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Just like many women, I stuggle with my weight. With how I look. With how i feel about myself. How others see me. I don’t often share the personal side of my life, but this article got me right in the feels. Despite having a loving partner who thinks I am absolute perfection (thanks honey), I always hate the way I look. I always wish I was skinnier. I look at curvy girls who rock it and wish I could too. But something holds me back. I think the message that is going viral right now needs to be heard, loud and clear.

Accepting yourself = Positivity
Positivity = Good mental health
Good Mental health = The belief you are worthy
The belief you are worthy = Taking care of yourself

Victoria Caroline Haltom, the San Antonio-based photographer behind Victoria Caroline Photography, shared this beautiful story. This heartwarming message from came from one of her client’s husband concerning the sexy, photoshopped pictures she took for him.

It reads as follows:

“Tonight I want to tell you ladies about a time I messed up really badly. It was back when I first started boudoir, and I had a mid-forties lady book my services at a GORGEOUS hotel in downtown San Antonio. She was a curvy, beautiful size 18. I thought she looked like a goddess, but as most women do, she had a request…..
She came to me, looked me straight in the eyes, and said “I want you to photoshop all of my cellulite, all of my angry red stretch marks, ALL of my fat, and all of my wrinkles….just make it go away. I want to feel gorgeous just ONCE.” So, I did exactly as she asked. We spent an hour and a half together going through many, many poses. I went home, made every last stretch mark disappear, smoothed out every dimple of cellulite, took away every wrinkle. I turned her into the epitome of what every woman dreams of being.

Christmas rolls around, and she gifts her husband a BEAUTIFUL hand tooled album with about 30 of her images. 3 days later, I receive this very REAL email:

“Hi Victoria,
I am (blank)’s husband, ********. I am writing to you because I recently received an album containing images you took of my wife. I don’t want you to think that I am in any way upset with you….but I have some food for thought that I would like to pass on to you. I have been with my wife since we were 18 years old, and we have two beautiful children together. We have had many ups and downs over the years, and I think…well, actually I KNOW that my wife did these pictures for me to “spice things up”. She sometimes complains that I must not find her attractive, that she wouldn’t blame me if I ever found someone younger. When I opened the album that she gave to me, my heart sank. These pictures…while they are beautiful and you are clearly a very talented photographer….they are not my wife. You made every one of her “flaws” disappear…and while I’m sure this is exactly what she asked you to do, it took away everything that makes up our life. When you took away her stretch marks, you took away the documentation of my children. When you took away her wrinkles, you took away over two decades of our laughter, and our worries. When you took away her cellulite, you took away her love of baking and all the goodies we have eaten over the years. I am not telling you all of this to make you feel horrible, you’re just doing your job and I get that. I am actually writing you to thank you. Seeing these images made me realize that I honestly do not tell my wife enough how much I LOVE her and adore her just as she is. She hears it so seldom, that she actually thought these photoshopped images are what I wanted and needed her to look like. I have to do better, and for the rest of my days I am going to celebrate her in all her imperfectness. Thanks for the reminder.

Regards,
******** ”

Ladies, I can photoshop just about anything. But I encourage you to think twice about how much “altering” we do. Our loved ones cherish and adore us just as we are. This email was 100% real, and I cried like a baby with guilt for at least 6 months after that whenever I read it. I encourage you to embrace YOU just as you are!

…oh, and just in case you don’t have anyone telling you how beautiful you are tonight….YOU ARE SO DAMN BEAUTIFUL!!!! heart emoticon

I think Lillian Bustle said this well too, at the TEDxJerseyCity.