I have been hesitant to I have been reluctant to I have been afraid to post postpartum pictures of myself on Instagram or Facebook. Easter was unavoidable because we had family over and everyone was taking pictures. How could I tell them, “No thanks, I’d rather wait until my skin clears up, my face isn’t so round, and I’m back to my pre-pregnancy weight”? But if you look at my FB wall, or my IG profile, you’ll see that on Easter Sunday I flooded both accounts with pictures of my boys and posted just a couple of pictures with me in the shot. Other than Easter, I think I have a handful of pictures with me up, but I’m either wearing make-up or used a filter. and I most definitely strategized (auto correct tells me I just made up a word) so as to avoid showing any rolls or squishy bits.
I’ve never considered myself a particularly vain person. Maybe when I was a pre-teen, but that was really to cover up other insecurities. But pregnancy – especially a multiples pregnancy – can change a girl. I didn’t mind belly pictures while I was pregnant because God was growing two miracles inside me. But I wouldn’t let anyone capture my image unless I was wearing make-up. And I probably still applied a filter. Pregnancy hormones are no joke and they did a number on my skin. I had never experienced acne like that. And I not only had the pleasure of being embarrassed while I was afflicted with the acne, I now have the pleasure of wearing the scars. Oh, the joys of having the skin pigmentation of a “whitish brown” (you can thank DJ for that one) girl.
I felt like I had to wear make-up at all times, filter all pictures, and explain that I was pregnant with twins if anyone ever saw me without make-up. That is, until just recently. In May I rediscovered Francheska of “Hey Fran Hey”. I got a serious girl crush on her a couple of years ago, as she is curly girl. And I consider all curly girls to be my curly-haired sisters. She’s all about being healthy by being natural – clean eating; DIY hair, skin, and body care. While I’m not quite ready to dive back into the world of eating clean, I did feel prompted by God to take off the mask I created with make-up. I had to admit that I was looking for security more in make-up than I was in Him. I was letting it define me whether I was wearing it or not.
So, I packed up my make-up and started following Francheska’s lead. I took a picture of myself on “Day 1” of my new skincare regimen. I almost posted it. I thought better of it. I talked myself out of it “I’ll save it and use it as the ‘Before’ when I share the ‘After’ in six months.” That is the much safer route, isn’t it? Isn’t that the allure of “Transformation Tuesday”, “Throwback Thursday”, and “Flashback Friday”? We can securely post a picture of our “Before” because we can confidently point to our “After”. Unless we can’t.
I couldn’t. I didn’t feel confident in pointing to my “After”. And to be honest with you, I still don’t. My “Before” is a glowing, even through make-up, mother-to-be. My “Before Before” is a strong, fit, and trim group fitness instructor. My “After”? I’ve been far from confident in my “After”. Frankly, I’ve been ashamed to post my picture. And I find myself wanting to somehow mention that I just had twins – either in conversation or in the caption of a picture.
I’m working on it though. Today I posted my first postpartum, no make-up, no filter selfie to Instagram. I posted it on my new IG account, @catalyst_move, that is connected to Catalyst Movement – this blog and the Catalyst Movement ministry. Some people may see the picture and wonder “What’s the big deal?” For me, letting go of security blankets, masks, false idols – whatever you want to call them – is always difficult. Even though I know that letting go allows me to better grasp onto my true security. Have you let go of anything lately? Is there something God is prompting you to let go of?