The other day, I did something completely insane. I voluntarily posed IN A BIKINI for a professional photographer. And then, I did something even more insane. Insane-er? Insane-y?
Anyway, I took those photos, and I let people splash them across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I was leaving nowhere to hide. Nowhere to run. All of me (including two new tattoos my family didn’t know about,) was on display.
I get what you’re thinking at this point: “But, Daphne, it’s not like you were naked!”
And you’re right, I was wearing a bathing suit and not my birthday suit. My hair was also done, and my makeup, and I was rockin’ a new pair of sunglasses that was very flattering. These weren’t paparazzi photos, I took them knowingly and willingly.
In my mind, however, I was still virtually naked. I was putting a body on display that had NEVER been seen like that in public. The last bikini photo I posted of myself was taken during a grad school cruise. In 2005. With a lifejacket on.
Letting anyone take a picture, let alone post a picture of me in a bikini would not have been a possibility in my mind as little as a year ago. I have not worn a bikini since before I got pregnant with my son—and he’s five. I also happen to weigh the most I ever have, and although I am in eating disorder recovery and working closely with a therapist, I can’t say that I’m regularly happy with the way I look.
But I am working on it.And that’s why I decided it was worth it; to me and to my family; to be present in this challenge and be willing to create some memories. Since we partnered with PatPat, which has a ton of options in plus-size fashion, I had a lot of choices. A cover-up? A dress? Shorts and a tee? I kept flashing back, however, to a particular memory.
Memories Change with Time
I was 17 years old, moving into my college dorm at the University of California Santa Barbara. Although I was crazy excited to begin my journey there, I dreaded being ostracized or avoided because of my weight. A particular photo was taken of me. I was in my dorm room on the first day. I was kneeling and placing my supplies in my desk. A big smile stretched across my face as I beamed at my mom behind the camera.
I still have that photo. What stands out to me’ the most? I WASN’T FAT. Not by any definition of the word. I was tall, lanky, proportionate and fit. I looked awesome.
That is why I took these pictures. I know—for a fact—that my own perception of my body still needs improvement. I also know that when I look at these pictures in 10 years, I frankly will not give a shit about my weight. I will see my babies! Standing on the edge of San Diego Bay, loving a warm SoCal Spring afternoon.
I will be happy I took a leap; because I now know what is important.
To read my advice for an awesome family photo shoot with a photographer, click here.