I think you are beautiful, even if you don't | rochester ny photography

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I have a gray hair. It's not my first, but it is literally in the middle of my forehead - front and center. If you've noticed, thanks for not commenting. My husband looks at it every day and begs to pluck it. I have fought him off for months now. I'm trying really hard to own it. It's a gray hair... so what? Lots of people have them, and most everyone gets them. Why should I let it bother me?

Every morning I see it; it is right there in front of my face. It reminds me that life is short. It reminds me that I'm not perfect. I refrain from plucking it as a test of myself... there are more important things to deal with. I am not my gray hair.

We all have our own issues, insecurities, things we don't like about ourselves. I've never met someone who doesn't. This year, I've had the privilege of getting to know many students, and capture who they are as they enter their final year of high school.

With this opportunity, has come the challenge of showing each student their own beauty. Some of them had their hair or makeup done, which brought them confidence. Some were lucky enough to be comfortable in their own skin. Others fought the battle of self doubt, lack of confidence, or just plain fear of the camera.

I wish I could say this is only true of high school seniors, but it's not. I have seen mom's ashamed of their size, dad's embarrassed of their receding hair lines, grandma's ashamed of their wrinkles.

It makes me sad.

Everyone is beautiful. You, me, all of us! We may not feel it every day, but we as adults have bigger concerns. We need to worry about things other than our waistlines, our hairlines and our wrinkles. We've earned those things. Living our LIVES got us to this point – birthing a child, inheriting a family trait, experiencing years of love and life and adventure.

Embrace it. Own it. Don't let it scare you away from the camera. And pass that confidence on.

I'm sorry that you don't like your braces, the way your eyes squint when you laugh, or your hair on humid days (guilty). Smile anyway, laugh anyway, live anyway.

Maybe this makes me a bad photographer – but I don't want to photoshop your wrinkles, your bald spot or your gap. Those things are part of you, and I want you to know that I think you are beautiful, even if you don't.

Sincerely, Lori

See that little gray hair? It's all mine!