Recently I wrote about the disconnect I have experienced from myself and the way I have been thinking about my motivations for some of the things I do. One of these areas has been photography, the pictures that we choose to share, and the shape of things to come. I have mentioned before my thoughts about aging and this is one area where I have struggled to think myself out of the hole I am in. I have enjoyed posting pictures and have been clear about the ways it has helped my body image, but in others, it is now having the opposite effect.
For me, I wonder if I have reached the end of this road. For a while I have focussed on areas I saw as being my strengths and allowed them to cover for the other areas I had difficulty with. I know that any photo is not exactly true to life, but increasingly I am focussing on what to leave out rather than what to put in. This is leading to a focus on the negatives as I have to be ever aware of what I don’t want to show. Its not that I think I am in bad shape for my age, more that I am not showing the truth about bodies in their 50s.
I want to show that bodies can be sexy whatever the shape and whatever the age but am wondering now if I have played my part. My ideas of what is attractive remain quite mainstream and don’t always tie up with the reality of the reflection I see in the mirror. I don’t see this as an issue. I am not worried about growing older or the changes that occur but posting pictures which don’t reflect the reality is stopping me somehow from accepting them fully. I suppose I feel I am trying to be something I am not.
I feel a bit like I am being held in the past and see the ticking clock next to me, counting my time down to the point when I say enough is enough. I am not sure if this is a casualty of my mood over the past few weeks or just part of life and the point I am at, but I am seriously considering what I do going forward. I want to accept the way I am and the body I have. That is important to me, and I wonder if to do that, I have to stop trying to present myself in a way which seems to defy the changes which are taking place.
I don’t want to do that any more. I want to feel good as I am and to enjoy the body I have. I want HL to enjoy it too but the quest to make it look a certain way isn’t helping that. It is more important to me to be sexy for him than to look sexy in a picture if that makes sense. I know that for many people the two would go hand in hand and I think for a time they did for me, but I am re-evaluating that now.
Please don’t think that I am against the idea of aging. There are lots of things about getting older that I really like so I am not down on all of the changes, although I could see some of the changes to my shape and body far enough. It is more that some of the things I am doing at the moment are not allowing me to embrace those changes in the ways that I would like to. I don’t mean that you can’t feel or look sexy when you are older as that would be ridiculous, more that I think is some ways I have been trying to fit in.
So many of the issues that people have come from comparing themselves to a false ideal of what is attractive or sexy or whatever it is they want to be. I know that I have fallen foul of that and have actually worked hard with HLs help to re-write some of those unhealthy ideas that I had. But in doing so, I have also created a false idea of myself which I find I am now comparing my reality to. I am not saying that I will stop taking pictures because there are things about it I like, but I am thinking seriously about the shape of things to come in terms of what I post.
I am not going to rush into anything however. I have learnt better than to do that and in addition, I have some pictures I like that I might still want to use. More it is that I am thinking seriously about body positivity and how that works for me. I feel strongly about trying to accept and enjoy the skin that we are in, but sometimes that are more ways to skin a cat. And so I am thinking about how best to make that happen for myself.
I feel conflicted, I am happy that you are accepting of your body and who you are, not wanting to portray yourself as someone you are not. But I’m also sad if that means you don’t wish to share as many images. Having seen a lot of them and you in real life I know that your beauty is much greater than any image alone so I do hope you reconsider. Ultimately it is about what has value to you, and if that means private sexiness to just you and HL then lucky him.
Thank you PS. You are always so supportive and you have been really encouraging about the images. I really loved the time we were able to spend taking some together and trying to be a good model for you. Missy x
I had two thoughts when reading this post. One of which doesn’t really address what you actually wrote here so I will save that until the end 🙂
First off I think it is a very well rounded person who can admit what you did here- to yourself and then share it. Perhaps sharing the photos that maybe you wouldn’t would be a way to tap into some vulnerabilities you have and make you feel more connected in ways you haven’t for a while.
And now for the somewhat unrealated aspect. As I read this post, it stood out as a perfect analogy of where some people find themselves as bloggers. Over time many end up choosing the right picture to share, leaving behind the parts of them that seem less flattering -to them. Unfortunately this isn’t what is beneficial to the blogger or their readers.The general story is still there but their posts then tend to be void of emotions to create or maintain connections.
Perhaps if you think of your pictures like you would exposing yourself in a blog post, it might help?
Hi Willie and thanks for that. Your comments always get me thinking. What you say and suggest is really interesting and I will have to give that more thought. I do feel more honest and rounded in my posts and that is what I came here for. The images have just been an added thing I fell into so I must let that rumble around my head a while. Thank you. Missy x
Willie has some great points that I contemplate often as well. Our blogs are our stories, and while we carefully craft what we share, we want to hit a balance between truth and entertainment. We don’t want to bore our readers, but we want to be honest and raw and challenge ourselves, because for many of us, that is what our readers crave. They aren’t after what everyone else finds beautiful. They are after us and that special brand of story we provide.
I would love to see the real you, even if that makes you uncomfortable. And I think your readers would to.
Realizing that about myself as a reader makes me think a bit more deeply about what I am providing as a writer. Sometimes I hit the mark, but often I hide or do the easy thing that everyone else is doing. And I get lost in the mire because I look like everyone else and sound like everyone else.
