Until yesterday, I had not worn eye-makeup since my injury. I have not been able to wear mascara, eye shadow, or anything else because of my impaired right eye. Yesterday, Jay surprised me with a photo shoot by my favorite photographer in the world, Marisu Wehrenberg (the one who took our wedding pictures and encouraged me to get into modeling in the first place Zoom-Works.com — she’s fabulous!) He knew that the change in my appearance since my stroke has been one of the hardest changes to get used to. He thought that if I could see myself as beautiful again through pictures, then I could begin to feel beautiful in my head again too. It’s been surprisingly hard, but I am really trying to embrace this.
Perhaps it is because I know that it will change one day (the nerve “took”!!!), but I decided to post this picture of me on here. I will post more later, but here is one the photographer sent me today. As you can imagine, this is hard to do. I only want you to see the pictures BEFORE my brain injury. I’ve posted a few other current pictures, but this one is up close and very real. This is my reality right now.
Though I modeled for many years, I have never been very focused on my appearance. It was always a struggle for my mom to get me to put on makeup when I was going out in public! The irony then was that someone so unconcerend with beauty ended up being a model. The irony now is that of all the areas of my brain to be affected by my stroke, one of them was my face. It’s almost been surprising how painful the facial paralysis has been.
I guess it’s human nature to be deeply affected when your outward self, the one you present to the world, undergoes a big and undesired change. I know that in the Lord’s eyes, and Jay’s too, I can never be anything but beautiful, yet I honestly don’t feel that way very much right now. I have always been naturally confident and outgoing, but the stroke’s affect on my face, voice, ability to get around on my own, hearing, sight, etc. make it hard to be that same person I once was in terms of presenting myself to the world around me. I guess I’m still figuring out how to be myself in this new self.
After taking this step to put myself out there in front of the camera again, I think I just might wear mascara again. I don’t know if I feel totally beautiful yet, but I think I feel a little more comfortable in my skin now. And that’s a good start.