Tuesday, 9 March 2010

do you have to to be beautiful?

Hello there, remember me?  Sadsack is back!

Just to say this is not a pity post but a serious look at our niche of the interweb.  This may or may not offend. 

I'm not talking about the beautifully styled wedding shoots but the lovely wedding planning ladies.

I had perused the web before the Bean finally proposed.  (Yes I'll admit I had a few pre-engaged moments.)  I guess I did not really see the people.  I was over awed by the wondrous details.  The prettiness and so forth.  I was yet to find my raison d'etre*, I did not have my muse.

Yet, it was only as a whim I started my little blog.  I didn't actually expect things to be quite so wonderful and such lovely peeps to be interested.  It never occurred to me I might actually have to reveal my true identity (that is my face, my body and the fact that I am not a celebrity - although bean does love to call me his little minor internet celebrity - he finds it hilarious! - idiot!)

Yet, the more I see such wonderful and beautiful ladies marry the more I realise that perhaps I have overstepped the mark.  How did I not realise that it is only meant to be the beautiful people who write wedding blogs.  This is my observation only and does not lessen the fact you ladies are also insightful, funny and deliciously clever.

"People" say you will always look beautiful on your wedding day but what about those of us who are not blessed in the looks department.  Simply, I am not beautiful.  Obviously vain, but not hot!  I do not think I am a grotesque but I will never be america's next top model.  I am ok with that I would just like to look the best I can.

Yes, yes, yes beauty is subjective.  However I see all your freakin' fabulous faces and think how can I compare?  I know that all eyes will be on me at some point during the proceedings. The idea sends shivers down my spine.  I have mentioned before about the dearth of photographs I have of myself but it would be nice to have one image with which to savour the moment.  I want to share but at this time I would be ashamed to publish my picture.  My form tars me with a brush of inadequacy.  I cannot stand it any longer.

How do I reconcile my insecurities? I understand my lack of self worth ties in ever so neatly with my inability to look at myself in the mirror.  However there must be shard of truth which stops me from being beautiful.  I need to be a better, healthier person.  I want to be that person.  I want to be able to look in the mirror and say, "hello hottie!"  Well maybe I'll never say that but you get the idea.  I want to find the beauty in myself which I can so easily find in others.  I just think being a healthier person will be the making of me, inside and out.

I that vein I have decided to throw myself to the wolves.  I need help.  I want to look and feel different.  In short I need you.  There will be further instructions to follow.  I expect you shall be waiting with baited breath, no?

*You know, the decadent, relaxed, intimate fun!

38 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Oh Anna. You are a beautiful person. Inside. That shines outward.

    I am not model beautiful. I have British teeth, as they say, and flabby arms and a big belly and wide thighs. I just try to love myself for who I am. I love food too much to whittle myself into thinness.

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  3. SWEETIE! You are, too, beautiful! I will bop anyone on the head who says otherwise.

    I feel like wanting to look one's best for the wedding is a fine instinct, but don't go changing yourself, okay? We love you just the way you are, and so does Bean.

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  4. Samesies. Yeah, not the answer but "YOUUU AAARE NOT ALONE"!

    Yoga teacher once told me that massaging your (itsy bitsy) feet increases self confidence. Sounds crap but I'll try anything.

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  5. Each woman is only beautiful if she wants to be. I was told this once when I was younger, but it's definitely stuck with me. I am not stereotypical beautiful. I'm a big girl with the shoulders of a line backer. My eyes disappear when I smile. But I am beautiful.

    I too, have faced this fear, seeing the pictures of all the weddings made me cringe at first, but then I stopped that. My fiance proposed to me, not a "skinny" me, not a picture perfect me, but me, plain simple old me. He finds me beautiful just as your fiance finds you beautiful.

    Ask him what he finds beautiful about you, it's amazing hearing the things that you take for granted. We may not be models but at least we have love and love makes each person shine more beautifully than any airbrushed photo-shopped picture I've seen.

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  6. However I'm pretty sure you're a fabulous, fun, insightful, sparkly person – and if that's not beauty then I don't know what is...

    That said, you have kind of tapped into my photography/wedding fear... I don't care particularly about being beautiful – I'm fine with quirky and a bit odd-looking but I want to look like a 'good' version of me if that makes any sense?! Or at least feel good enough to not care!!

