An Open Letter to YOU

Dear Everyone,

You are beautiful. Your "imperfections" are what make you perfectly YOU. Your hair that you can never quite get to do what you want, your crooked teeth that aren't as white as you wish, your scar from when you were 5-years-old and had chicken pox, the double chin you always get because of the way you throw your head back when you laugh out loud, the extra 10 pounds that you can't seem to loose because you're too busy to hit the gym... these are all apart of what makes you who you are. Maybe you're not always dressed exactly the way that you wish you could be dressed because your life is too busy with school, work, sports, family, friends, and... life. It's okay, there's nothing wrong with you, absolutely NOTHING at all. Just because you don't think you look perfect to you, doesn't mean that your husband, wife, son, daughter, mom, dad, or all your friends don't think that you are perfect. Trust me, they LOVE you and love you just the way you are.

So please, PLEASE, stop hiding from the camera. Stop complaining that you hate the way that you look, that you hate pictures of yourself, stop keeping yourself from being apart of the photographs that are the memories of your life. And if you are a parent and you are purposefully hiding your face from the camera, you are erasing yourself from your children's memories. There is going to be a day when you are gone and they will want to have that photo from their first day of school with you to show their child on their first day of school. Your grandchild will want to have the photo of you and your spouse to frame and have at their wedding day. But if you're dodging the camera, you are stealing those special heirlooms from them. So please, PLEASE, just smile

Let your picture be taken, let those memories be captured, let heirlooms be created. Even if you do not like those pictures of yourself, I guarantee you, I PROMISE you, cross my heart, that everyone else who looks at those pictures does NOT see your messy hair, they do NOT see your double chin, they do NOT see the stain on your shirt or that your teeth aren't pristine bleached white. They look at those pictures of you and hear your laugh, the feel the happiness that is associated with their memories of you, they remember that moment when the picture was taken and how much you mean to them.

When all you do is hide from the camera, you're telling everyone that you hate how you look. When you complain that every picture of you is a bad one, you're letting everyone know that you have no self-confidence. And this is my biggest complaint against you: when you nitpick every little "flaw", you're teaching your children to do the same. Please, don't do that to your sons and daughter, PLEASE, do not do that to them. It's hard enough in today's society to be able to have any kind of self-confidence without being taught by mom and dad that all anyone sees is your flaws. You may not realize that you're doing this, you probably think your photo-phobia is all about you. But it's not! It is NOT about you. If someone wants to take your picture it's because they love you and they WANT to have a picture of you. So give that to them. And don't complain about it. Don't demean yourself, don't sell yourself short, don't hold back from your loved ones. Just smile. Sit up straight, chin up, give 'em your good side and a big smile and be okay with it. Your friends, your family, your children and future generations will appreciate it more then you know...

Photographs are important. That's why you take them. But photographs of YOU are also important. That's why others try to take them of you. So let them. Let me. Please.

Even if the picture looks like this...'s still a memory made. Embrace it. PLEASE! 

Thank you. XO


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