Sisterhood of Self-hate dreamspeed photography warrenton virginia
Photo by TC Coffey

It is so hard to look at yourself. I mean really look at yourself. I know. I have had this problem for years, and I’m fighting to overcome it. I’m nearly 50. I’m overweight. I’m getting lines in my face. I have veins in my legs. What’s worse is that there are hardly any women over 40 represented in the media. It’s like you should curl up and die after 40. So does this mean I don’t deserve a photo of myself? I want to leave an image of myself on this earth. But how can I when every time I look at my own image, the best I can do is muster up a glance at it, and then look down hoping no one saw my reaction as I looked at my horrible self. They all must feel sorry and embarrassed for me.

I don’t know what happened to women in general, but I have never met a woman who didn’t have issues like this. Some bigger, some smaller than mine, but it is always there, a sisterhood of self-hate. And if I talk to a woman longer than 2 minutes, I can see it start to surface. “I hate to see myself in photos. I look terrible. I hate to look at myself. I’m fat, old, gray, my clothes look awful…” We want to confess our self-hate to each other, apologize for ourselves. I just don’t know how we all got this implanted in very core. We come from different backgrounds and upbringings. Is it genetic? Or is it cultural?

I have recently had an epiphany. I’m so sick of hating myself. AM I so old, ugly and fat, such a hideous creature, that I should only show myself at night by the glow of the 7-11 streetlights while buying frozen pizzas and Ben & Jerry’s? Lately, I’ve decided that I’m not this gruesome thing. As I have been fighting to overcome this, I’ve discovered that I have not even felt like I’m the same species as other women. I think this self-hate may have FINALLY played itself out. But it’s a constant struggle not to let myself fall back into it. It’s always there.

My new friend, TC Coffey who owns Big Bash Photo, came to my studio, and we took turns taking photos of each other. When she sent me the images I was horrified as usual. But then I started really looking at them. I saw someone I might like again.

Sisterhood of Self-hate dreamspeed photography warrenton virginia
Photo by TC Coffey