Hold on while I rip myself to shreds…. Thanks.

Can I tell u something I did that was so messed up?

I was invited to join the “welcoming committee” for a women’s empowerment event called “Feminine Weapon Day” – It’s a concert and event hosted by FemineWeapon.com.

This is a total honor and if you are in NYC on Jan 30th you should come. It’s gonna be a kick-ass evening. As a host I get to promote the event and was gifted a photoshoot that will be used to promote Feminine Weapon Day. So, last weekend was the shoot. My kids were upset I was leaving them with their dad and they didn’t want me to go. I spent some time with them,  then threw on my jeans and sneakers, shoved my sexay clothes in a backpack with my lame excuse for a make-up bag (It’s basically a ziplock) and ran out the door with shower -wet hair, huffing and puffing to the bus stop to get into Manhattan to be there on time.  – I barely had a minute to think about the shoot and optimistically figured I’d look cute enough.

I got to the shoot, changed my clothes, finger combed my hair and slapped a bit of make-up on my face. Good To Go!

After the shoot I was asked for a quote that would be superimposed on the image. The quote needed to answer the question: “What is a Feminine Weapon to you?”

After much thinking and introspection I came up with this:

“When you find the courage to drop your suit of armor and show up as yourself in the world, your true light radiates and you empower others to shine in your presence.” – Tova Gold

A few days later I got an email with a few of the pics from my shoot.

I thought the pics were beautiful. I thought I looked… OK… cute enough.

Then, last night Christina Weber, The founder of Feminine Weapon, emailed and asked  if I could do her a favor and add the quotes to some of the women’s pics because her graphic artist didn’t have the time to finish.

“No problem” I said.

She sent me the pictures and quotes of the other women.

And my insecurities skyrocket into overtime.

They were gorgeous. Sexy. OMG- I don’t belong on the same roster as these bombshells.

I looked back at my own picture and suddenly felt… well…. this is how I described my pic to a friend

“I look like a frumpy double chinned housewife who forgot how eyeliner works.
And needs a bra… there’s sequins and pink hair…. It’s a hot mess.

And then I proceeded to pull my picture into photoshop and and do what I do- I photoshopped the crap out of it.

I “plucked” my eyebrows, fixed my eyeliner and added a little body to my hair. I removed the shadow from my chin and lengthened my neck .Then I  brightened my eyes so they sparkled and nudged my boobs just a wee-bit higher on my chest so it looks like I “never boob-fed a baby” (my real-time description to my friend.)

I tried to keep it really natural looking…. like what it would have looked like if I’d just taken that time before the picture instead of after.

And then, when I was happy with my handiwork, I went to copy and paste my quote onto my picture.

“When you find the courage to drop your suit of armor and show up as yourself in the world, your true light radiates and you empower others to shine in your presence.” – Tova Gold

I looked at my photoshopped self and then back at that quote and felt a tremendous disconnect in what to do next.

How on earth could I slap a quote about showing up as yourself on a picture of me that I myself had photoshopped into a suit of armor?

This conundrum was making me feel really emotionally vulnerable. I sent my friend the before and after.

Screen Shot 2014-01-25 at 11.17.17 AM

…and this is what she wrote back:

Her: 1st one

Me: you’re just saying that. I thought it looked OK until I saw those other chics. They were like models.

Her: Nope, it’s my real answer.  You look like a model my friend, with model legs to boot!  Stop judging my friend and treating her like crap, please.  Thank you.

…And then I started to get all choked up. Not because I was so flattered by her kindness (though I was) but because I realized how effing easy it is to fall into these stupid traps and be so disgustingly mean to ourselves. We say things to ourselves we would never, ever, ever say to someone we love, and things we’d beat others up for saying to themselves. Yet we spend every minute of every day comparing ourselves to everyone else and we’re so conditioned to never think we’re good enough. Even when internally we believe in authenticity, it is still so stinkin’ hard to live it.

Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.

Do I wish I’d have shown up well rested, hit a salon before my shoot, spent some time in some good lighting with a real make-up kit and treated the experience like it was an indulgence I sandwiched between Yoga class and a pedicure? Of course! But that’s not my life right now. That is not my authentic self. I’m just a mom who lives in NJ and had an opportunity to throw on a sparkly dress and redunkulous heels and get my picture taken for an event I feel proud to be a part of.

So this is me, showing up as myself in the world, double chin, flat hair and boobs that have fed a baby. I am a very lucky woman. 

Screenshot 2014-01-27 13.01.38

This piece is part of the Feminine Weapon Day photography series. Feminine Weapon Day is January 30th and has been designated to Honor Your Conscious Light + Beautiful Self.

Join us on Thursday, the 30th, at The Cutting Room (44 East 32nd St.) for the 6:30 photography showcase and Creeds of Love Pop-up Shop, 8p for concert with Margot B. (Boardwalk Empire), Nancy Danino, Syndee Winters and Dilia Jelen, and 10p for the Afterparty show with Coyle Girelli from The Chevin.

Tickets available at: feminineweaponday.com

Photographer Manuela Rana recently moved to New York City from Italy. She’s the assistant to established photographer Antoine Verglas (Vogue, Elle, GQ, Forbes Magazine, Victoria’s Secret) and currently enjoys working in the fashion and lifestyle photography industry.”

– See more HERE

Love & Muchness, Tova

Sign up for Muchy Updates HERE!

3 Replies to “Hold on while I rip myself to shreds…. Thanks.”

  1. Peggy

    You know….you are gorgeous….in the before shot!! You have spunk, sass and spark all in one body!! You also have much-ness in life. I am so glad, as the Feminine Weapon people said, that you found out, ON YOUR OWN, that you are a rock star.

    As I have followed my authentic self for the past 5 years, I have decided not to try to compare myself with others who show dogs, who do web designs, who have this coach or that coach is better. I align myself with ones that a genuine and that help me to be the best me that I can be. The Universe in all its wisdom is abundant. We just have to BELIEVE that….and then let go and let the Universe work its bountiful magic. I know that I’m on the right path by how long it takes me to get back to the authentic me. I know that you’re there, too. We are human, and we have to remember that. Don’t beat yourself up….EVER.

    Be kind to you. Throw away the Photoshop tools. You are way better. God and the Universe is the Cadillac Photoshopper….no adjustments necessary.

    You rock!!

    Peggy DaValt


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