    Count me in for whatever you have planned :)

    (Was the sadsack a raggydolls reference? I so had that song going round and round in my head recently!)

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  7. I love the first sentence of The Hick Bride's comment, that is a clever woman right there.

    I *promise* you that you will have one image with which to savour the moment. PROMISE.

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  8. Ok, so I think that every (normal) wedding blogger has gotten to this point (the "oh no! I have to post pictures of myself? But! But! I don't look as pretty as the other bloggers!"). So if it is comforting at all, I think that anxiety is normal, and a reflection of the fact that wedding blog culture can do as much to cause us anxiety as to relieve it. I found at one point that all of a sudden my standard was no longer "look and feel beautiful to myself, the mister, and our loved ones" and it had become "look beautiful to the internet" and that was messed up and I had to actively work to reprogram that part of my brain.

    Whether or not you look like a model, I am sure you're beautiful. And when you see your wedding photos, you will see different kinds of beautiful too. I have plenty of photos where i have a double chin or my arms looks fat or whatever and I DO see that when I look at them, but I still feel totally beautiful when I do. In some photos I look "prettier" than others. But in some photos, it's the emotion of it that makes me look "beautiful" and I don't really care about the presence of flabby arms. I see them, but they're not important. There will be more to what you see than any physical features you are not crazy about.

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  9. I have to second and third everything that accordionsandlace just wrote. I think we get overwhelmed with light-saturated, model-worthy, photoshopped/post-processed perfect wedding images and we start shifting our definition of beautiful. But what so many of those pictures miss is the beauty in the raw honesty of emotion. They miss the way joy genuinely transforms us, double chins and average features and all, into someone spectacularly stunning.

    Our initial aim was never to be a model, right? It was to find a healthy community of women (and men) struggling through this life transition as we plan our weddings and marriages. And along the way, this photoshpped, narrow concept of beauty crept in via our RSS readers and warped our brains.

    Go back to the weddings of real emotion that made you tear up. Peruse the wedding graduate series at APW. Find a few emotion-filled photographers like Peonies and stalk their sites. Look back at the V Magazine shoot again and again. You'll see that, while the people were probably not magazine-pretty to begin with, their emotions and joy are. Beauty is internal. It's about living honestly and joyfully. Stay away from images that detract from that message and go immerse yourself in those that do.

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  10. Anna dear, you are beautiful! It comes across in this blog. We all know you and love you. And who the hell is model beautiful anyway? That's just a fantasy, not a reality. You will radiate with beauty more than ever!

    I'm ready to help waiting for my instructions :) xoxo

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  11. If only you knew how beautiful you are! You are funny, intelligent and quirky as well.

    It takes time to feel truly comfortable and gorgeous with oneself (esp. if there wasn't constant reiteration during childhood). I know that good makeup and the right clothing have gone a long way in making me feel gorgeous. It's one step at a time though. Perhaps get those heels you've been looking at and feel beautiful!

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  13. Yes! I totally empathise. I made R take a picture of me in the dress today, just to prove to myself that I didn't look like a total heifer lol.... I think this is actually a really common issue and kudos for addressing it.

    Incidentally though, the people who feel most insecure about their looks are... models, apparently. True story. Oh there's a great link I'll send...

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  14. okay, first of all, i'm SURE you're absolutely lovely.

    Also, i'm not gorgeous but i felt damn beautiful on my wedding day because of the way my husband looked at me. seriously. it's a total cliche but i figure that I consider him to be attractive and attractive people don't look at unattractive people the way he looked at me. so, logic says i must have looked nice that day :)

    (can't wait to hear the instructions!)

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  15. Here it is!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U

    The literal distortion of women to meet ideals of beauty is something of which I'm sure you're more than aware, but it's a cool vid all the same.

    I bet you're considerably hotter than you think, but there's nothing wrong with wanting to feel confident and healthy :D

    And yes, are L&L your photographers?

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  16. you are beautiful, anna. it does come across. please remember that. it will come across on your wedding day.

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  17. You are the sillest. Oh course you are beautiful and I can say this without a doubt, never having seen a picture of you!

    I used to be quite insecure about my looks. And then I decide to tell myself everyday how gorgeous I am (since no one else will!). Talk about the pyschological cliche right? Whatdaya know? It actually works. I actually somedays think I am a hottie. Somedays leave much to be desired but we all have those days.

