tonia johnston photography | no barbies, please

no barbies, please

September 26, 2011

I’m no bra burner, but I believe in Girl Power.

I totally understand why Moms can’t remember their kids names and have to run through the list before they hit on the right one. I understand the days where you can’t find the peanut butter because you accidentally left it in some random room when you went to check on…I understand why we feel like with every child we have, we lose brain cells.

I also understand how we as women feel outrage at the media for portraying women and girls in a poor light. How in videos we are the ho’s, on tv commercial’s we ooze sex appeal and in magazines we all have rock hard thighs and abs, no cellulite and are perfectly manicured.

I held off for years ever buying my daughter a Barbie doll. I didn’t want her to play with them and feel like that’s the standard she had to live up to. Yes, I’m small. I know I’m not perfect, I could probably stand to gain a few pounds and like every woman I know, there are a few things I would fix up. But I find it amazing that we are so outraged for our daughters. We are constantly talking to our daughters about how they present themselves and self-confidence that we totally forget to do it for ourselves. Why do we do that?

We spend so much time taking care of everyone else. We get pecked at on a daily basis – this is for you women who do not have children as well. Sometimes I get to the end of the day and I feel like I’ve been robbed. I know you hear what I’m saying. We give to our bosses, our co-workers, our family, friends, pets, the house, the laundry, I could go on. We do without asking in return. We do it not realizing until too late sometimes that we have nothing else to give. You know that empty feeling? That defeated feeling? The one where you feel like your running on fumes and you just need to run away.

I’ve had so many conversations about body image and being a mom over the last few months. The ONLY reason I have heard from women as to why they don’t get their picture taken is because of weight. It breaks my heart. I understand it, but it kills me. I wrote a week or so ago about the power of words and how someone close to me told me I was worthy. I’m telling you that now. I’m not saying it to get your business, I really am not concerned about that right now. I’m saying it because I was given the gift of hearing those words and I feel the need to pass it along.

I wish we could realize that not only do we need to tell our daughters that they are perfect the way they are, I wish we believed it for ourselves. Do we not realize our words are hollow if we are allowing our weight, our smiles, our nose, our height stop us from doing what we want to do? People see us all of the time but they never really see us. I know you hear me. There are two sides to every mother (and maybe fathers as well). There is the parent and then there is who we REALLY are. The part of you that is buried so deep inside of you that sometimes you forget what it was like to be human.

This is the part I don’t get. A picture should show the real you. It’s your personality that should be captured during a photo shoot. I don’t know, maybe we’ve been so programmed to think that we have to look perfect (whatever that is) to be in a picture and it’s just not true. It’s the you part, not the physical part that makes a good picture. That is what makes people say, “oh, I love it!” It’s your smile that people love, that look, the way you run your fingers through your hair or the way you squint when your thinking – that’s what makes the shot!

As a photographer, I want real women in front of my camera. I know all of the feelings I mentioned above and I want to be able to give women a little reminder to put in the house or load onto their computers that shows them that they are beautiful. I want to capture their sass, their strength that comes from life experience.

I know this probably sounds like a lot of ranting but I’m really fired up about this. There are too many times that I feel like I can’t.  I just want for women to feel like they can. We can do something for ourself. We can take a few hours out of one day to pamper ourselves, be a diva. We can tap into that other side of our personality that makes us feel human. We can teach our girls what it is to be a whole woman when we start to feel like one, when we start to treat ourselves as a whole person – no matter what we are wrapped in physically.

I don’t care about your shape. I don’t care about your hair color. I don’t care about the bump on your nose, how tall you are or your shoe size. My camera and I just want to know the true you.

Know that you are beautiful..and perfect…and deserving in your own way. And you are WORTHY!

<3 ~ tonia