Naturally Critical

post by: holly

Naturally Critical from Stephanie Ifill on Vimeo.

I saw this video from a link off of pinterest and really wanted to share it. We have all heard the arguments about what the fashion industry has done and what the new “standard” of beauty seems to be and such. This video is short, very simple and to the point.

We are all so quick to judge ourselves because we have a horrid idea of what we should look like in our heads. We look at ourselves too much and in too great of detail, nitpicking everything that makes us unique.

I have a problem with this too. For most of my life I hated my legs. They were short, always pale and seemed endlessly chunky. My knees have always been, and still are, chubby knees. I’m still not a fan of my legs or knees to this day. In my mind, I think they should look like the legs on a woman who is 5’10 but thats simply impossible since I’m not growing anymore, haha. I always just felt chubby. I have never really been fat, but I have never been really skinny either.

I’ve always had bad skin as well. I would say thats been more emotionally traumatizing than anything. I’ve had acne for over 10 years now. I view this differently because It’s not the way I was made like my chubby knees. It’s my body reacting to something unhealthy. As I have gotten older, I realized that everyone has a standard healthy weight they will always fall back into and thats just not something you can really change all that much. God has designed us all differently and it’s sooo not an issue of meeting a “standard” of beauty, but living a healthy lifestyle and treating your body with respect and value.

I’ve been sick a lot in the past year and from all that just realized how important feeling healthy is. I certainly don’t care about my chubby short girl legs. Thats the way they are. Even when I was 20 pounds lighter as a teenager, they were still short girls legs so thats just who I am. I just want to be healthy and feel good. I believe the acne is a result of a problem within my body, something that is unhealthy and thats how my skin is reacting so even with that, I just want to be healthy.

A big point I’d like to make with all that said is that things are what you make of them. For example, you’ll never see me wearing a pair or shorts. I feel horrible in them so I don’t wear them. I wear cute dresses, fun prints, bright colors. If I wear short dresses, I wear leggings because they make me feel more comfortable about my legs. I wear clothes that fit right and are the right shape for my body and draw attention where I want and not to places I don’t want. I feel like so many women think that clothing size defines them. Every brand is different and as long as it fits right, who cares, nobody sees your tags. Most of us will never have that image of beauty that is thrown at us in magazines and such but what those girls go through to maintain that is not worth it in my opinion. Some people are more naturally appealing than others just by better genetics but it’s just about accepting what you have and embracing it. Spending your whole life wanting to change who you are is a complete waste of time.

Control what you can. Live a healthy lifestyle.

I know it’s hard to not be critical towards yourself, but at least for every nitpicky thing you don’t like about yourself, make sure you have something that you do love about yourself. For me, I love my hair, my face (minus acne), my pale skin and being short surprisingly. Those things will always outweigh the things I don’t like about myself.

Don’t be like these girls in that video where they can’t hardly think of one thing they naturally like about themselves. That will do so much damage in the long run.

I am starting to book seniors for this year. So if you are interested, please email me at
I do not liquify in photoshop to make people skinny or change their faces. Everyone has naturally good angles and that is what we shoot for. We want to make you look the best that you look without changing you. When I was younger I got photoshop and took off all the zits from my face and was amazed thats what I really looked like. Knowing that got me through a lot of difficult emotional times. I knew that one day, the acne would be gone and I’d look like that underneath and it gave me hope. So we do fix skin blemishes on seniors but don’t modify who you naturally are. It’s all about good angles, confidence and character.

So we would love to work with you this year! I do whatever I can to make you feel comfortable and have fun in your session so who you are really does show through in the images.

April 1, 2011 - 2:35 pm

Dayle - Holly, thank you so much for this! It’s refreshing to hear someone not only speak honest words from the heart, but speak words that need to be said. God doesn’t want us to try to measure up to any standard in this world but His.

Your photography inspires me! And now you do too. :)

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