Creating content? Or is it something else?
There's nothing like having a kid to make you feel old, I reckon. Also watching TV and hearing people talk about being born in 2010. It's still 2007, surely? What's going on?
I'm beginning to understand more what my dad always used to say; that no matter his age he always felt 27 years old, and it was a shock to be reminded that you weren't. Now we seem to be coming out of the other side of the pandemic, or are learning to live with it, at least, I'm loosening my limbs and thinking about being out in the world again. Like a big old bear waking up from hibernation. And what do I find? A natty new collection of silvery hairs (natural highlights!), a bigger nose (it's character giving!), a squooshy tummy (perfect for babs to sleep on!) achey joints (err...) quite a bit more tiredness (umm...) and crinkly, wrinkly lines every time I move my face in any sort of configuration (ughhh....). It has shocked me.
Another pandemic change, is that once I started making the effort to dress for me and for fun at the start of the horror show, and folk took interest online, I've been showing a lot more of myself and my outfits on Instagram. It has become second nature now if I'm feeling especially cute or fabulous to take a few photos, you know, for the 'gram. And the other day, taking selfies cos I looked cute, I realised that I take more photos of myself now than I ever did when I was younger, thinner, less wobbly and creased. That I feel happier in my own skin now at nearly 40 than I ever did at 20. I have an embarrassment of selfies on my phone and until now I've been telling myself it's content creation, but do you know, I think I've subconsciously been doing something else?
In the pre-selfie era I hated having my photo taken. My wedding photos were torture and I'm still not nuts for it when other people take my photograph. My go to move has been to make a stupid face because then I look awful on purpose. But these days I'm actually...smiling in photos? Posing, even. Something happened between then and now and it isn't just that I want to create content. I think that I'm recording moments in time where I feel good and think I look good for my future self. HEAR ME OUT.
I was horrible to myself about my appearance when I was younger, no matter my weight or dress size it was never good enough and I was always comparing. Then came the beige years of my 20s and early 30s trying to fit in with the other grown ups. Still pulling silly faces or trying to not smile to hide the teeth I'd always been told were too big. But looking back at photos of my younger self I am stunned I ever thought those things. I was just a shy, normal looking kid. So I am making reparations to my younger self. I am dressing up however makes me feel good and I am recording the moment for posterity. So I can look over these photos in the old people's home and be like yes; I remember feeling amazing that day, in that dress or in those sunglasses. I remember feeling sexy, unstoppable, silly, powerful. Ready to take on anything.
It's been a bit of a journey to get to this acceptance and sometimes genuine love for myself. A massive stumbling block was having to stop wearing eye make up due to developing an eye condition (another joy of ageing; all these conditions you develop) and it's taken me a good old while to get used to my eyes without make up, eye bags, crows feet and all. I wear eye make up once a week, and have discovered red lipstick which has proved to be a mega mood booster. But I never would have thought I could have felt good and genuinely believed I looked good without my signature eyeliner.
If any of this rings true with you, then I'm sorry if you ever or still do feel crappy about yourself. But see if you can find a thing or two things that make you feel totally badass and amazing, or even just makes you feel goofy and silly. And treat yourself to a little photoshoot, just for you. You might surprise yourself.