I know my curves are sexy and I want everyone else to know that theirs are too. There is no reason to hide and every reason to flaunt.” ~ Ashley Graham
I know my curves are sexy. That is not really something that I struggle with but I couldn’t find the perfect quote to capture what I wanted to say but this came close.
We all have our moments of self doubt but mostly I am fairly confident in my curves and overall shape but there is one area that I still continue to hide more often than not and that is my tummy.
I hate the overhang that I have. The result of two pregnancies etc but in addition to that I have a very large abdominal scar. It cuts right across the left side of my belly from the naval right round to my side. It is the result of major surgery that I had at the age of 6 to remove my spleen. That would be 40 plus years ago and I know that surgery techniques have changed and I probably wouldn’t have been left with such an ugly scar if it had happened in my more recent times. It is what it is though and I can’t be cross or sad about that because ultimately it saved my life and allowed me to live a life.
Mostly I forget it is there but that is hard to do in images and I instinctively find myself covering it in some way when I take a picture. My arm casually draped over that part of my body, or a towel or clothes positioned just right to mask it or the right angle, or the other side of my stomach. I can’t hate the scar because it gave me life but I do struggle to accept the way it looks and see it as anything other than ugly. The result is I am far more comfortable posting a graphic revealing image of my cunt than I am show my belly.
I took this picture last Autumn when we were away on our little holiday in Sussex. When I took it I actually tried to take it so I was standing on the other side of the mirror to catch ‘the good side’ of my tummy but that caused that side of my body to then be in the shadows and it just didn’t work. So I swapped and took the picture. On my phone, on that small screen I was happy with it but when we got home and I looked at it on my computer screen all I could see was the damn scar.
I will admit that I tried to edit the image in a way that might distract from that but all the things I tried made the image less and the more I worked on it the more I realised that the original shot was good and so I stopped trying to change it and started making a few subtle tweaks to bring out the best of it. That meant lightening the reflection to draw your eye into the mirror. Once I had done I realised that the edits I had made did the exact opposite of what I had initially tried to do. It made you look at my reflection and there was no hiding that scar.
But I still couldn’t post it. I liked the image but there was still that part of me that was uncomfortable with it so I did what I have done before when faced with similar situations and left it in my edited, but unused folder. Today when I was planning my content for FebPhotoFest and realised that the prompt of Revelations for that week was going to be hiding I knew what I was going to write.
That was a few weeks ago now. Today it is time to post it. To let people see. There is a still a tiny part of me who wants to shelve it. I have other images I could share. I can hide this one a way for a bit longer. But in all honesty I don’t want to. Elements of this blog have always been about challenging myself and confronting myself with who I am and sharing this image is doing exactly that.