I’m used to being on the other side of the lens, taking the pictures. The last time someone focused a camera on me was on my wedding day, nearly 17 years ago. But as one of four daughters, a mother of two and a fund raiser for an organization that helps women in war-torn countries, I feel a solidarity with women. I wanted to be part of this project to set an example for my daughters (10 and eight) so they’ll grow up feeling comfortable with their bodies and the aging process. Everywhere you turn, people are trying to reverse the aging process, and they’re starting at ever-younger ages. It’s crazy and an affront to all of us. I’m 46 and just beginning to feel the effects of aging. I have sagging skin, less energy. But we will all sag, droop and wrinkle eventually, and that’s OK.
I cycle, do Tai Chi, practice yoga and play golf, but in the days leading up to the shoot, I took better care with my diet and exercise in an effort to trim down. After the shoot, when I saw the photograph, my initial instinct was to criticize my bottom and wish a different area had been highlighted. But after a while, I became less critical and self-conscious. I think the image is beautiful and flattering. I look more toned and fit than I thought I would. I hope this experience will help me be better at following the advice I give my daughters.
The shoot felt similar to my wedding day, with so much focus on me: the nervousness and questioning about whether I was doing the right thing. Afterward, I knew I’d done something permanent and everlasting, something I was proud of.