I Am A Woman

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Last night, my friend, Jerica, dropped off a book I’d purchased from her and a cute T-shirt that says, “I Am A Woman.”

I took one look at that shirt and thought, “I see a selfie in your future.”

Selfies. I love them because I get to control what the camera sees. From one angle I look skinny. From another angle I look sexy while a different angle might make me look sweet.

I have selfie photo-shoots where I’ll take no less that 47 pictures and only two of those will make the cut. 

Someone on the outside looking in might think I’m conceited or self absorbed. 

I’m not. 

I know what I’ve been through. I know there was a time when I completely avoided mirrors because I didn’t like what I saw. 

Growing up, I was bullied and made fun of because of my looks. It was hard being the skinny little smart girl with thick glasses, big lips, buck teeth, and a Jheri curl that wasn’t always...moisturized.

I spent a lot of time praying I’d somehow wake up with straight teeth, thin lips, and long hair. Contact lenses weren’t a thing back then but I just knew that my glasses wouldn’t matter if the rest of me was pretty.

There is low-self esteem and then there is NO self esteem. I had negative self esteem. Whenever I felt like I might be kind of cute..there was always someone there to make sure I knew that I wasn’t. 

As a young adult it made it easier for me to accept emotional abuse because I felt like...if I could just be a better version of myself...whoever I loved unconditionally would love me the same. 

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I don’t know how or when it happened, but one day, as a woman in my forties, I decided I was beautiful. 

I started working out. I started losing the stress weight I’d gained over the years, and I started trying to eat better.

I even started praising myself, standing in the mirror, motivating myself to be better for ME...not for anyone else.

So...when I put on my makeup and then put on my “I Am A Woman” T-shirt, my first thought was, “YES, QUEEN! You better WEAR that!”

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Things were fine until I stopped focusing on my face...and started focusing on the shirt.

No matter how much weight I lose, my abs refuse to cooperate. I would blame it on my babies, but...those babies are 20 and 22. I can partially blame them for nursing my boobs flat, but this gut is all on me.

Abs are made in the kitchen and I love the kind of food that likes to congregate where my abs are supposed to be.

When I positioned that camera differently my gut would not be denied.

Even in spanx it screamed “Give us free!”

After giving myself a mini pity party I realized I was slipping into my old habit of focusing on my flaws without seeing my gifts.

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With that being said...

I am not perfect. 

I am a poet.

I am an author.

I am a wife.

I am a mother.

I AM A WOMAN.

...and I’m beautiful.

Dammit.