Wednesday, February 25, 2015

You Are Beautiful...In Every Single Way!

Hi Girls-

Happy Wednesday!  You made it half way through the week.  In NC, we are bracing for another #SNOMG2015--can I just say I am ready for Spring?  No more SNOW! 

I've been working on this post for a couple of weeks now because I wanted it to convey the right message.  I feel so fortunate and blessed to have "met" some great blogger friends so far in this journey of documenting the craziness of my life....a couple in particular are Megan over at More Sweet Tea Please? and Vanessa over at X-Tremely V.  These are some super talented gals and I just love reading their blogs.  A few weeks ago Vanessa tagged me in a "20 Beautiful Women" challenge on Instagram and she did it sans makeup.  First off, she's gorgeous so it didn't even look unnatural.  Obviously I accepted the challenge but hesitated doing an au natural photo because I thought what if someone says "Ewww" (said in my best Jimmy Fallon voice--if you know what I'm talking about, you just lol).  But I ended up following  her lead and posted an au natural, no filter (which was super hard to do), undereye dark circles, greasy hair photo.  And I got some super sweet comments---thanks y'all!  After I did the picture, sweet Megan, who I am now calling my LLBFF (Long Lost Best Friend Forever because I totally think we may have been separated at birth) sent me an email including a post that she had written last year.  Check out her Beautiful post here.  She is so cute and has an adorbs family and I love getting to know her through "Blogland".   Anywhoodle, her email and blog post totally inspired me to write something because it is something that we, as women, all deal with: the notion of beauty and how we fit into it. 

I love me some Christina Aguilera---don't judge!  Her song "Beautiful" came out in 2002 but it was the only thing I could think us when I decided to write this. Below are part of the lyrics for this song that I am now calling the Women's National Anthem (according to Jenny that is).

We are beautiful
No matter what they say
Yes words won't bring us down
Oh no
We are beautiful
In every single way
Yes words can't bring us down
Oh no
So don't you bring me down today

There's so many standards of beauty in today's society.  Is it a size 2?  Is it blonde hair?  Is it having your nails done?  A certain hair style?  Certain makeup?  Unfortunately, most of us think so.  You can open up any magazine and there she is, right in front of you, staring right back with her perfectly coifed hair and perfect clothes saying, "Do you look like me? Cause if you don't, I know you want to."  I look at these images and think about how I can change myself to conform into this image of beauty--whether that be losing weight, getting my hair colored, buying new clothes, etc. 

Truth!  I've done this before and than I secretly cursed the person that posted the picture. 
How many shots does it take for you to get a perfect selfie that you are happy with enough to post on social media?  For me on average of 7--taken with different angles of my head, proper lighting and the best filter I can find :)
Oh, if we could only feel this way instead of not being focused on a number? {insert sigh}
None of my friends look like me and there's a reason for that---God made them in his image, not anyone else's.  He knew what he was doing when he created me and why should I question that?  But I do and I know as women we do---and aren't we awfully critical of ourselves?  There are a million and one photos of myself that I would NEVER post on social media.  In fact, there are photos that I have untagged myself in on FB (just like the above meme card).  But again if I know that I am created in God's image, why am I so self conscious and unhappy about what I look like?  So, I am going to share some of those photos when I felt like I didn't look pretty but after really looking at them, I realize how beautiful they are not only because it is the real me but also because of the moment that they were shared in.
This is the sweet girl that I threw the gender reveal for a couple weeks ago.  She posted this on FB and tagged me in it.  I almost died!  I thought, I look horrible!  What I didn't see was the comment she made on this picture which was "This will forever be a memory I hold with Jenny."  The photographer was taking pictures before the ceremony and she got a little teary eyed and I'm sure I said something terribly inappropriate because it made her laugh which was my goal.  This is a beautiful photo--now I see that!

OK, could this scream more piggy?!?  LOL, I jest but in all seriousness, this was one of the photos that I untagged myself in that my sister took at Christmas.  My sister made this sign for me--that's what I should be proud of, not what I think others might say when my face is beside an "Eat More Bacon" sign.

This is one of "my" kids participating in a fundraiser for an awesome organization in my town called Joyful Hearts.  Their mission is to inspire, empower and support individuals with special needs.  Even though I am standing next to a 17 year old teenage boy dressed in drag, the only thing I saw in this pic is how big my arms looked, how flat my hair is and how I am in desperate need of lipstick.  Now I see the awesome teenage boy who dressed up like a girl to make money for great cause and that those are my pearls he is wearing :)
So, ladies, long story short---YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!   Just as HE created you--in every perfectly imperfect way!  And if you ever need someone to tell you that, you just let me know :)  Have a great Wednesday!  Come back tomorrow for Thinking Out Loud Thursday!


Lana L. said...

I don't know why we as women are so critical of ourselves. The men in my life could care less how they look in photos, but I'm constantly critiquing myself. Cindy Crawford once said "Even I don't look like Cindy Crawford when I get up in the morning". We all need to stop being so hard on ourselves - easier said than done. You're beautiful and I'm so glad you shared this today!

Jenny Morgan said...

Thank you Lana for your sweet comment! I agree about not being so hard on ourselves and something that I am really trying to work on.

Michelle said...

This was great. Love the pictures.

Jenna said...

Love love love this! Especially the pic of you at the wedding. Green is your color!

Deena Simair said...

We are so critical and it's so sad. I'm way more aware of this now that I'm trying to shape Lucia into being a strong little lady. Great post!

Jenny Morgan said...

Thanks so much :)

Jenny Morgan said...

I will now be buying green in everything :)

Jenny Morgan said...

Yes we are--but it's wonderful that you are trying to create a different mindset in the next generation of little women :)

Jenny Morgan said...

You inspired me :) Your post was awesome and it gave me the strength to post my own "beautiful" pics. I'm so glad you shared it with me!

Jenny Morgan said...

Aww, thank you! And you are so welcome! I struggle as well but I think it's so important as women to lift each other up.