    I second ALAL. Honestly, the brides radiate with beauty. Not because they are cookie cutter gorgeous. But because, they are marrying the love of their lives. If that doesn't make you glow, doesn't make you sparkle, don't know what will.

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  18. I was once told that there's nothing more beautiful than happiness... and that stuck - let the happiness of your day shine through you and you will have your most beautiful self captured -

    It's also really helpful to get comfortable around cameras beforehand - have a practice party where you and a load of friends play posing with cameras - not only will you have great fun with friends captured on 'film' but the camera may become your friend...

    You are beautiful - release the joy xxx

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  19. Some smart ladies comment on here, so there's not much I need to say... EXCEPT - Bean thinks you're beautiful, no? Don't insult the man's good taste! :)

    Love you, beautiful. xx

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  20. So glad you're back - you were missed.(Feel yor above friends have said it all but wanted to say the above and so did!)

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  21. Oh Anna, you do make me chuckle, I dying to see these instructions. All I can do is agree with all the other comments - you are beautiful. But seeing as I can relate to almost everything you have written I will do my best to help if only to help myself.

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  22. I will wait with baited breath for further instructions!

    I also agree with all the other wonderful ladies here, and I also think the same sometimes about me, will I look my best on my wedding day etc, think the beautifully styled shots are a bit to blame for that too.

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  23. I don't think there's much I can add that hasn't already been said.

    Everybody perceives themselves to have faults. It is human.

    Just try to see yourself through Bean's eyes. He has chosen to look at you every day, until forever. Not anybody else. Not another version of you. There is no way that you aren't beautiful.

    And I'm pretty sure that everyone who reads your blog wants to be your friend.

    I await further instructions ;)

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  24. I don't have much to add but to repeat: you are beautiful.

    And I totally understand about the model brides. It may seem like there are a lot of them out there freely showing off their perfect bride looks. I was so terrified of the whole wedding day thing especially since my makeup consultation went horribly awry and I did my own hair (gasp) and makeup (double gasp) and I have quite possibly the worst skin ever (despite all kinds of facials and dermatology consultations). But after seeing the pictures from my wedding day, I never would have guessed that I could look that happy and good on film. I really think the day just makes you glow from the inside. If only we could harness that kind of joy all the time...

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  25. You need me I'm there. Post a photo - I bet we all think you are beautiful.

    Sorry you feel this way. You know who the most beautiful brides are in my fav photos on the net? The happy ones. It always come through when people are genuinely happy on their big day. And you and Bean will be CRAZY happy.

    I hate waiting.......

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  26. I am trying to send all the good energy I can to you. Your beauty comes across in your writing and your love of Bean. Beauty is so much more than external attractiveness anyways. It's about kindness, love, spirituality, humanity, flaws, unique characteristics, etc. Everyone who has posted before me is dead on. I'm fully confident you will radiate with beauty on your wedding day. I'm also fully confident that you are beautiful right now. Everyone is much harder on themselves than what the reality is.

    I am also waiting for my instructions. Also, feel free to email me any time to chat (about this or anything else in the world). Friends are fun!

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  27. what is your definition of beauty? it took me quite some time to discover that what i saw around me, in magazines, in movies, was not reality. I was a tiny scrawny kid until puberty. then i got curves at 14 and didn't know what to do with myself. Only recently have I been coming to terms with my shape. surrounding myself with images of what real women look like. the majority not the minority. it also helps that fiance' loves my body. it starts with you, inside. by all means, if you want to get healthy then do it. but don't beat yourself up if you go for a burger or beer now and then. confidence translates to beauty in my book. and confidence takes time, and a wonderful support group of friends which you've got my dear!

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  28. Gosh, you ladies are freakin' awesome. I wish, well I wish you all lived much closer and we more present in my life.

    Each woman is only beautiful if she wants to be. Such a wonderful phrase which I shall carry with me.

    I am not quite able to think I am beautiful or hot! One day. Watch this space.

    Love/hate the idea of the picture party! I think closer to the time I will have to do this! For my own sanity.

    Thank you. It wasn't meant to be a pity post but an honest reflection of my anxiety.

    P.S. Yes sadsack was a raggydolls reference!

