My career is based upon helping women feel confident and beautiful. I pride myself in helping others find their beauty and get their mojo back when they feel they’ve lost it. To others, I appear to but put together, exude confidence and glamour. However, occasionally I don’t feel so great about myself. I have to find a way to wake up and be productive when I want to stay in bed and hide. I, like many women, certainly can list a myriad of things I dislike about my body. But I try really hard to not focus on those “flaws” but the things that I love.
I was talking with my husband last night about men being sexually attracted to their partners. I asked him if he would still be attracted to me if I gained 50 pounds. He diverted the question back to me and asked if I would still find him attractive. “Of course I would!”, I said without hesitation. He looked at me and assured me he felt the same way. When I looked at him quizzically, he asked why would I question him when he didn’t question my enthusiastic answer. He had a point! Why do we do that as women???
I can sit here and claim he’s bullshitting me and find every excuse to not believe him, but he said he loves me for me and physical appearance is only part of the many reasons why he’s attracted to me. So I dropped the subject and accepted his answer.
I’ll flash back to several weeks ago when my wedding photographer sent me my wedding images. I was so excited to see them as that day I truly felt beautiful and my husband and all of my loved ones told me I looked great. But looking at the photos, I didn’t feel I looked as beautiful as I thought I felt. So I cried.
It definitely wasn’t my photographers fault as the photos were lovely. I was just feeling insecure about my appearance in the photos. I stopped looking at them for a few weeks as to not upset myself further. I thought long and hard about what it was I was really upset over. Many people told me I looked beautiful, I even thought that day I looked beautiful, so what happened when I saw photographs?
The reality is I don’t look like I did 10 or 15 years ago. I probably won’t look like that 20 something year old girl again. But this 41 year old woman IS beautiful in her own way. I told myself that on that day I was the happiest I had ever been and to try and look at those photos and see what everyone else saw that day. So I finally looked back on those photographs the other day. I smiled. I was finally able to see the love and the joy and not how fat my ass looked or my double chin (well I noticed it, but didn’t care as much). I had to shift my mindset. And I did it.
I deal with women day in and day out who feel similar as I do. Some days we just don’t feel pretty. So how do we push though that and find some inner confidence, even on the days it’s so hard to find?
Here’s what I do…
1. First of all, there are parts of my body I do love. When I have a bad day, I try to focus on those parts and wear clothes that show off what I love about myself. For the first time in a long time I went shopping and loved every single item I tried on. When was the last time that happened? So wear what makes you feel beautiful.
2. Actually do your hair and makeup. I know so many days we don’t have time to pull ourselves together, but when I do, I simply feel better about myself when I am made up. So curl your hair and put on your favorite lipstick and it will immediately help you feel better.
3.Try to eat better that day. For me I know it’s a mental game. If I just ate cookies or junk food, I immediately feel miserable about myself. So when I have a day I don’t feel great, I try extra hard to make better food choices. Those days when we eat better we normally have more energy anyway and mentally I think we just feel better about ourselves all around, so choose your food accordingly.
4, When your significant other gives you a compliment, just say thank you. They are offering it because they mean it. When we question the validity or sincerity, it really ruins something that is meant to be a nice gesture. So instead of asking “how can you find me attractive when I just look like a big,fat whale!” A simple thank you is all that is required. And smile because someone said something nice. (Not easy to do, but try it.)
5.Do something unexpectedly nice for someone else. Giving without expecting anything in return always makes me happy. Buy the person in front of you coffee, tell someone how much they mean to you. Any small, thoughtful gesture will make someone else smile, and in turn, make you smile. And we are most beautiful when we are smiling and happy!
These may seem like little things, but they do make a BIG difference and they help me face the world when some days I simply don’t feel like it. We are all going to have bad days, but a small adjustment in our mindset can really make a huge difference. I just try to remember that almost everyone feels this way once in awhile. The more negative we focus on, the more negative we’ll see in ourselves and others. So shift your mindset to focus on the positive and more beauty will be visible all around you.
Veronica is an accomplished author and her first book "Dialogue 3" was published in 2002 and showcases her photographs of people and places and the tragedy of 911. She is currently a continuing education photography teacher at Brookdale Community College instructing courses from beginner DSLR to more advanced portraiture courses and also hosts workshops around the state to amateur and hobbyist photographers.
She has been interviewed on several radio talk shows, featured on blogs and her work has been on several reality TV shows such as TLC's Four Weddings, Bravo's Cake Boss, HGTV's Dina's Party and The Real Housewives of NJ.
Veronica is currently speaking in the tri-state area on photography and how women can build their confidence in photographs. She instructs women how to pose better, and sell their brand with a perfect head shot.
Since beginning her professional career in 1996 as a photojournalist, Veronica has won many awards for her portraiture work. She worked for some of the top media outlets in the tri-state area such as The Star Ledger, The New York Times and the Associated Press.
Latest posts by Veronica Yankowski (see all)
- The Million Man March, A Reflection 20 Years Later - October 16, 2015
- How To Feel Good About Yourself When You Don’t Feel Good About Yourself - October 8, 2015
- The Center of My World - July 21, 2015