Sunday, July 08, 2012

Visible Monday: Why I'm Taking Pictures of Myself

Those of us who are my age all remember when women decided at around 40 that they were done trying to look attractive. They spent the rest of their days in polyester pants and shapeless tops. Not for me.

I often take a pic of myself in my car, just before I leave for work--when the look is fresh (my neighbors may think I'm crazy!)
Believe it or not, there was a time when I really didn't know what I looked like.

This was a period of several years, in fact.  I was some 50 pounds heavier than I am now.

I knew I was fat.  I could tell that by looking in the mirror.  But I had no grasp on my actual appearance.  I kind of had no body image at all.  I really couldn't close my eyes and imagine what I looked like to others.

I tried not to be photographed.  This was before digital cameras, before people were taking pictures left and right, so it was relatively easy to disappear when a camera turned up.

When you're fat, you tend to only look at yourself in the mirror from the neck up, and even then you may not realize just how fat your face is--I know I didn't.

Fast forward to the present.  I am still overweight, but I have a clearer image of what I look like.  I see the faults--the ones that can't be changed--and the things that can and should be changed.

After my sister gave me a bunch of her clothes, I texted a pic of myself to her when I wore them

Awakened by blogs

At some point, I made a conscious decision to do everything within my power to be the best woman-of-my-age that I can be, physically and otherwise.

I think it really began in earnest when I was unemployed for a while, and I started watching make-up and hair tutorials and following fashion blogs.

I enjoyed them immensely and learned a lot, but there was just one problem.  The blogs and tutorials were pretty much all by young women.  Let's face it--young women have a leg up in this whole beauty thing because they ARE young!

So I was delighted to discover blogs by women closer to my own age, some even older, who were determined not to just lay down and die when it came to beauty and fashion.

Most of those blogs are ones that take part in the very bloghop I'm taking part in today...Visible Monday,  hosted by Not Dead Yet Style.  I love the title of that blog, and I love the subtitle: "how to look authentic and beautiful in our middle years."

I was actually wearing a pony tail in this pic--not sure how it didn't show up in this pic, but it wasn't a good look for me!  I felt it made me look frumpy


These are women who are determined to look their very best, regardless of their age, size...whatever.

At first, I was hesitant to post pictures of myself "modeling" an outfit I put together.  I'm no expert on style, and I'm certainly not a model.

But reading these blogs has energized me.  I am more conscious of my appearance, the image I present to the world--in a good way! Those of us who are my age all remember when women decided at around 40 that they were done trying to look attractive.  They spent the rest of their days in polyester pants and shapeless tops.

Not for me.  I'm far from I said, I'm all too conscious of my flaws...but there are some I can work on!

Taking pictures of myself

Although I don't blog or publish all (or even most) of them, I've started taking a picture of myself most  days.

It's amazing how helpful it is.  I've found things that I wouldn't have noticed in the mirror, and I take note of it.  Things like..."Cindy, you laid that top eyeliner on a little too thick."  "A ponytail is not a good look for you."  "You need to blend that blush better."  "Those shoes didn't really work with that outfit." "Wearing eyeliner on your waterline makes your eyes look smaller."

I used this outfit for a Visible Monday several weeks ago
I don't mean hating on myself...we're talking constructive criticism.

Of course, they're not all negative.  I can also see the things that ARE working--colors that suit me best, styles that are more slimming than others, etc.

Texted this to my mom, who wanted to see how my latest hair-coloring turned out

I don't know how long I'll keep doing it, but for now these self-portraits are proving helpful.

I'd love to know how you feel!

Please share in the comments section whether you're trying to evaluate your appearance more, and what you're doing.  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

I'm linking up today with Visible Monday--click the icon below!


Patti said...

Cindy, thank you so much for mentioning my blog. I'm delighted to have had a small part in your fashion and style re-awakening. Your journey is very familiar, from "invisible" (even to ourselves) to more confident and aware of our physical selves. You look gorgeous, with not only beautiful clothing but a truly beautiful smile!

Anonymous said...

Hi Cindy, just found you on Patti's Visible Monday. These style blogs or "self created magazines" as I like to call them, are so much fun and very inspiring. It's helped me come out of my shell in several ways. These blogs are also a great way for women to nurture each other. Glad you're here and you look great in purple, one of my favorite colors!

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

You look so pretty in all of these pictures, Cindy and I am glad you are having fun with it!! I love your purple of my favorite colors. Keep up the good work!

Jeannie said...

What an honest post! You look fabulous! Really!
I think we all have our insecurities, but we've earned the right to say "what the hell!" At our age? Why not? Have fun and keep on truckin'!!
Your hair color si gorgeous!


Anonymous said...

You've done an excellent job of explaining why taking photos of ourselves is important...and it does amount to constructive criticism. I've found that the photos help me to control my weight.

Kim, USA said...

Hi Cindy! You are gorgeous! I love your hairstyle your make up is great. I like to see a little pop on the lips but oh well I saw your remaining photos you are at work hahahaha. You can't work with those red red lipstick like Marilyn Monroe's right?
Anyway, they think we are crazy because we are taking photos of ourself ^_^ because I do that too, often! But oh well we just feel gorgeous that is why ^_^ Happy Tuesday and thanks for the visit. My other site is here too....

Mary, MI

Minza. said...

Great Blog! xx
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My Froley said...

I think that's great Cindy. There's no need for anyone to give up. Everyone has the right to feel great about themselves, whether it's by making a bit of effort on your appearance (I know this gives me an extra confidence boost when I do) or by other means. Good on you.

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