Through Your Eyes

Being tagged in a picture on Facebook is one of the most terrifying moments in modern privileged society. A notification pops up: “so-and-so has tagged you in eight photos.”

“Dear, God” you say, “please let me look good in one of them.”

Inevitably, you never feel like you do.

Being tagged in FB pictures rarely produces a good photo. I submit this guinea pig to exemplify my meaning…

facebook-profile-picture-versus-photo-tagged-by-friends-guinea-pig (1)

I untag myself in 99% of all Facebook photos, which is a shame, because it makes it appear as if I wasn’t there. I have untagged myself out of many cherished memories, because I thought I looked too fat in them. What’s worse, I have purposely refused to take pictures of cherished memories because I felt too fat. I have started hiding myself behind other humans or furniture before the fateful flash. The most tragic part about this, of course, is that when I look back on the photos of the “fat self” I could not stand three years ago, I curse myself saying how thin I looked. As they say, “I wish I weighed what I weighed when I thought I was fat.” But I never learn my lesson. I avoid, untag, and hide my photos instead of embracing who I am and what I look like at every stage.  That is, until last Friday.

On Friday Danielle sent us the pictures from our February photo shoot. I have loved all of the photos that she’s done, but these were particularly extraordinary in that they began to change the way I see myself. As I looked at  myself in stunning photograph after stunning photograph, I began to actually believe I was beautiful. Not just that my eyes or lips were pretty, like I usually do, but that ME, my whole self, was beautiful–just as I am.

This realization occurred while I was looking at this photograph:

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I look heavy in this photo. It reveals bits of my arms and the size of my stomach, but on Friday, while I looked through the photos over and over again–this one stood out as one of my favorites. I think I look beautiful in it–not just my face, my body too. This is a beautiful picture of me. Six months ago I would have untagged myself from it and deleted it from my memory for making me look “too heavy.” Now, after three months of struggling through this stuff–my reaction to this picture is my first glimmer of hope. This is a beautiful picture of me. I am beautiful with all my curves. And I came to this understanding because of all of you.

I have begun to see myself as beautiful, because I have come to see myself through your eyes. The eyes of people who write and tell me that I am beautiful and worth it. The eyes of people who understand and are also struggling. The tenderness of strangers. The encouragement of old friends. All bound together that I might look at this picture, accept my figure, and say, “I am embraceable now.” I am choosing to see myself as you see me. Thank you for lending me your eyes.

This Weeks Facts: Weight:  209 How do you feel?: Getting my strength back. I think I may have sorted out enough of my emotional problems to start trying to eat better again. Small Victory: I deleted a dating ap that was making me feel back about myself and decided to view myself through the eyes of my friends, rather than strangers who did not “like” me.  Biggest Disappointment: Once again I only exercised once this week. But it was an INTENSE hike, so it should count for more days.  Thing I appreciated about my body this week: My hair is fierce.  Reason I am #embraceablenow: I am funny and my bitmoji is amazing.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. mandanicoleshakes says:

    You are beautiful and I love this post! It is SO me. Keep shining girl. ❤


    1. Rachell says:

      Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. PattiP0414 says:

    I LOVE the pictures! The blue makes everything POP! You are so incredibly beautiful inside and out! And I am very jealous of your hair! Mine is very straight. It obtains its waves from either being in a bun 24/7 or when I braid it. LOL

    When I first meet a person or see a picture of someone, I look to the eyes first. I have never cared about the size of a person’s body, the color of their skin or any other external feature. The eyes are what get me Every. Single. Time.

    I am right there with you on untagging or completely avoiding being in pictures. I have missed being in so many memory photos because of what I thought of myself. I blogged about how there is not one single picture of me with my daughter at her high school graduation. I am bare in any of the pictures from her college graduation and, most recently, her wedding. I am not where you are yet. I still cannot see myself as others see me. But I am working on it.

    Just because you haven’t worked out does not mean you are not working out. You are changing a little Each. And. Every. Day! All little changes add up to be BIG changes!

    Keep up the AH-MAZE-ZING work! YOU ARE SOOOOOOOO WORTH IT!!!! ❤ ❤


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