Posted by: LakeIris | July 4, 2011

Dodging Cameras a.k.a. Life in your 30s

When I read this refreshingly honest post earlier this evening (and when I realized my comments had reached three paragraphs and I still had more to say), I decided to turn it into a post of my own. Have a look at what M had to say on the topic here: Avoiding Mirrors, Dodging Cameras.

I, like M, have a recently developed aversion to photographs of myself. Perhaps it has more to do with being 31, and not the pregnancies, as she supposes. I was surprised a couple of months ago by how few photos of myself from the past year I actually like. (It’s as if the ratio of “wow! I look good” to “hmmm…untag, thank you very much!” has flipped.)

When I take good, hard, objective look at the photos, it’s difficult to pinpoint what it is that looks different. Hair’s not turning gray. No noticeable wrinkles. Skin’s actually pretty good, when the acne’s under control. A little rounder around the chin, but I’ve been this weight before – in fact I was at least a full size larger 19 years ago. Just more…tired, perhaps?

The irony is that, in many ways, I’m the healthiest I’ve been in a long time, maybe ever. I’ve made significant changes to what I eat and my immune system has improved dramatically. Granted, my exercise routine leaves something to be desired, but I’ve been making progress in that area these past couple months, too.

I have to agree with M, that’s about as far as I’m willing to go to change the way I look. Eating fresh, organic, whole foods? Sure thing. Exercise? Absolutely – I never feel better about the way I look than right after a workout – love those endorphins. But ‘diets’, surgery, botox? Not a chance.

So I think for me, it’s about coming to terms with the fact that I may, after all, be starting to look my age. I’d imagined myself as someone who would age gracefully, embracing the gifts that each year brings. Seeing each wrinkle as evidence of all the laughter and smiles I’ve had – each gray hair a recognition of an obstacle or challenge I’d made it through.

But here’s the reality: I don’t feel like I’ve experienced some of the key things I feel I ‘should’ get to while a young woman. (And yes, as I type this, I recall Lloyd saying just two days ago that his definition of ‘young’ is under 40, so perhaps it’s not all slipping away as quickly as it feels.) I haven’t been the radiant bride. Or the glowing mother-to-be.

I think the part of me that’s not happy with the recent photographs is the part of me that’s starting to acknowledge that neither of those is guaranteed to happen. Something I prefer to avoid thinking about, which is much easier to do when I can pretend I still look/feel/am in my mid-20s and have all the time in the world.



  1. Like you, I decided not to leave a comment, but do my own post all together!

  2. […] last Friday? This blog post at Emerging Mummy. If you’ve read about my experience with dodging cameras these past few months, you might agree with the beautiful timing of the […]

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