How’s that for a random title?
My hair is falling out. I have big ugly bald spot front and center. There is hair all over my house, on every surface. I guess it’s the new drugs.
Here’s the problem: I have looked NOTHING like the photo on the home page of my blog for two years. When my hair fell out the first time, it grew back in very dark and curly. Right now, what’s left of it is shoulder length and a deep brown. And you know that awful few months when you’re trying to grow out your bangs and they’ll never stay out of your eyes and everything you do to keep them up is sort of awkward? I JUST finished that, much to my relief.
So now all this hair is falling out, and I feel like there should be a photograph of me as I have looked for the past year or two existing somewhere (not necessarily published on my blog, but just existing, you know?) … but I have avoided every possible opportunity until now. I am the one behind the camera, not in front of the camera.
Why the photo-phobia? Body image issues, I guess. Look up “cushingoid” somewhere and it might give you some insight.
…characteristic appearance: The face appears round and red, the trunk tends to become obese with a humped upper back and the limbs become wasted. Acne may develop and purple stretch marks (striae) may appear on the abdomen, thighs and breasts. The skin is thin and bruises easily. The bones become weakened and are at increased risk of fracturing. Women may become increasingly hairy. Affected people are more susceptible to infection and may suffer from stomach or duodenal ulcers. Mental changes often occur, including depression, paranoia and sometimes euphoria. Insomnia may be a problem. Patients may develop hypertension and edema.
Steroids do terrible things. My face is fat, my skin is bad, and my self-esteem is terrible.
But I think before the rest of this long brown curly hair falls out, I should have my kids take a picture of me. Just because. I also think, though, that I’m not the only blogging mama who never has photos of herself on her blog. We hide BEHIND our cameras because our bodies are soft and round, having birthed, carried, nursed many babies. We hide behind our cameras because we feel like we always look tired. Maybe that’s because mamas who love their husbands and their babies with all their hearts, all the time, even in the middle of the night, ARE tired. We hide behind our cameras because when we DO see pictures of ourselves, we look so much older than those images of ourselves we carry in our minds. We are getting older, just as our babies are getting older, and sometimes it’s easier not to think about that.
The piles of long brown curly hair on the bathroom floor convinced me. Today I will have my children take pictures of me. They see me as I look right now every day. I’m the only one who constantly compares today’s image with an old picture I carry in my mind. I see soft, round, tired, old… they just see mama, love, warm, sweet.
If only I could borrow their eyes, my husband’s eyes. If only I could capture some confidence from their smiles and their love. I know it’s not just me. Today, if you’re a mama who has avoided having her picture taken because it’s ever so much more comfortable to be behind the camera, I challenge you to join me and have your children take some pictures of you. Maybe we can be really brave and post them and share. Leave a comment with a link if you do.