Friday, July 3, 2009


This morning as i read through my reader i found an entry that hit home. Nell @ Casual Friday Everyday wrote a post about body image and how we see ourselves. She talked about how her own opinion of herself has changed over the years and how she has become happy with herself. i ask her if she would mind a piggy back post and with her blessing here we go!

This is me at 15. It was the summer after my Mom passed away. My Aunt Kay and my Dad had taken me and a friend to Disney and to Florida to see my Grandma and Aunt Linda. It was a good trip but my mind was all messed up. It would take me many years after that to get myself together and realize how special I really was/am.

I had huge body image issues. I remember people (especially guys) telling me how beautiful i was and how unique and special i was. It just didn't add up for me.

When i looked in the mirror i saw a girl who was too wide in the hips and had thunder thighs plus a bubble butt. My nose was crooked, my eyes were a boring green/hazel, my lips were not full or plump, I had no exotic look of some of my friends, and i was not the perfect size 2, blond haired, blue eyes, well dressed, preppy girl. I, in my reflection, was plain Jane. There was nothing special about me.

This is me at 18 right before i graduated high school. Of all the pictures i have of myself this is one of my favorites now. I think it speaks an honesty that only a lens can capture. I see hurt and pain in the eyes of a young girl who wants to be beautiful like she sees others to be. Only now do i see how beautiful i was in my own unique way.

At the time i tore this picture apart. I had a fat role on the back of my neck, my nose was too big, my eyes too far apart, my lips to pouty. You will not find a picture in the bunch that shows below my chest as i thought i was so fat. I was at my skinniest in years here in a size 8 and 160 lbs.

I hid my pain and insecurity behind a ton of makeup, revealing clothes, and a "I'm the Stuff" attitude. I had just about any boy or girl i wanted wrapped around my finger. I could fool anyone with my "I'm Hot and Sexy" attitude. Everyone but me! I felt empty. I felt alone and sad. As much as i tried to hide it i was insecure and vulnerable.

This is me at 19 the night before i went into labor with Phabian. I cant explain exactly what happened to me over those 37 weeks that i carried that special baby boy in my belly, but something in me changed.

I felt alive, i felt rejuvenated, and most of all i felt beautiful. Maybe it was the act of giving life and bringing it into the world. Maybe it was the fact that I had a husband who adored me and wouldn't dare even think of looking at another woman. Or maybe it was just a maturity i had never known before taking over me.

After the birth my body changed. I had stretch marks on my belly, i was heavier than i had been in years, and my body was anything but normal. But i was a mom! When i held that baby in my arms i knew i was perfect and that he saw nothing but beauty and perfection when he looked at me. Somehow i knew it too! I knew i was special and wanted and beautiful in all my stretched out, flabby glory!

Here i am at 23! This is one of the most recent pictures i have of myself. I was preparing to go out with my husband to a Valentines Day Party. I don't normally wear makeup and when i do i usually don't like it as much as i do when i am just my plain Jane beautiful self.

I still have my days where i think i am fat or my self image slips, but to counteract that i have 2 handsome boys and a husband that remind me how beautiful i am. I will never be a size 2 as i don't think it is even in me to be that small. I will always be stripped by stretch marks to remind me of the lives i have brought into this world. I will never be a blond haired, blue eyes, preppy girl, nor will i be an exotic beauty.

What i will be is the beautiful girl with the crooked nose, normal lips, green/hazel eyes, boring brown hair, wide hips, thunder thighs, bubble butt, strech marks, and flab. The things is that now i don't mind. I embrace who i am because if i don't who else will. I love me for me and i understand that i am the only person like me. No one else will ever take my place and that is exactly how i want it.

A big thank you to Nell @ Casual Friday Everyday for allowing me to piggy back her post today and inspiring to give myself a look over today and tell myself how beautiful i am. Thank You!


casual friday every day said...

Such a beautiful post, Courtney. Motherhood has a way of making us feel alive and beautiful. And you are!


Brittany said...

I think I need to do this...take a step back and really look at myself ya know ?
I may copy you later and do my own version of this post. I hope you don't mind !!
You inspire me so much.