Laid Bare Week ~ What Does Your Love See?

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As the final instalment of my 'laid bare' themed week on Love My Dress, I have invited blogger Anna to contribute a piece related to body image.

Anna, who has been writing her blog 'Anna & The Ring' for a few years now launched a brand new blog this week, 'Far From The Wedding Crowd, which I'd like to encourage you all to visit. In the meantime, Anna muses over how our own perceptions of ourselves differs from the perceptions of those who love us.

The images in this feature of of Anna on her wedding day

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When Annabel asked me to write a piece for this week I wasn't really sure what I could say.

Actually, I knew what I wanted to write but I feared it would not be that empowering for I am certainly not at one with my own body…

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2010, Emma Case


So how does one begin to think about empowerment when you feel so unattractive? When there are no miracle cures, nor the vaguest whispers of hope. (Well, save a lot of hard work, which can only ever be over many months or even years).

I know how exhausting it is to judge myself so harshly but I never really think of how I affect those dearest to me. Yet the person closest to me, my husband Bean, fell in love with me despite not looking like Giselle Bündchen, or even like my best friend. Suddenly I hit upon a deliciously daring idea: perhaps I should try and view myself through Bean's (albeit slightly rose-tinted) glasses?


I know that this is not an easy thing to do. I am a woman who sees the negative in everything and swats away any compliment with ease, believe me I understand your hesitations. But just stop for one moment, Yes, right now. Close your eyes and breathe in. As you slowly breathe out ask yourself "What does your love see?" I know Bean doesn't see my scars, my stretch marks or my extra "layers" in the same way as I do. He looks into my eyes and smiles.

Even in my bleakest hour Bean still sees the beauty in me. Even when I was bright yellow and confined to a hospital bed by drips and wires, he told me that the yellow looked good on me and cuddled me close. He continues to look at me every day, when I continue to avoid looking at myself in a mirror. 

We all have our own personal hang ups and by drawing attention to them, our loved ones cannot fail to see them. Yet they still look. They still love. Bean continues to smile when he sees me.



I am not the behemoth I envision when I try to avoid having my photograph taken. I am most definitely not the next Catherine Zeta-Jones and perhaps that's actually okay. Yes, yes, yes. It is not all about looks but there is always a level of physical attraction between lovers and we should honour that. When you feel at your lowest, remember the one you love is still with you and you alone.



Finally I am able to see myself through the eyes of the person who is most precious to me and that feels so very good. Not that I would say having an external locus for one's self esteem is ideal but if it is the little spark to make a slightly less harsh critic of yourself, then I am all for it.

What do you think? What do you see when you close your eyes and breathe out?

Anna ~ Far From The Wedding Crowd



Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.

29 thoughts on “Laid Bare Week ~ What Does Your Love See?

  1. Anna- despite your reservations, you have enlightened and empowered me and Im sure I will not be the only one having read this piece. Something to think about next time I feel a bit rubbish about myself- thank you and well done! x

  2. What a fantastic article, Anna. I’m definitely not at one with my body either, so it’s lovely to read this, it puts everything in perspective. When I met Mr AZ, I was a size 6… and after 2 kids and becoming a stay at home mum rather than a police officer, when I was required to stay fit and healthy… well, let’s just say I’m not a size 6 anymore! But Mr AZ still loves me as I am, so I guess I need to learn to love myself just as much x

  3. Dear Anna
    Such sweet read about Bean. Having met you I know you have loads going for you. You are incredible funny and most importantly you laugh easily which is such great attribute to have. Look forward keeping up on the blog xx

  4. Anna, this is a wonderful affirming post. I think you look very beautiful in the photos. And am sure Bean thought so too! xx

  5. Thank you so much all of you for taking the time to leave sweet comments, both Anna and I really appreciate this. I’m really touched how the discussion posts this week have generated such interest and heartfelt responses from readers 🙂
    And Anna – you do look gorgeous in your wedding photos.
    Have a lovely Sunday evening everyone

  6. Very touching post Anna. Us girls especially can be our own worst critics and your post is a lovely reminder that sometimes we need to stop being so harsh on ourselves and instead look through our partner’s/friend’s/family’s eyes and see what they see.

  7. Your wedding photographs truly made me smile. You look encompassed with happiness and its beautiful as is this post. Your idea of focusing on yourself in the eyes of a loved one is a fantastic thing and something we all should do from time to time.

  8. Great article A & A. I have alot of body hangups, but like Anna says, the Mr doesn’t see these. Even if he does, they don’t make him love me any less. I have never met a man who has made me feel at peace with myself.
    PS – your wedding pics are so gorgeous! xx

  9. This is a good article. There was a time when I had a major body
    image problem even with everyone from family to friends telling me how I good I looked. It was pretty much all in my head. As time
    progressed and I became older, I realized that it was important for me to be happy with the person I am, but more importantly the person I was becoming. Thank you for this article.

  10. Anna, every time I see your wedding photos I fall a little bit more in love with you and Bean because aside from the fact that you look smokin hot in them, the expression on Bean’s face is pure, unadulterated love. I kinda wish we could bottle that feeling and give it away.

  11. Brilliant post Anna! In the last few months I have resigned myself to not being a rake on my wedding day – but like you, I just remember that Andy loves me for who I am, not what I look like (although, for some weird reason, he seems to love that too!!) It’s a powerful thing to remember and one that pushes a lot of negativity away.

  12. Oh Anna, you gorgerous, gorgeous thing. This is such a beautifully written post. And so full of truth. You make such a wonderful couple, the love you both feel is written all over your faces and is clear for all to see. You bring out the best in each other and look all the more lovely for it. Happy sigh. Love you guys! x

  13. I agree with Hannah Webster! I am getting married in April and for 10 months from when Brett proposed to me I was determined not to get sucked into the bridal magazine trap of dreaming of looking like the models, as it was unrealistic, so I focussed on looking for a dress that complimented MY figure, brushed off any comments of ‘you’ll be watching your weight now you’re planning your wedding’ with ‘no I’ll be buying a dress that fits my body, rather than trying to fit my body into a dress!’, however going to dress fittings in the last few weeks have made me start to pick holes terribly-oh god, my back boobs are awful (even though I’m wearing a bolero, so no-one will see them), I look like a giant (6ft in heels, against the 4ft something bridal shop ladies!) I shared my woes with Brett, and just like Annabel says, I saw the love in his eyes- he would never see me as anything other than beautiful. I don’t see a problem with standing in someone else’s shoes to appreciate our own beauty and if it helps to challenge our insecurities.

  14. I absolutely love the last picture of your snuggled next to Bean’s arm. You look absolutely beautiful!
    I struggle with exactly the same thing, I was a bridesmaid last year and my best friend had my favourite wedding photographer and I still hate the photos of me. All I can see are my bad bits. I’ve tried realising how beautiful I find other people regardless of their size and shape, but still my brain can not apply that to myself.
    I will now try to see myself through DCs eyes… he sees a gorgeous curvy woman with a beautiful face (and big boobs, though he swears he’d love me even if they weren’t there!)
    I need to learn to stop worrying about what people think and just concentrate on what the most important person in my life thinks. Thank you Anna x

  15. A fantastic, beautifully written piece. All the times I look in the mirror at myself and frown, you have reminded me that my other half, my fiancé, still smiles when he looks at me. I honestly can’t say that I know what he sees but I’m grateful for whatever he does see because, for a little while, it makes me a bit more comfortable in my own skin.
    Thank you for reminding me of this. X

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