18 October 2006

self portrait #35



I am not up to the self portrait challenge this month. I'm feeling a little too vulnerable to aim the camera directly at all my imperfections. something raw and a little broken just beneath the surface and one crack just might do me in. consider that my big imperfection this month: I'm not willing to show you the new lines around my eyes, the extra flab on my body, my dirty hair.

I applaud those who are bravely taking us there, though. despite my refusal to participate, I do believe our flaws make us unequivocally real. and real is beautiful. real is the new beautiful. but lately, I am finding it harder and harder to see the real in people out there. we are so afraid to age, to be exactly who we are. although I have the anti-aging moisturizers, the eye creams and 47 tubes of lip gloss that betray me and my words here. I struggle, I do. I want to find the balance between embracing exactly who I am at this particular moment in my life and taking care of myself in a way that is well-deserved. it's a thin line, y'all-- a slippery slope. sometimes I find myself dangerously close to caring way too much.

(more imperfections here)

20 comments:

  1. Andrea - I think it's interesting that we focus on our imperfections too much in our culture. We have this "standard" that we see in magazines, TV, billboards. Look to other countries, and what we think is imperfect here is beautiful there. I'm just as guilty - hate to look in the mirror.

    But what I want to say to you is that your total beauty shines so brilliant, I see only the real you - that real essence. So go out there and blind the world with your beauty!! love you - Carlene

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  2. girl, you MUST come and read the posts i've written every tuesday of this month...i'm on an imperfection boycott and instead i'm choosing to embrace my beauty and sexiness...is embracing our imperfections important? certainly...do our imperfections makes us unique and real? of course...but when are we asked to embrace our beauty? when are we asked to brag about the things that are perfect just the way they are? when are we encouraged to stand in front of the mirror and applaud our sexiness? when, i ask you? that's why i'm on my boycott...i'm doing those things right now...come join me...

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  3. You are beautiful.
    Gosh, we do end to get caught up in the negative don't we? This past weekend I looked at myself in the mirror and realized how similar I am to other women. We all have the same basic shape and yet we have somehow made what is unique about us the focus of our imperfections...

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  4. You're all class, Andrea. The picture and post are fantastic.

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  5. Love the photo - I think I might go out to Balboa Park and take one as well!
    I made one attempt to do this weeks challenge (I would pick this month to join) and so far haven't been able to bring myself to do more. Meh.

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  6. I'm in agreement with la vie en rose. I think that's a great idea! I do not think that we blog to be ugly and real. I think we blog to hide a little and bring it out a smidge at a time. I do not condone complete hiddeness, but I'll be damned if I post about my chin hair!

    Blogging is not true journaling nor is it a substitute for one-on-one relationships. Those people that know me in person know those ugly parts. I'd rather not advertize them on the www.

    Another reason why we should get together Andrea :). BTW this is a lovely picture, pretty sessy if you ask me :)

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  7. So, so true my dear. You have written perfectly here what we briefly touched on today. la vie was who I was referring to when I mentioned that others had boycotted this month (as have I). Boycotted not as a negative towards those who have chosen to participate but in honoring my own need NOT to pick myself apart. Yet again :)

    You are a gem!

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  8. You've captured exactly why this theme hasn't worked for me although I have participated. You always inspire me my dear.

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  9. andrea, this is a perfect self portrait for the month- realizing that we are all a little cracked and broken in our own imperfect ways- we are all made up of many pieces and parts.

    I love this photo and I hope that you start to feel like your peices and parts are fitting together exactly the way they are supposed. And always know that you truly are an inspiration to so many of us out here in blogville-

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  10. oh andrea, i was just noticing wrinkles under the corners of my eyes and wondering...when? did that happen?

    but i suppose they are evidence of smiling...

    you are such a beauty, in in inside and ohhh outside. your vigor for life is contagious...

    but i think as a women, we have all been there in the feeling you are describing..i havent felt like showing my face lately either...i feel like being mysterious, but maybe tomorrow that will change!

    hugs dearie...ps i mentioned your photobooth pics in my blog the other day....i just love them so...

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  11. i was just thinking this very thing this morning [like jenny] as i looked at the wrinkles between my eyes - the ones from concentrating, frowning, thinking....

    and then i think of my grandmother and how beautiful i think she is... and so then i think it's all OK..... xoxo

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  12. You are a beauty in soooooooooo many ways...mother/wife/daughter.....and I could go on and on...the beauty of your thoughtfulness is priceless just to mention one beautiful side you have...mtxe

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  13. so well put. i know we all tend to care too much at times. but i guess if we are feeling nourished and fullfilled, then we are on the right track. and hey, what's so bad about putting a little extra szhuz in our life every now and then? that has it's merits too.

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  14. great picture, and love the words.
    xo

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  15. If you can only see how I see you, sweetie...you'd flip out.

    As an artist, imperfection to me IS beauty. To be the same across the board is mundane and dull. Accepting ones flaws as part of who they are and are willing to flaunt them takes courage and guts, I must say. I know it's hard for many out there.

    But I must say as your husband, you are flawless.

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  16. love this photo andrea. oh wrinkles...some days i can accept them, some days not..

    i can totally relate to this post.

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  17. I am so feeling you on this one. I'm not doing any of the huge, overwhelming imperfections that, if I thought about them too much, could send me spiralling into a funk. I'm just doing tiny, manageable ones.

    :::love:::

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  18. We're all feeling the same way... those of us who are younger are comparing ourselves with hotties in the magazines who are half-dressed. Those of us who are older have quit reading the magazines. It doesn't change... generation to generation... we all get older.

    PS - My photo is from 2003. I'm sad to say that I've got quite a few new wrinkles since then!

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  19. Beautiful post. As someone a bit down the road (nearly 44) I am VERY aware of how much everyone is fighting aging. I've never dyed my hair (except at Halloween) and already people are telling me how much the respect my bravery. Being ourselves should not have to be such an act of courage, and yet it is.
    I'll tell you what, though...you slay this dragon and get society out of your head and the lightness you feel will be amazing. Talk about a cure for gravity!

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