I know, I know…”not another blog post about body image.” But stick with me for a second. I spent the better part of this morning walking around downtown Baton Rouge, perusing the farmer’s market, scouting interesting backdrops for future portrait and lifestyle shoots, and just enjoying being able to unleash my creativity with my camera. But here’s the thing: I woke up late when I needed to make it to church in time for cleaning with the altar society, so to save time, I didn’t do my makeup, I threw my hair in a bun with a thick headband, put on the jeans I wore yesterday, and donned the Band of Horses t-shirt that’s so comfortable, I mostly sleep in it now. In short, it was a look, let me tell you. And that was my first thought as I was leaving my apartment this morning: a kind of innate realization that today would be another day when I would have to apologize for the way I look.
But as I kept passing reflective store windows, I’d catch small glimpses of myself in motion, and I had a thought that admittedly, like most women, I don’t have very much: “I like the way I look.” I couldn’t have put less effort into my appearance this morning, but I was having fun and truly enjoying a walk through downtown camera in hand. It brought out the adventure in me. It brought out the fearless in the (introverted) me as I asked kind strangers if I could snap their photo. It brought out a joy in me, simply being able to use the gifts God gave me that I don’t often acknowledge that I have, gifts that at times I’m so afraid to cultivate because I might fail publicly that I often don’t pursue them at all.
So when I was walking back to my car, my mind’s radar tuned toward lunch, I caught a glimpse of myself in this sidewalk mirror, and I stopped. I saw joy. I saw fearlessness. I saw adventure. And even though I wouldn’t show up on a date looking like this, I wanted to capture this moment, so that when I start to put all my eggs of self-worth in the basket of outward appearance, I have a reminder that I’m created for more. I’m created for transcendence and beauty and truth and goodness. And so are you.