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  29. I don't know what to say that hasn't already been said (even that sentence has already been said!). But just from reading your blog I get the sense you are a wonderful, fabulous person who I'm sure is gorgeous. I am having lots of anxiety ridden moments and feeling less than pretty (I ate a giant cookie the size of my head yesterday...no self restraint here!) but I'm sure you will look (and do look)fabulous. no worries!

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  30. I'm with you! My looks have been described as "distinctive" (Jewish nose, anyone?) and "oh, you have good hair" (if you have to have a Jewish nose, you should at least get Jewish hair too). And that's about it. Anyway I am a total cameraphobe and am in no way internet beautiful. But when I said something disparaging about my looks, my best friend said to me "But you're beautiful! You're my (insert cute name she's called me since we were 18)!" And that was good enough for me. For now.

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  31. I hear you girlie! I think this is something almost all of us have to deal with. But you're way ahead of most people, attacking it head on and trying to fall in love with yourself. I had hesitance with posting pictures of me on my own blog... and I think it's a really good thing to force myself to do. I can have very flattering pictures, and also very non-flattering pictures. I can't wait for the day when I can post both without hesitation. I just don't know how to get there yet!

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  32. Ohh your post has made me feel sad.
    There must be something you like about your appearance? Some feature that you feel at least a teeny tiny bit proud of..?

    I have to convince myself on a daily basis that my attractive qualities are more noticable than my flaws.. But of course my tendancy is to focus on the flaws more than anything.

    I'd guess that you are probably much prettier than you think you are. You are young and you are in love and that always looks good, for a start.

    I am trying to wrack my brains thinking of ANYONE I know or have come across who I would actually describe as UGLY but I really can't.. There isnt really that many genuinely offensive- looking people out there. Attractiveness is more about the amount of effort people are prepared to put in to their grooming and their self confidence.. the latter which you are obviously lacking.

    You are just being sooo hard on yourself, nobody would be judging you as harshly as you are judging yourself

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  33. Anna i think your so brave writing theses words. I once suffered with a horrid depression.. it was when the boy and I first got together. I knew I wasn't me.. I was so insecure and I hid... from friends, from family from everyone. it was me a my black hole..

    you can get through it though.. I don't think i'll ever truly be confidant..but I know that if i do go back there.. I will get better again.

    i agree with what everyone else has said. and I applaud you for confronting this and putting it out there. there are so many people who feel the same way.

    i think beauty is a strange thing.. and really not what anyone who truly knows and loves you will be judging you for on your wedding day..

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  34. Oh, who wants to be a supermodel anyway. How boring. You, Anna dear, are clever and witty and charming. So much more fun. I do believe you can't be anything but beautiful in all the ways that matter.

    And I'm so glad you're posting again!!

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  35. Hi hun, new reader to your blog. I too am prob not trad beautiful, tho I think I have a good face, but am chubby and do not have white teeth, but I like myself and my man loves me enough to marry me. Revel in the joy that we are all individual and not meant to look the same. I always embrace your inner freak and insecurities and if all else fails smile :) Jx

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  36. i don't know what you look like. but don't give in to the idea that there's only one brand of beauty out there.

    and also. were always harder on ourselves than others are.

    and also. i have a ton of wedding photos where i look atrocious. but i get to pick which photos blogland sees. and so do you.

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  37. I'm a little late posting to this discussion and the many other wonderful ladies have done a good job of covering the important ground.

    I'd just like to add that the most beautiful photos are the ones with the most emotion, the most life, the most heart. Those are the ones that take everyones breath away - or at least everyone who hasn't been lobotomized by the wedding industry.

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  38. I'm way late at posting this but Anna, you are beautiful!! You're honest, quirky and man, you're wicked with words... all your puns and additional meanings. I'm always having to try figure out the meaning and don't think I get it completely ever! One day I will. :P

    I used to be really insecure about my looks growing up and I still do, now and then... but I just remember that everyone's beautiful in their own way. There's always going to be someone who thinks you're beautiful and another who thinks you're plain jane. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder so why worry about it?? That's my take anyway....

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So, I really love all the sweet and/or informative comments that you lovelies leave. Yet if you feel the need to be unnecessarily rude or offensive I will delete your comment and not feel bad about it. So just be constructive alright! Hugs to all you wondrous others.

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