The first draft of my book cover had an attractive 30-something model on the front. She had slimmer arms and an exposed, toned midsection. Now, I thought this looked great, but it was a friend who pointed out that I needed to be on the cover. After all, it is my story.
The photographer and I struggled to get the pose similar to what hers was. We had two shoots while trying to get the angle for all my body parts and the lights reflecting off them just right. I wore different shirt and pant color combinations.
The desire to be seen as perfect on this book cover was huge for me. In my quest to build self appeal, I still wrestle with my own imperfections as I perceive others see them, but especially as I see them.
While my arms are still muscular, they don’t necessarily look like it in this picture, and my first desire was to airbrush them. But that would be lying. And I don’t that today—to others, but most especially to myself. Because in the end it really doesn’t matter what you think of me, what matters most, and what sticks with me the longest, is how I think of me. When I'm honest with myself, I am proud and happy and without shame. When I'm honest with myself, I can hold my head high, and feel confident and unencumbered. I can't imagine what it would be like to be a politician or someone in the news who gets caught lies, cheats and steals. They think they're fooling the rest of us, and maybe they are for a short time, but they ultimately have to live with their lies and deception even if they never get caught.
When I'm honest with myself, my self-esteem is raised proportionate to how truthful I am and how okay I am with that truth. I learn from other women who do that. My wish is that you’re empowered to be honest with yourself and with those you trust as well.
For an honest life story and guide to your own recovery of self, read my memoir, From Sex Appeal to Self Appeal: One woman's journey to recover her body, her sexuality, her self