I’ve always felt like I was the person specifically chosen to take the picture, not be in it. Regardless of whether this feeling was true or not, I’m convinced that I have borrowed it from my mother, who borrowed it from her mother, who borrowed it from her mother.
Very few pictures remain of those women who helped craft my first notions of beauty. Not to say they thought I was ugly—in fact, I fondly recall them telling me of how gorgeous I was-but when they looked in the mirror, they drew on the parts of their body that they despised the most.
When I gave birth to Zara, I immediately drew on that practice of self-defacement. When I look at my daughter, I know that she’s beautiful, but in order for her to not only survive, but also thrive-she needs to believe in her beauty. So, I reclaim the photograph and every part of my face. It is beautiful, it is more than enough.