Reposted here from the Mid Drift Movement Facebook page with Angie’s permission. Photo posted with Jade’s permission.
Deep Breath. Here it is. As many of you may have followed along we recently brought the mindblowingly talented Jade Beall here from Jade Beall Photography. She did mini shoots of mamas and I had the joy of meeting them all prior and helping everyone get comfortable before stepping behind the lens. I heard their reasons for doing the shoot and marveled at their bravery. I told them all they were lovely and I meant it with all my being.
My shoot with Jade was the day before the mamas came. We had come right from an event that morning where so many of you told us how important this movement is to you. I had had the privilege of getting to know Jade over the past few days and felt at ease. And my friends, the shoot was not as terrifying as I had anticipated for me. I didn’t hesitate and I went for it all fully nude (I’ll save those for elsewhere viewings) because I was thinking of all the hiding we do everyday. All of the mamas who think they are the only ones that look the way they do, that certainly no one has as many stretches, sags or bumps as they do. I left with my head held high feeling fuller of beauty than I had in a long time.
Then three weeks later the photos arrived in my inbox.
I thought I was ready, that I was confident. It was clear quite quickly I was not. Clicking through these images that I know show me as I am, I was overcome with emotions I had not expected. Shock. Sadness and Embarrassment. Not for my appearance, but for my reaction to seeing myself. And I wept staring at my screen. Mike sat next to me not entirely sure what to do that could ease the sting. I told him that the me I was seeing was not the me I have in my head. For whatever reason it just didn’t quite resonate.
I had to take a few days to let it all settle with me and then I took another look last night. This time I tried, really tried, to look at them with an open heart and see the real me. Of course the images were the same but this time I saw other things. I saw the sparkle in my eye as I held my head with pride. I saw the breasts that have fed and sustained all four of my children. I saw the stretched to its limits belly that grew these stupendous beings. And I felt a little bit of pride. Do I love every bit of my body? Absolutely not, but I am trying and it is happening slowly but surely.
And I knew I needed to share some of them. Especially when after our news story has been shared I have seen some of the comments. And they are not all that pretty. ( I broke the cardinal rule of never read the comments). I know that as we continue in this journey there will be more negativity and people asking me to “please cover it up” or lamenting that I am just “another fat woman looking for an excuse to not work out”. I know these people don’t know my story and furthermore, I know they don’t care. What I do know is that they are the people that fuel my fire to keep going. They are proof positive that indeed our society’s ideals need to be challenged and need to be questioned. So I will keep pushing forward asking you to join me.
The photo I chose was taken near the end of my shoot when we brought my youngest son in with me. He was less than thrilled especially when he saw that mama was in her undies and that there was not only Jade, but we had our film crew there too. Yup. I had it filmed for our documentary so that others may see that sometimes you have to close your eyes and jump without being certain of what will catch you. And I will continue to encourage you to do the same.
Love and strength to all you brave mamas as you too fuel my flame.
PS, we cannot continue to do this without your support so if this moves you in any way and you can contribute $5, $10 or whatever you can it would be ever so appreciated. Our Go Fund me link is here.