“One of the most courageous things you can do is identify yourself, know who you are, what you believe in and where you want to go.”
~ Sheila Murray Bethel
What you might not know is sometimes I spend hours looking for the perfect quote to fit the babe being photographed. Something that to me, completely sums up the parts of our clients hearts and souls that they bared to us during their session. For this babe, it was a little bit easier. I knew I needed to find a quote that represented a woman who knew exactly who she was, and what she wanted without any question.
It is women like this that remind me the importance of staying true to myself. They remind me that the only person who’s opinion of me matters is the opinion of myself. I found it interesting that the conversation I had with my three year old this morning perfectly aligned with the blog I knew I was going to sit down and write. We were sitting in my bed and going through the tedious task of brushing knots out of her booty length, stick straight, red hair and I asked her if she wanted me to put it up “like a princess” in the way she loved it the other day. When I asked her this she yanked her head away from me and said “no mommy, one of the boys in my school doesn’t like my hair like that so I can’t wear it like that.” While every enraged feminist rant I have ever gone on in my 30 years of life speed through my head at the speed of a first place NASCAR driver, I had to remember that I was about to teach my three year old THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON OF HER LIFE. I counted to three, puller her back towards me into the biggest bear hug I could and I asked her, “Do you like your hair like this?” She looked back up at me with her big green eyes and said “Yes, because it makes me look like a princess” and I squeezed her again…so tight she said owe mommy and used her toy puppy to push me away. I then took a few seconds to think about how to relay this message to her. The message about the importance of being true to yourself. I spun her around, put the brush down, held her chin and looked in her eyes and told her “Baby, the only person who’s opinion matters about your hair is YOU. If some silly kid in your class told you they didn’t like chocolate would that mean you never wanted to eat another piece of chocolate again?” We all know when it comes to toddlers chocolate is basically the equivalent of a divine being. That sure caught her attention because she said…”No I like chocolate and I like my hair like this, put it up high like a princess”
How come a three year old can grasp this concept but as grown women it is so incredibly hard for us to remember?
I struggle with this daily. I know it to be true, but I also have grown to crave approval from other people, to seek validation from outside sources. When the reality is, I like chocolate, and I like myself. It is really that simple.
So take a hint from the lesson this incredibly gorgeous woman taught me during her session: Be yourself. Just do it. Like yourself. No seriously, it’s not only ok, it is necessary, and most important of all, remember that the only person who’s opinion matters when it comes to you and your life, is the opinion of yourself.
Letting this babe take her art home was a bit painful! I just loved it so much that I didn’t want to let it go!
Hair and makeup by our Glam Goddess Erin Marie Artistry