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Getting in focus

December 27, 2013

When my three-year-old visited me at the hospital after I delivered my third baby, he innocently asked, “Um, Mama are you sure there’s only one baby? There should be another one, right?”

When I told him there wasn’t, he looked puzzled. He pointed to my tummy and asked, “Then why is your stomach still so big?”

Even after his littlest brother turned one, Ben would still turn to me to ask “Is there another baby coming?” cos’ that tummy of mine was still looking like I was five months pregnant. It never did manage to flatten itself away till this day.

I did three kids in four years and I never had the opportunity to return to any pre-pregnancy weight nor get back my pre-preggers figure. That’s shaken my self assurance a fair bit. This is the very reason why I stay away from selfies and insist that whoever that takes our photo only just takes face, neck and torso only, and that pictures that are not nice must be deleted and NOT uploaded on any form of social media. Most of the time, I’m just happy to be taking pictures of my kids. They are beautiful, yes, they are. Their Mama? Oh well, nevermind it’s alright.

Sad story, but true.

Developing camera confidence can be a huge challenge for a mother of three who’s practically lost her figure after three pregnancies and deliveries. That, and also the fact that full-time mothering demands so much from you that you’re perpetually looking haggard. Hands up if you who have spotted skin, uneven tones and new wrinkles carving into your face every day circling those sleep-deprived eyes like me.

And it’s no wonder that most women, like me, shy away from the camera the moment someone tries to snap a shot of us unexpectedly.  As we get older, we start to say no more and more to having our pictures or videos taken. If you don’t believe me, watch this video.

When did we stop thinking we’re beautiful?

I suspect we’ve conditioned ourselves, as we age, to think that we are not as beautiful as we used to be. “Getting old lah,” we say. “Don’t take my picture ah!” And we look away when we learn that we are being videoed or photographed.

We are our worst critics, I say. We are more beautiful than we think, but we just don’t want to think that.

According to the Dove Global Research, 63% of women have destroyed a photo in which they didn’t like how they looked, and 65% of women also say that having their photo taken or uploaded makes them more anxious about their looks. I used to belong to both groups, clearly in the category of those lacking camera confidence. I have to admit I was feeling and thinking the crappiest of myself for the longest time after having three kids and being consumed by full-time motherhood.

But there are steps to take to help un-crappify yourself (did I just coin a word?), as I’ve learned, so that you can feel confident even though nothing in your world is perfect. Yes, even if there are freckles on the face, hair that’s not been cut for months (heh, that’s me) and fats wobbling like jelly all around. But the bigger picture is this: if you choose not to freeze that moment in time (especially if they are precious growing up years of beautiful memories with the kids), it’s gone forever, you know.

So I say, it’s back to the basics with A SMILE, GOOD POSTURE AND GRATITUDE.

You’ll definitely have a sense of self-worth and positivity if you wear a smile, stand tall and have thanksgiving in your heart. Do that enough and I’m sure regardless of age or appearance, you wouldn’t find any reason to be covering your face when the camera starts rolling.

I may have less than a flat tummy and lots of cellulite all around, but with gratefulness in my heart for being blessed with a beautiful family, I think I’ll always remember to stand straight and tall, and to smile whenever there’s a chance to be captured for a moment in time.

Motherkao and the Kao kids

Will you do that too?

This post is sponsored by Dove. Dove is committed to creating a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety and hopes to inspire all women to reach their full beauty potential by caring for themselves and each other. 

Visit www.DoveCameraConfidence.com to draw inspiration from ten ordinary women who overcame their camera shyness at the Dove’s Camera Confidence Workshop. You will also get a chance to learn from the experts on how to be more camera confident simply by sending them your questions on the site.

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  • Reply Dove Singapore December 29, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    Hi Mummy Ed,

    The ‘jelly belly’ is a mark of your pregnancies and most importantly, your beautiful kids. 🙂
    You do a lot of interesting activities with your kids and are a very active mommy… and that brings out your natural beauty — healthy, nurturing and glowing!

    – Dove Singapore

  • Reply Mummy Ed December 27, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Lovely post 🙂 The kids are definitely worth all the “damage” they’ve done to our bodies, (not to mention the aches and pains of caring and carrying them!) but I still cringe at the jelly belly.

    • Reply MotherKao December 29, 2013 at 7:35 AM

      Haha, yea Mummy Ed! Wobbling jelly bits, in fact! Haha!

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