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And The Woman In The Picture Said...

Love Yourself Now.

She was a lovely senior woman with white, spiked hair and the perfect round granny glasses. I guessed her being 75 or 80 but the life in her eyes was still very strong, vibrant and….sassy. I was there to visit her studio and look at her art. It was full of color and fun and “swish” right to your heart. I noticed a podium with a large portfolio on it and I began leafing through the pages.

I started to comment on the pretty pieces of art that were no longer for sale and then I got to the front of the book. Standing there on the page was a strong, beautiful woman of maybe 50. Her crisp white shirt and tight fitted jeans accented her blond hair and turquoise earrings. She was not skinny, but slender and feminine with real curves.

This woman could have been on the page of a Coldwater Creek catalog. She was not just beautiful, but striking in her poise and power. Then I looked closer at those eyes. I had to ask, “Is this you?” She nodded that it was. I said, “Oh my, you’re beautiful!”

She giggled and said, “Thank you.” Then she said, “I hated that picture when it was taken.” I couldn’t believe that. She looked like someone who “had this” and could convince you that you “had this” too. How could she hate this picture?

“I’m 52 there. I had gained 25 lbs in the last 10 years. My eyes looked puffy and the crows feet had taken over. I didn’t know the person in that picture. When I looked at her, I saw no one that had anything to do with me. All I could think about was where did my 30 year old face and my 20 year old body go?”

I looked closer. No, I couldn’t see any of that. All I could see was how incredible she looked. Any woman would have been glad to look like her at 52 or even 42. She then said, “But I look back at it now and see that I was HOT.” Now I was laughing with surprise. She was right. She was pretty-cute…yeah…HOT. Then she looked at me and said, “One day you will look at a picture of yourself and wonder why you didn’t know how cute you were.”

I realized that she was right. When I was 25 I looked at pictures of myself at 16, wondering where the girl in the picture had gone. I looked back at pictures of myself in my 20’s and 30s when I thought I was fat. I now think, “I had a cute little body, curves and all. Why didn’t I appreciate her back then?”

The 80’s

She noticed my pondering, looked intently at me and said, “I promise that no matter how old you are at this moment, 20-80, one day you will look back at photographs and think, WHY DIDN’T I LOVE HER?” She smiled as she continued, “I share that picture with every woman who comes in here, hoping that she will hear me when I say, LOVE WHO YOU ARE NOW! Love who you are, the size you are with the beautiful face you have. Don’t wait. Love her now.”

The 90's

I walked out with a new treasure to hang on my wall and a new treasure to carry for years to come. The treasure of knowing from here on out I would love the girl in my own picture albums but I would also appreciate the woman in the mirror. I would look back at her in years to come and smile, but I would also love her…RIGHT NOW.

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