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A moment with Sally

Portrait of a lady

A moment with Sally


I was having one of those mornings when the negative voices are getting inside your head when this bundle of joy walked into my shop. Sally was flicking through one of my portrait albums; her response was so heartfelt that she touched my heart. Sally and her partner told me that she needed a good photo of her for work and she had been trying to take selfies, but she hated them. Then her partner asked me if I would take a photo of Sally and we organised a little 10-minute portrait session.

 

As soon as Sally sat down, she told me everything wrong with her. She hadn’t dressed up, done her hair, touched up her make up etc. I asked her why do we do that as women?  Why do we immediately sit down and focus on our faults. And why is it worse for older women?  I told Sally she didn’t need to do anything but be herself and to just sit with me for a while.

 

We then had the loveliest conversation as it is a topic I am incredibly passionate about. And whilst we were talking, Sally let down her guard and we took some lovely portraits.

 

What we talked about is something I would like all women to think about. And I am not remotely sorry if it offends anyone, but it is different for women. We live in a society that does not respect or celebrate the ageing process for women. We are told it is something we should be ashamed of. We are told how to get rid of our wrinkles, how to become a master at anti-aging, how to reverse the ageing process, how to regain our youthful figures and how to dress your age and act your age. And after all of that, our society tells us that as older women we don’t matter as much and gradually we start to feel invisible and actually believe that we don’t matter.

 

What horrifies me is that when it comes to homelessness one of the biggest groups at risk of homelessness is now older women.

 

Well fuck that, every single bit of it.

 

The more I sit with women, the more I listen them, the more I realise that so many incredible women simply do not feel seen. And it makes me mad because they should be the ones we are looking at, listening to, and saying thank you to.  Quite simply I see you.

 

And I saw Sally. And she was beautiful.

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