Have you ever walked out of the house thinking that you looked so fly? Then you saw a picture of yourself and wondered, what the heck was I thinking? Well, that happened to me a few weeks ago in Santorini, Greece. I sashayed out of my hotel room in my two-piece bathing suit feeling very sexy. Usually, I would put on some form of cover up. My husband squealed in delight when he saw me leaving the room. I even stopped to allow him to take a few pictures of me. I felt like I went back in time to my early twenties.
I posed while he snapped away. Then I made a huge mistake. I. Looked. At. The. Pictures.
Who had hijacked my picture? Did I morph into someone else? Maybe my face was switched with someone else’s body. My eyes went straight to my boobs. Then to my stomach. I remember thinking that this is not how I looked when I looked in the mirror. At this point I could not see anything right with me.
All I saw were my boobs that were not lifted as much as I thought they were by my wired, padded bikini top and a very soft, pouch belly. To make matters worse, I looked across the pool at a beautiful young woman who was half my age and, in my eyes, half my size. Her boobs were perky, and her stomach was flat. I wanted to run up the 50+ stairs to my room. I needed a cover NOW!
Of course, like any wife, I blamed my husband.
“Did you even look at the pictures?”
He looked at me like I was crazy. Clearly, he did not see what I saw. When I said I was going back to the room, he looked at me again sucked his teeth and walked toward the bar by the pool. I had two choices here. I could go back to the room and sulk or I could suck it up and have a good time. I said to myself, you are Cora Tucker’s daughter now go down there, hold your head high like the beautiful, confident woman that you are and have a good time.
I somehow managed to pull myself together. I pretended that I had all the confidence in the world, walked up to the bar and ordered my drink. Now before you start judging me with your lens of how small you think I may be, hear me out. It does not matter how small or big you are.
Most women have some insecurities about their features, hair or bodies. Women are constantly inundated with overt and subtle messages of how they should look. Plastic surgery has become a booming industry because of this.
Letting go of my need to be perfect (in all things) is an area that I am working on. This includes accepting my imperfections and learning to love me as I am. Some days I feel confident, secure and beautiful. Other days not so much. I have similar conversations as the one that I described with women of all shapes and sizes all the time. I know that I am not alone, and neither are you.
I do not have it all figured out and am not sure that I ever will. Each day is another opportunity to reflect, learn and grow. There will be moments when you will not have any control over how your body looks. What I know for sure is that you can always control how you feel. You can choose to let your insecurities and imperfections hold you hostage or you can reclaim your power, hold your head high and order that drink.
Keema Perry is the founder of Powerhouse Academy. She is passionate about teaching, mentoring and guiding busy, professional women over 40 who long for more freedom, and more joy. Keema is a certified teacher, Infinite Possibilities Trainer and Integrative Health Coach.