Fairfield County, CT- the ”Gold Coast” and the setting for ”The Stepford Wives” certainly has it’s reputation for “picture perfect” families but is anyone really perfect?
I ran into an friend recently that got me thinking about the topic of being “picture perfect”. She said with a smile on her face and a joking but serious tone, “I have to say that every time I see one of your photos you’ve taken of someone I know, I think that I know that women and yes, she is pretty but not THAT pretty!”.
The fact is that she’s right! Professional photography is about showing people at their best, not how they look on the sidelines at their kid’s soccer games. A little help from posing, lighting, hair, makeup, wardrobe and even Photoshop and we can all be “picture perfect”. My head shot is an example of that! I certainly don’t look this good every day! 😉
We might not look like models but everyone is beautiful and I see it as my job to show people (women in particular) how beautiful they are because most of us don’t believe it!
Most women hate being photographed and don’t think they take good pictures. We are our own worst critics! It’s sad that so many women spend more time envying others and wishing their appearance were different. They fail to see the beauty staring back at them in the mirror because they are so focused on their own flaws. For me it’s my big head, naturally large frame and thick midsection and arms. Even when I’m at my thinnest, those things bother me.
What about the women that really DO look THAT good in their regular life? Here in Fairfield County, CT we have a reputation for having a lot of these women. The ones with the awesome bodies, beautiful faces, amazing hair, designer clothes, fancy cars and big homes. Do they think they are perfect? No, they are human! I bet if ask any of them, they will tell you that they are flawed! It’s the nature of the woman. We all find our flaws and hone in on them! Plus I imagine it’s exhausting trying to maintain that appearance of perfection! Glad I don’t have to do it! 😉
Other people see these “picture perfect” women and families and envy them, thinking they have it all! They are “picture perfect” but remember PICTURES are ONE DIMENSIONAL! You can’t see what’s behind or inside them! Just because their lives look perfect, doesn’t mean that they are so!
Facebook doesn’t help either! The daily posts by friends about how great life is and the shared images of the perfect life can really do some serious damage on a woman’s self worth.
I apologize but as a professional family photographer, I perpetuate that issue by capturing perfect moments of pure joy and connection where everyone looks beautiful and is filled with love for each other. Those moments are real but that doesn’t mean that is how those families are all the time! I don’t post the behind the scenes images of sibling fights, frustrated parents or baby melt downs, but let me tell you, there are a lot of them! Honestly, those meltdown images are some of my favorite moments because they are REAL and RAW! In my home, those are the ones I have as canvases on my walls! Trust me, nobody’s family is perfect but we all have perfect moments and it’s my job to capture them!
My experience getting to know women and their families confirms my believe that EVERYONE has their OWN STRUGGLES! No matter how “picture perfect” they look in photos or even driving around town in their Range Rover with their perfect yogi/runner bodies dressed head to toe in Lululemon driving their 2.5 kids and golden retriever to travel soccer games and the country club, nobody’s life is perfect even if they look like it is!
I have learned the saying is true! “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover!”
I LOVE PEOPLE and because of that I often end up in deep conversations with them, especially women. Time and again, I discover that even people who look perfect, are actually struggling with something. It might be inner struggle from trauma in their childhood. It could be poor body image despite being in top shape. They could have marriage troubles or a kid with health issues or challenging disabilities. They might be about to claim bankruptcy despite living in a big home and driving the best cars. You just never know!
We are all just doing the best we can!
Whether you are the one with the perfect body, big house and fancy cars or the one judging those women, I challenge you!
I ask you to take down your walls and reveal your vulnerabilities with other women. Get to know them for who they are and let them know YOU!
Don’t feel that you have to be the perfect and show only the side of you that you think society wants to see. Be YOU…all of YOU!
I can tell you from my own experience , we are all struggling in some way and revealing our challenges and reaching out to others is where the HEALING BEGINS!
Next time you stop and see those “picture perfect” women, stop and remember, that’s just their appearance. They are people too and they have their own struggles and insecurities. Instead of letting envy take over your thoughts, take a moment to reflect on what makes you beautiful and lucky. Just like we are all have our struggles, we also all have blessings!
I’m guilty of this myself. Trust me!
I harp on my life long endless struggles with weight (will I ever be thin again!), abandonment issues from my mother’s three divorces and the challenges of caring for her as Alzheimer’s slowly robs her of her retirement years, all while raising my kids and running a business. Those are my biggest (but certainly not only) challenges and they weigh heavily on my mind.
I also am incredibly cognizant and appreciative of my blessings! My health, my amazing husband, my healthy super funny awesome kids, the financial means to comfortably raise them in a great town with a wonderful school system, loving my work. I know, I really am blessed but so are you!
What are your blessings? They might not be obvious and they might be buried behind an incredibly full plate of struggles (some unfortunately get more than others) but they ARE THERE! Find them and focus on them!! That will be one step to lead you toward happiness!
These are my blessings and I’m thankful for them every day!
Share this Post