re-picturing CELINA

Hi Folks! Welcome back to Re-Picturing Women Wednesday. Today, I’m honored and humbled to have a guest post from an amazing woman, artist, gamer, photographer, and dreamer…meet Celina Wyss!

Celina writes the blog Steps and Snips in which she documents with amazing honesty her love of travel and crafting. I find myself clicking back to Steps and Snips often (like multiple times a day!), hoping for an updated post. Celina puts into words the truths that most of us experience, whether talking about the tragedy in Japan or poll dancing.

The post below includes Celina’s words and self-portraits. Thank you for having the courage and vulnerability to share your story, Celina. Your words of love and self-acceptance ring true in my heart and I know they will touch the heart of others as well.

Guest Post by Celina Wyss

Do you love your body?

When presented with this question most women will probably give quite a weighted answer. Most will tell you what they don’t love instead. I face all the same struggles with self acceptance. As a child, I was immersed early on with images of beautiful movie stars, models and princesses in fairy tales. I thought I had a pretty good idea on what women should look like. I thought if I looked like they did then I would be fabulously successful and happy. When I was in 8th grade I struggled daily with sexual harassment and physical prodding from boys in my small rural school. Being blessed (or cursed) with a large chest at an early age can bring on some very unwanted attention to a girl who is struggling to find her sense of self. I started to feel like I needed to hear the sexual comments to reaffirm that I was pretty enough. That if I was receiving that kind of attention it meant I was doing something right. Only it didn’t really feel right in the end.

Fast forward to me now at age 30. I am working towards having a healthier attitude about my body and learning to love and accept it for what it can do. It is an exercise in learning how to love all the little pieces of me that make me unique. Like the way I have beauty marks almost forming a perfect necklace across my chest. Or the way I have a big splat of a birthmark on my lower back right in the spot that most women get a tattoo. More recently it was learning how to come to terms with the 5 scars on my stomach from the Nissen Fundiplication surgery I had this summer. Or the acceptance that the stretch marks on my hips will never really fade away and instead act as a badge of honor for being blessed with the ability to carry a child inside of me.

Recently I came across this video of Eve Ensler talking about loving your tree. I found it to be a beautiful message. I got to thinking about ways my body would be considered beautiful in other cultures. More importantly it helped me understand that there is no correct term for outer beauty. Only what others think it should be.

Today I continue on my path of self-love and acceptance. Will I still dye my hair? Probably. Will I still fantasize about liposuction? Maybe. But I can work towards doing those things with a more mindful choice about why I am making the decision instead of a lusting to fit into the ideal body image we all have created in our own heads.

  1. Thank you for this beautiful and honest post, Celina. Your courage and journey helps us all move along on our own. xoxo

  2. It feels like its been creeping up on me slowly, and like it just slammed into my whole body all of the sudden: but I am so proud to know you both, and so humbled by the honesty and goodness you share. Thank you for this, thank you.

    • Celina Wyss
    • March 16th, 2011

    Thank you so much Sarah for giving me a chance to explore this little part of me.

  3. beautiful. you and the post! it took me until I was about 30 to start appreciating my body…and it’s still a daily choice.

  4. i love you. that is all. xoxox

    • andy gimino
    • March 16th, 2011

    Great,post celina…i admire your honesty.

    • andy gimino
    • March 16th, 2011

    Excellent post celina….i admire your honest and boldness here.

  5. wow, what a beautiful post by such an amazing woman – love you!!! xoxo

  6. Downright beautiful. Thank you both. xox

  7. Lovely Celina and thank you Sarah for putting out there a topic that I think about every day – but have never quite meditated on it the way that perhaps I should. As I get older, I do NOT love my body. Parts of it I like very much – other parts I abhor — all predicated on what other people deem to be beautiful. At 42 I crave the freedom you are also seeking Celina although I think you are further along than me in that journey. But these photos are beautiful to be sure. I share your tummy folds and stretch marks – but they look different in my own mirror than they do on you on these these pages… something worthy of a good long ponder.

  8. you.are.brave.AND.inspiring! thank you for this. it is something i struggle with daily. 43 is a beautiful place to be. and i need to bring along my body to this same place. thank you!! xo

    • Tiffany Hogan
    • March 17th, 2011

    Thank you Celina for an honest post. And, thank you Sarah for providing a forum to explore the intricacies of womanhood.

  9. Amazing Celina. What a beautiful post. I wish I had your courage, or your healthy attitude about your self image. Not that I didn’t already, but this post has made me admire you even more. xoxo Cam

  10. I think you are quite brave and I say that because I feel brave when I put my face out there, however, I often look at my pictures and try to edit them as much as possible because I often don’t like the way I look. I am VERY critical and insecure. and how ironic that I take so many self portraits. Since taking self portraits I have become more aware of my beauty and of myself, my smile, my sadness. I don’t have the best self image still, I hate my teeth 😦 makes me sad, but at 38, I am starting to really change the way I see myself. beauty is not only in our skin but in our souls.

    • Debra
    • March 17th, 2011

    Brave and beautiful. Thank you Celina, and Sarah.

  1. March 16th, 2011

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