I was an ugly kid. I’m not kidding. I had red hair (a curse for a child) that I kept chopped into a short boyish cut because it closely resembled an afro. I had freckles, braces, and thick brown ugly glasses. Throw in being a total tom boy, a bit on the nerdy side, and all of my clothes were second hand. It doesn’t do much for the self-esteem.
I grew up knowing I was smart and not pretty. I was fine with it. It served me well in many aspects in my life. However, I have never been fully comfortable with my looks. I think many people feel this way and struggle being comfortable in our own bodies. I am forever a work in progress and as I grow older I am really trying to work on accepting my body and being comfortable in my own skin.
This body has served me well. It has carried me around the world. I have danced, I have hiked, I have swam, I have created and nourished another human being. I do love my body. I also still catch a twinge of self consciousness when put in front of a camera. I don’t know how to act. I don’t know how to “be” pretty the way some women seem to just instinctly know.
A photographer friend of mine, Tom Styrkowicz, is working on a new project. It is called the RedHead Experiment. He asked if he could photograph me for the project. I agreed. I knew it would be awkward for me simply because I feel awkward being in front of the camera. Tom always has a way of making a person feel comfortable though.
I actually had a great time. We had fans blowing and it was easier to be natural when I knew the focus was more on my hair. As a result, we ended up with some great shots, and he chose this one as his cover image!
I’m sure being comfortable and accepting of my physical appearance will be a lifetime pursuit, but moments like these make it a little easier (and fun)!