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An Open Letter to the Moms Who Hate Being On Camera

I know you cringe when the camera pans to you.

Maybe you don’t have makeup on, or those shorts show a little too much of your cellulite.

Your arms aren’t as toned as they used to be, and that tummy of yours has more rolls than you’d like.

You tell yourself, “sit this way; no, sit that way.” You tell your stand-in photographer, “Get my good side. Take a bunch.” All in the hopes that you get the perfect shot that hides all of your perceived imperfections.

But in 10 years, when your teenagers are curiously looking through pictures and home videos, they won’t be pointing out your bare face and under-eye circles.

In 40 years, when they’re reminiscing about “the good old days” and laughing with you about your fashion sense, they won’t be paying attention to the double chin you had because you were looking downward at their little baby faces.

And when you’re gone, I can promise you that they’ll only think two things when they see you in the pictures they saved and the precious home videos they cherished for decades:

1. Wow, she was beautiful.

2. I am so thankful we have this moment on camera.

You see, when memories with your mom are capped the moment she leaves the world, all you have left are the photos and videos. You will never see her face again without these gifts.

Ever since I lost my mom when I was 28, I see her much differently in our family artifacts.

In every photo, I appreciate every feature of her, from her eyes to her hair to her outfits that I remember her putting together from her closet.

In every home video, my eyes are on nothing else but her. Soaking in the way she walked, the way she talked, and the way she loved us kids.

So this isn’t a plea from yet another therapist on Instagram telling you to love yourself.

This is an invitation from a motherless daughter to all the moms of little children who worry about that moment when the camera pans to you:

Don’t fix yourself. Let the moment be what it is. There’s so much beauty in that, and even if you don’t see it right now, your kids always will.

And they’ll thank you for capturing it.


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Greta Strickland, MS 

Licensed Professional Counselor  

Greta has managed her own private practice in Blue Springs, MO since 2015 providing therapy to high-achieving women who struggle with anxiety and perfectionism. When she's not working, you can find Greta watching Big Brother with her husband, singing made up songs to her daughter, and sneaking "people food" to their golden retriever.


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