Recently I spoke about how my mojo feels like it packed up and left. Which, when you directly relate it to this blog, means taking photos of myself mostly. It’s what connects me to you and ultimately does well in the general search/Pinterest/SEO world. But I’ve been struggling to get in front of a camera. That’s the long and the short of it.
My body has changed in the last year or two. It looks different, and I look different, and that can be hard to reconcile in photos. I look at them and don’t like what I see—discarding most of them, not feeling like I could post others. I know I’m not the only one in this boat. When I think about what the world has been through in the past two years, it boggles my mind. But we did it. We made it here.
Today I’m going to say what is troubling me out loud in the hopes that by confronting it, it will diminish. By pushing myself to get out and taking the photos anyway, it reminds me of who I am. I am more than my body or face or how I look in photos. I’m a person with plenty to offer, and the way I do that is by showing up for people on the internet. Come what may.
Once, I credited taking outfit photos for the blog every week with my strong positive body image. When you stare at pictures of yourself week after week, set after set, you get a little numb to your features, your faults and flaws. It just blurs into what is; nothing good or bad about it. I’m reminding myself of that right now when the little voice in my head does its worst.
And, if, like me, you miss out, opt out or make excuses to avoid being in front of the camera. Consider this post your reminder to stop doing that! You’re perfect just the way you are, and I don’t ever want your body or how you look to define that for you. We will do the work and show up, just as we are, and I know things will change for us.
How can I be so sure about that? I know because I’ve done it before. This blog has changed my life in many ways than I give it credit for. Have I mentioned that? When I started blogging didn’t have a single photo of myself to use as a profile photo (so I decided to blog anonymously, lol). Entire pieces of my history and life are gone, left to the vagueness of memory—an untrustworthy source at the best of times.
As I participated more, took the photos (and kept them!), the documentation of my life streamed along behind me; the people and places, the highs and lows. I want that for myself again. For there to be a record that I was here and I lived a big, exciting, joyful life. I want to be in the middle, undeniably living; I want to show up. Let that be my promise to you; that’s what I’ll do. Even when I don’t want to or don’t feel like it, imperfectly perfect, I’ll be here.
Shushuboose (last season) Longline Stripe Cardigan (L) – First seen on Sarah Woodward | 17 Sundays BASIC Dolman Tee (L) | 17 Sundays Marble Wash Loophole Joggers (24) | New Balance Sneakers | Quay Australia High Key Polarised Sunglasses
Hi! I’m Melissa Walker Horn. Around here, they call me Suger. I’m the Chief Blogger and doer of all the things here at Suger Coat It. Blogging since 1901; I love a casual ootd, taking photos, and writing about things that irk or inspire me. I love wine and cheese, long days at the beach and spending time with my family. I make stuff for the internet over at Chalkboard Digital. You know, living the sweet life.
Bravo lady! You did it and look what people are saying back to you. We sure are our worst enemies right? Glad you blogged, glad I know you and glad you are blogging on…I got so incredibly “stuck” post weight loss from having both IBS and then cancer, that I was pleased to have “lost” weight…appearance was “good” until I had the wakeup call that I was unhealthy like that. Weird stuff happens in our heads. I am now weighing less than I did for year but only slightly more than post cancer…and I am stopping using the scales. I am a work in progress and liking it. Take care! You are awesome and you share so much for others too.
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It’s always good to see a blog post from you and I value your presence here. Denyse.
Thank you, Denyse. It’s so true; you really do have to rip that bandaid off and get on with it. Your story with weight loss and the mind tricks that are tied up with it is so common. It’s hard to separate what is good for us from the ideal, no matter your contributing factors. It’s even harder when people around us can get caught up in the ‘thin in best’ mindset and completely disregard our actual health. One thing I know is that tossing the scales is the best decision a lot of us have made. Why weigh and measure yourself to determine how you feel, your health and what you’re capable of? No thanks. You’ve been through the worst of times; some grace is required.
