(S)he had a face like a blessing … *

*Cervantes

Last month a friend added me to a Facebook group, an action that would ordinarily raise the hair on my neck except for who connected me and to which group. I like to be asked first, but if you actually know me you can probably slip that cheese past me without an implosion. Oh, but hoo-boy, the misguided adds I’ve quietly tiptoed out of!  What was it about my posts over the past eight years that revealed a secret affinity for Home Canning groups, Fundie Prayer-Chains, or a support page for Nursing Mothers? {Hypothetical examples to spare the guilty, who clearly did not know me.}

This new page, though, is serendipity – all about women and faces and selfies.  One of those things is not like the others. Women and faces = good. Selfies = I suck, both at taking them and accepting the results.  But happily, this is all ABOUT acceptance – for ourselves and other women. Without camouflage, before coffee, after a run, in sadness, elation, frustration (!!), other women’s faces are endlessly beautiful to me and seeing them every day is showing me more about genuine acceptance of my own features than anything I’ve encountered until now. If they can all be real, why would I think I couldn’t? When someone shares a shot that’s possibly less than bare-faced, I think “No, please, show us your genuine, natural, beautiful self, the one who can trust her sisters.” So maybe I could dare hope my sisters would think the same on seeing photos of me.

Over the past decade or so my body has been in the process of betraying me, but even at that we’re better friends than back when my pudding-stage brain thought I was such an irresistible speck of humanity. I’m getting pretty comfortable in this body with this face on it, but my selfies still shock me every time. “Hello, Me, this is what we really look like now from the outside, can you believe this shit?” I choose to blame it on Bad Inanimate Face because Resting Bitch Face sounds so ugly and judgy. Pretty sure two things are at work here to make me uncomfortable with my own shots:

  1. It’s MY face in the viewfinder.
  2. Selfies allow me to study my face in a way that invades my personal space and hurts my feelings.

But…sigh…the suggestion is that we each post a selfie every week for a year and write something positive about every photo we share, which I think is delightful advice, in theory.  I’ve managed one so far – right now I’m busy drawing from other women the inspiration to be as naked as they are. Faces, guys, naked faces. As you were.

And being real at every stage of life is all that matters.

“If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?” – Abraham Lincoln

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carrie Rubin
    Apr 04, 2016 @ 16:28:38

    That sounds like a nice way toward better self-acceptance, but it would be difficult for me to do, too. I don’t mind putting silly pictures of myself on my blog for a humor effect, but anything more serious, and I’m not a fan of putting it out there. We always look different in a photo than how we see ourselves on the inside.

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