I sent this interview out to my Live Your Life Challengers and email newsletter subscribers this week, but wanted to make sure that all of you hear this important message as well!
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It’s a funny thing. I wanted to interview my friend, David Molnar, about his tips on looking good and feeling confident in front of the camera. I figured I knew most of what he would tell me having done many photo shoots for workouts and DVDs over the last 13 years. Yet, I didn’t know how I was going to have to take David’s advice and play it over in my head after the photo shoot I did this past Tuesday.
We decided to take all our gear out on our pontoon boat to a remote island so that I could shoot a series of downloadable workouts for my website. Levi, my kids, and Paris all piled into the boat with cameras, wardrobe and a picnic and took off. Not until we were docked did we realize we had left my mirror and makeup. I had no idea what I looked like in these pictures besides doing selfies (hate that word) and looking at a small view finder in the camera under blaring sun.
I was able to change because we made a makeshift dressing room on the boat, but I had no idea what my outfits were looking like. I just went with it and changed three times.
When all the images loaded today, I found myself cringing at most of them. I heard things in my head like “why have you let yourself go” or “who do you think you are leading fitness” and other mean things. Then my eyes diverted over to the Victoria’s Secret catalog I had just been looking at to shop for a new bathing suit.
I sat down on the sofa and started to think through the thoughts, the catalog, and the distortion. I looked back up at the computer and saw where Levi had taken photos of my kids and me playing on the beach after the shoot. I kept asking myself, “what is the truth here?”
About that time, I got a text from a friend who had someone that needed my advice. She wanted to know if I would look at her friend’s pictures and give her my opinion. I didn’t really know what I was being asked until I saw a very fit girl’s pictures. One of her pictures was of her showing me her post baby abs. I could feel her despair. I could feel her shame. At that point, my heart kind of sank.
And my heart got a little mad. Well very mad. I was back at the wall wanting to punch it.
Girls, when is it going to stop? When are we going to stop feeling like if we have flaws, which we all do, we cannot be happy or are not lovable or are not enough? It’s not like I looked at the catalog and felt green with envy. I don’t even think like that. I celebrate women in all shapes and sizes. But possibly because I had just been looking at these tall, gorgeous 19 year old women in bikinis and then saw myself, twice their age and a foot shorter, I somehow subconsciously allowed it to distort my perception of who I was. And I allowed myself to entertain and believe lies. Lies telling me I am not good enough.
That’s when I remembered David’s advice on getting that one good shot and to not compare myself to unreality. I walked myself off the ledge of despair as I looked up and saw images of me with my kids. Life is way too short and they are way too precious to be caught on the hamster wheel chasing perfection or unreality. We talk about photoshop, lighting, makeup artists, and the illusion that the fashion and advertising world gives us from a professional’s perspective. Don’t miss this interview. It will help you!
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David Molnar is a husband, new daddy, author, and music and advertising photographer. His work has been seen on Pepsi cans, in People Magazine, Real Simple Magazine, The New York Times, and on American Idol. His clients include Dolby, Sony, EMI, March of Dimes, Cracker Barrel, Atlantic Records, and more. David travels the world photographing, speaking, teaching and telling cheesy jokes while wearing his signature blue V-neck. He also serves on the board of directors for KnowThinkAct.com, a non-profit committed to empowering local leaders working to end extreme poverty in Africa.
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