I so needed to read this! While I have gotten better these past few years of trying to get in front of the camera I still don’t feel comfortable doing that. BUT, I realized that my boys had very few photos with me taken over the years. I am always the one to take the pictures and always find reasons to not be in the photos but I have been trying to say yes more and I have found that by taking weekly photos of myself (usually in the mirror as I don’t have a tripod or better way to take photos) I am slowly getting more comfortable with being IN the photos and don’t delete nearly as many of them anymore. But it is still hard not to see my flaws first (especially having put on 10 lbs during the pandemic that are coming off sooo slowly).
It definitely makes a difference; I’ve found the more I do it, the more I stop seeing everything as flaws or faults and the more it’s just me, living my life, doing my thing. I’m glad to hear you’re making an effort to get in the photo. I think of how terrible it would be for the people in our life not to have something to remember us by. This might sound morbid, but I stand by it. Here’s to all of us getting back on our feet after a wild year or so.
I can very much relate Melissa. I follow a lot of plus size Instagrammers and models and I almost only ever look at their pics and think they look nice. (Or that I hate what they’re wearing!) They’d have to be wearing something extremely skimpy or inappropriate for me to grimace at all.
Yet I look at pics of myself and just see my size. I put one up a while ago after I received some pants that I loved. All I could see was my bigness and how my thighs looked etc but the comments I got were lovely and very focussed on the clothes.
I used to do the everyday style thing when I was working for a while (in 2017 – 2018) and I made myself post something almost every day because I wanted to become ‘used’ to seeing me. Of course – as you said – things have changed. I feel crappy about myself and that’s not just about size or weight but an overall confidence thing. It means I rarely bother to dress nicely or make any effort. I know that needs to change and thank you for continuing to hang in there even when you are struggling. xx
Thanks for taking the time to comment, Deb. It’s always nice to know someone is in the same boat. I remember that photo and how much I love it and loved seeing you. And those pants were amazing. Haha. The not bothering thing, well, it’s a bit like that over here too. When I work at my house, why get dressed? What’s the point? I think we do need to change that. Not going over the top or anything, but some effort into how we look just to feel better. Try when I do need to go somewhere, I used to have a lot of fun with my style and now it’s all the same maxi dress and sneakers combo every single time.
You look fine – we’re much harsher judges of ourselves than we should be. So we can do it with the difficult inner monologue or we can just do it and enjoy it. No one else really thinks about us that much. So have fun! #lifethisweek
I get that, I really do. Thanks for the reminder.
I think it’s also harder to get back “on the horse” when you fall out of a habit. So much harder to start a new one or pick it back up. I feel it often in pain interrupting me, harder to get back to what I was doing.
There’s certainly plenty of that going on too. I said to Kel; we used to go out and get photos ALL the time. Like, twice a week sometimes. OFTEN. Not that I want to get back to that, but some semblance of consistency would be nice. Haha.
Melissa when I look at photos of you I first see a beautiful smile and your gorgeous dimples. You have a joyful face and you’re very stylish! I get it though. I only ever take photos of face or shoulders up etc for the blog. I am short (barely over 5ft) and curvy and I don’t like full length photos of me because I feel I look short and dumpy. This is why I could never be a fashion blogger even though I think there is a HUGE gap in the bloggy market for petite fashion bloggers! It drives me nuts trying to find somewhere I can buy pants or skirts or dresses designed for us shorties and where we don’t have to pay the $$’s to then turn around and chop most of the fabric away. Pants in particular are a problem. It’d be great to have some petite fashion bloggers helping us shorties out and not just skinny petites but curvy petites too! So it did occur to me that is needed but can I do it – nope – too self conscious. So hats off to you girl! I always love seeing your gorgeous smiley face!
Thank you, that’s so kind of you to say. It can be tough, for sure, to get in front of the camera and be reminded that you don’t look how you thought you looked or whatever that mismatch it. Clearly, I’m team ‘Ignorance Is Bliss’ on this one. Haha.
And hello, yes, that sounds like a great resource for women shaped like you — a HUGE GAP. I even have a draft in my folders for petite plus size clothes because I’ve been asked if I have any tips despite being a giant human. Soooooo, you totally could. 😉
I love your style. The end.
Too kind, lady, thank you.