I’ve never been a model and likely never will be. However, I recently had the opportunity to be just that for a day. Let me back up a little…..
As I’ve entered my 6th decade (yikes), I vacillated between general disbelief that I could be 50, and gratitude for being healthy and so very fortunate in many ways. Maybe even a little bit of fear is mixed in there, knowing that the years are flying by and that I likely am way past the half-way mark.
Over the past 4-5 years, I have been noticing the signs of aging. The increasing grey hairs, lines in the face, looser skin and others I won’t even mention. However, with the help of my wonderful “Goddesses Never age” group of friends, I decided to try to embrace the aging process that is inevitable…. if I am one of the lucky ones that is, who is healthy and lives a long life. In my work in Palliative care, I far too often witness the death of a younger person, so I remind myself with each new grey hair, with every ache and pain, and with every change I notice in my body, that I am indeed one of the lucky ones.
Recently, when I noticed a FaceBook post about a project called “50 and Fabulous” I just had to click on it! Reading the photographers plans for bringing to light the beauty in women over 50 struck a cord in me. Regina’s plans to change the way we think about beauty in the media, to bring forward the amazing faces of women who have experienced love and loss, raised families, cared for aging parents, travelled the world…. you name it, spoke to me in a way that made me reach out to her.
About 3 weeks later, I found myself in her studio in Victoria, having a makeover and standing in front of her very big camera. She made me feel at ease, coaxed poses, head turns, shoulder rolls and smiles out of me over and over. I felt pretty special that day. Which brings me closer to my point (at last, you say!) Many of us have a really hard time being nice to ourselves, saying nice things about the way we look, dress, and feel about our own bodies. I am no exception but when I saw the result of Regina’s work, I had a really hard time NOT feeling good about what was in front of my eyes. Regina and Serge, her husband and business partner, prepared a video of the day. While I watched in disbelief at what I was seeing, tears welled up. Was I really so pretty? The evidence was right in front of my eyes, it was pretty hard to deny that I didn’t look so bad (okay I still have a little work to do on my self-acceptance but I’m a step or 2 closer after this experience.) Wouldn’t it be amazing to keep a healthy, positive, and accepting attitude about myself as I pass through the years. The alternative is self-judgment, criticism and general unhappiness about myself and the way I look. It really is a no-brainer isn’t it?
Check out this little video that Serge put together of the day and also Regina’s website for more information on her project.