Darrah Parker » Slice of Life Photography

do you know how beautiful you are?

amx loans mayfield {self portrait}

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Standing there.
Sitting there.
Waiting there.
Breathing there.

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Pumping gas.
Feeding your children.
Sitting in your cubicle.
Loading the dishwasher.
Running on the treadmill.
Standing in line at the grocery store.

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Wearing sweat pants.
No make-up.
Jeans two sizes too small (or too big).
Spanx hidden beneath your clingy dress.
Pajamas (because you are just running an errand and who will see you?)

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With laugh lines that are forming around your mouth.
Gray hairs sprinkled around your temples.
Ten (or 20 or 50) pounds you’ve been wanting to lose.
Hair growing too much in some places and not enough in others.
Sags and bags and lines and creases.
Pimples and dimples and ripples and rolls.

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As the weight of the unknown rests between your ears.
What should I cook for dinner?
Will I make it to my appointment on time?
How will I pay the phone bill this month?
Will I ever have time for me?
What would happen if I lost my job?
What would happen if I quit my job?
When will I be happy?
How will I be happy?
What will make me happy?

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With all of your hopes.

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When across the room.
Behind you in line.
Next to you on the elevator.
Is a woman who sees you.
Because she is you.
She sees you and catches her breath
Because she sees who you are

She is wondering if you know how beautiful you are
And is wishing she had her camera with her so that she could show you.

show hide 27 comments

urban muser - August 16, 2010 - 1:53 pm

that is a beautiful post. thanks for sharing.

Heather Plett - August 16, 2010 - 2:00 pm

Oh Darrah – this is so lovely!

gina - August 16, 2010 - 3:09 pm


Linnea - August 16, 2010 - 3:28 pm

Tears now.


Katherine - August 16, 2010 - 3:49 pm

Just a few minutes ago a gentleman was in my office and playfully "hitting on me" and I thought what an idiot. I am 48&3/4 years old, 5'2", 145-150 lbs. I used to be cute but now I don't recognize the fat old lady in the photo's my kids take of me. This has given me pause (and tears) to try to reconcider how I look at myself. How others might see me. How fortunate I am to actually have a face and arms and legs that work…THANK YOU…do know how beautiful YOU are…with love and light…Katherine.

Lisa - August 16, 2010 - 4:14 pm


Carmen - August 16, 2010 - 5:40 pm

♥♥♥ Love this!

Brigitte - August 16, 2010 - 8:16 pm

Thanks for the beautiful poem! I love your photo, too! Is that a self-portrait or was there someone else behind the camera?

traceyclark - August 16, 2010 - 9:29 pm

brilliant. thank you for such kind and generous words.

Nancy - August 16, 2010 - 9:58 pm

what a lovely reminder. I so often see beauty in the faces of others but miss it in the tired, graying pudgy face that looks back me from the mirror. Thank you.

darrah - August 16, 2010 - 9:59 pm

Thank you for all of the lovely comments. Can we all agree to lighten up on ourselves a little?

Brigitte: the photo is a self portrait, taken of me, by me!

maile - August 16, 2010 - 10:47 pm

I think I need to frame this and read it every day. So beautiful. Thank you.

Kylie - August 17, 2010 - 3:08 am

I second Maile. I need to come back here every day and read this.
thank you. you are beautiful and this poem is beautiful. i needed this today especially. and it made my cry … in a good way.

Yvonne - August 17, 2010 - 9:38 am

Lovely! Hope you can show lots and lots of those women how beautiful they are with your camera.

Lisa - August 17, 2010 - 12:55 pm

Absolutely deliciously honestly beautiful. Thank you.

Aia - August 18, 2010 - 11:33 am

wow! amazing words! i can so relate!!!

amanda @ kind over matter - August 18, 2010 - 7:00 pm


thank you.

{Sarah} - August 18, 2010 - 9:47 pm

Do you know how beautiful YOU are Darrah, savvy photographer and kind spirit that you are 🙂 You bring joy and delight to all of us.

Many hugs! xoxo

And thanks for this. Your post makes me feel beautiful.

Elana - August 20, 2010 - 6:16 pm

Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.
I am both of these women. All the time. And I am beautiful. And so are you. I feel blessed to have read this today. Love to you.

Elaine - August 23, 2010 - 5:11 pm

That is what we all need to read in the morning, afternoon and as we're getting ready for bed.

lauren martin gauthier - August 23, 2010 - 11:58 pm

i love this SO. MUCH. i often look at all of the women bustling around me, and wish i could tell them how beautiful they are. perhaps it is being a photographer, a writer, and a woman who often loses sight of her own intrinsic beauty that causes me to really SEE them. once upon a time a stranger on the street stopped her car to tell me i looked beautiful, and it rocked my world: http://somethingglorious.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2010-02-26T18%3A05%3A00-05%3A00 now i try to reciprocate whenever i am able (and brave!)…

Shannon - November 5, 2010 - 7:26 pm

That was beautiful. Much needed on a tough day, when I am struggling to get out of my pajamas! Thank you.

melody - November 5, 2010 - 7:43 pm

Thank you with all my heart.

Jessica Warrick - November 5, 2010 - 11:27 pm

wow breathtaking and thank you i needed this….

lili - November 6, 2010 - 2:21 pm

I thank you from the bottom of my heart, with tears in my eyes. Beautiful.

mom - November 7, 2010 - 2:01 pm

I remember being more beautiful – a different beautiful! An empty beautiful! But now I am more. At 65.
"Back at you, sweetie!" – Ellen D.

Michelle - May 30, 2011 - 11:32 pm

I'm so glad you posted this again! A friend of mine posted a link to your poem on Facebook, so long ago now, and I've been following you ever since! Thank you for all the inspiration — your blog introduced to be the blogsphere, encouraged me to try my hand at photography, and even prompted me to start my own blog 🙂 All because of these lovely words . . . I'm truly grateful!

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