopping carefully, weeding my closet, evaluating on a daily basis how everything looks through the camera lens. I get a regular haircut, I wear makeup, I exercise a bit, I try to smile more, I stand up straight (Mom would be proud). Not dissimilar to doing all the digging and raking and weeding and planting in your garden, and then sitting on your deck with a cold beer and enjoying the fragrant breeze.
But in the daily sense, I try not think too much about how I look. I trust that months of thoughtful clothing choices will do the heavy lifting, and good habits will also help out (see; posture and smiling), and then I stop wondering if anyone else is evaluating me.
That was impossible for me as a teenager. I thought everyone was watching and judging me. I doubt I would have believed anyone who told me differently. Maybe my peers were, but they were doubtless judging themselves much more harshly.
So that's my tiny nugget of wisdom. Do the prep work and then relax and enjoy the moment. You look just fine*.
* Thanks, Lyds!