Self Portrait 365|18


The Hat

Few women have ever been able to resist the temptation to try on a hat and discover in the mirror a person they never suspected was there. A hat alters the image we have of ourselves, and the image others see as well.  For the hours we wear it, it brings out different dimension in our personality, much as a costume aids an actress in her role.

I was lying naked in bed, my boyfriend’s hand resting on my hip. I pointed to the thin white lines where my skin had ruptured many years ago when my pelvis had widened in anticipation of children I would never have.

“Stretch marks,” I said, screwing up my face. “They’re awful.”

He looked at me with surprise. “What are you talking about? he asked. “What stretch marks?”

“Come on,” I said. “They’re so obvious. Like big scratches across my hips.”

He pushed my body towards the light and stared at where I was pointing. “I can’t see much of anything,” he said, “except how beautiful you are.”

There is a gap, a huge chasm, between the way we see ourselves and the way others see us. All we notice are our flaws — the acne scars on our neck, the bump in our nose, our crooked teeth or blotchy skin. When we look in the mirror, we concentrate on how much we fall short of the idealised notion of beauty we see in magazines and on television. The face and body we are born with doesn’t measure up in our heads.

I had a friend once who had a huge birth mark that covered half his face. I think I noticed it for about ten seconds the first time we met. After that, I never thought about it. If someone had asked me to describe him, I probably would have forgotten to mention it. The uniqueness of his face didn’t distract from how much I loved him, it was just a part of who he was.

What if we could see ourselves the way the world sees us? What would it be like to stop focusing on our imagined flaws?

Your teeth, your eyes, your ears, your skin are all beautiful to other people.

You might be able to see your flaws, but I can’t. I can’t see much of anything except how beautiful you are.

Do you have friends with unusual features? Does it make you love them less or more?


Technical Information

Camera model: Canon EOS 7D
F/stop: f/3.5
Exposure time: 1/250 sec
ISO speed: ISO-100
Focal length: 50mm
Flash mode: Manual
Post processing: Photoshop Elements
Filters: Adjust saturation | Diffuse Glow | Adjust levels
Overlay : French Kiss Collection Textures Fantin Edged
Blending Mode: Multiply 64%


About KatieP

Embracing my midlife sexy while exploring modern love & relationships • Devoted to all things beautiful • Master of Arts in creative writing & non-fiction writing

4 thoughts on “Self Portrait 365|18

  1. Spotty, with a hook nose. That’s me 🙂

    I have one acquaintance (my best guy friend’s sister) who has a condition called cherubism, which makes her chin HUGE. She sometimes gets yelled at in the street, which is awful. She’s also an actress and an ambassador for a charity for people with facial disfigurements. She’s a warrior. She’s also a great laugh, and yeah – I think I noticed for a couple of minutes, but then the novelty wore off, and all was well 🙂

  2. I love these self portraits! It’s humbling to see ourselves through our loved one’s eyes. I need to start seeing myself like that more than through my own jaundiced vision which points out my flaws first.

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