Amie from National Capital Doulas, shares her journey to be in photos
Photo and text written by Aime Scharfe
I'm taking a deep breath and pushing myself to be in more photos. It isn't easy! I've struggled with body image issues since I was a teenager. My body and clothing sizes have fluctuated but my vision of myself hasn't. Feeling this way isn't a new feeling for me. I have three children and there have been changes made to my body which I don't love and have a hard time accepting. There are a number of reasons for the changes but the end result is the same – my body image has suffered a great deal. There are times when I feel like I don't recognize myself. All of these things translate into my general avoidance of cameras.
I was looking through photos one day with my older children and they both turned to me and
commented that I'm never in the pictures. “Why mom?” As I searched for a way to answer them I realized the mistake I was making. They don't care, all they want is to be with me and to have those visual reminders of the memories we share. You know what? I want that too. My children are everything to me and I want to have fun with them even when a camera is around. I want to be silly and ham in front of the camera with them. I want those visual reminders too. Do I still see a body that's too soft for my liking? Yes, I do. Do I still struggle with those same body image issues? I do. At the same time I see that I've been missing out and I don't want that for myself or for them. I want to see captured in pictures the love, the enjoyment, the fun we have together. I want them to have those visual reminders, and I want to have them too.
It isn't always easy, there are times when I feel the pull to fall back into the old way of avoidance, but I push back at myself and take that picture anyway. I step into the frame even after a night of little sleep. I smile for the camera even when the angle is all wrong. My time with them is what matters most, so I've learned to go a little easier on myself. It gets easier every time I do it. Be in that photo, mama. Do it for them. Do it for you! My heartfelt thanks to Irina for starting this project. Hopefully our stories will help you to be #inspiredtobeinphotos
Amie is founder and co-owner at National Capital Doulas. She is a DONA certified birth doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Certified Babywearing Educator and a trained postpartum doula. Postpartum doula support, childbirth and lactation education, lactation support and babywearing education.