The voices and images that stand out for me are those I connect to.
This is a thought-provoking post, as usual Missy. Thanks.
Thank you Brigit and I agree that willie’s has made me think. I know what you are saying and I often feel that you do show raw. You share the things that many would shy away from and I feel that stands out on your blog. I do feel my writing is honest but my images have been more focussed on fitting an ideal. Interesting that I didn’t feel the need to do that with my writing although for a time there was that pressure. Thank you for your comment. Thoughtful as always. Missy x
I think it is harder to offer the real deal in images. There is more judgement on appearance. I know I do a fair bit of editing, and I have a hard time showing the lumps and bumps and cellulite and other flaws. Things begin to sag a bit with age, and that can be hard to accept and even harder to photograph in a traditionally sexy way. But I think sharing our aging bodies and redefining what is sexy is a pretty powerful thing for bloggers to do.
You are right there. Perhaps I can retrain my brain! x
Just your photos have always screamed about sexuality and not about age. And the fact that any woman always wants to look great, is it a sin? That’s why she is a woman. Conclusion: 1. Show what you think is necessary, 2. Hide what you think is necessary to hide. For me this will be YOU.
Thank you for those compliments Lisa. I have tried to show the positives I guess. I am not necessarily stopping just having a long hard think about things and what will work best. Missy x
Well this is an interesting topic and something I struggled with my last birthday. I turned 70 in October last. I did go through some crazy mind things because there are major changes when you cross into the 70 something world. For us they have been a reality check on what is important. The mirror image will change, I promise you. But how it changes is all up to how you perceive yourself. One thing I do is be the best me I can be. If i am doing my best then what you see is what you get. My Master is extremely cerebral and natural and, when I had my big seven O, he drove me out to a secluded place on our farm and did some photography. He posed me and I felt like the most gorgeous body on this green earth! It was all about his vision of ME! I am the ‘s’ in our M/s and whatever the M says is what it is. Natural for those in a TPE, yes? So it’s all about how HE perceives ME. And that took all the pressure off me trying to be someone else. (I will be posting on monochromerotic once I get my blog up and running so you all can see what 70 something M/s ers are up to.)
My advice to everyone is CELEBRATE LIFE! Stop beating yourself up to be someone else or something else. Be YOU and celebrate. I could tell everyone how wonderful they are, how gorgeous they are and how much I love their photos or writing but unless you are willing to believe me, my comments fall on deaf ears. I struggled with image for decades. Then one day I decided to stop and CELEBRATE what I have, what I am. Of course I will always look for validation and be sensitive to criticism and negativity but not as much anymore. Grieve for lost youth if you must but my advice is don’t waste too much time doing it because not only do you not have the option to turn back time, you are wasting precious hours and days that could be building your future D/s. Although we made our first D/s contract over 20 years ago, It wasn’t until a few years ago that we felt we really ‘Got It’. There is so much more I promise you and it is really. really sweet.
And above all, look at each other in a new way. Rise to a higher protocol. It’s incredible up here.
Thank you for such a personal response. I look forward very much so seeing those images when you post them and thank you for your encouragement to keep going and make the most of what I am. I don’t feel that I am looking back on lost youth as in many ways this whole dynamic is what allows me to feel young and free. More it was about what I shared and whether or not that was helpful to who I feel I am if that makes sense. Is there any news on the launch of your blog? I have been waiting and keep checking by your name to see if a URL appears. Missy x
First of all, I will be sad if you stopped posting images, because I absolutely love seeing your images, seeing your creativity. That said, I get so much of what you say here. Even though I am in a good place now where my body is concerned, and feel perfectly okay to share my images as they are, I get the ‘struggle’.
The passage that really struck me was this one: “I know that any photo is not exactly true to life, but increasingly I am focusing on what to leave out rather than what to put in. This is leading to a focus on the negatives as I have to be ever aware of what I don’t want to show.”
It made me wonder if that was where the change came for me, when I stopped looking at what to leave out, but concentrated on editing the image in Lightroom. Also, what I think helped tremendously for me – as I have written in a recent post – is seeing the image on the screen of my phone before it’s captured on the camera. That way I could line it out exactly as I wanted, which helped me with seeing the good in the image, not the ‘bad’.
I have no advice for you, Missy, but that I think this is a (thinking) process you have to go through, to come to a point where you decide what is good for you, and what will make YOU happy.
Thank you and these thoughts are really helpful. I have long admired the relationship you have with your body and aspire to be more like that. I do struggle though and so I am not quite sure where that struggle will take me. Time will tell and I am enjoy enough other parts of being here so the image side was never really what it was about for me. Missy x
Do we as the audience deserve? Desire? Need the shape of things to come? A “clinical” naked truth picture of you would not in fact be the truth. Your truth. Your truth is whatever you choose it to be. It is not static nor can it be forced. Whether you believe that creativity nudity is somehow hiding or the result shameful body non-acceptance is not how we – the audience, snug in our locked down rooms peering around us at the wreck that is the world – see you at all. Bravery and integrity may be in short supply these days, but never let it be said that missy is lacking in either. The Real World, that which exists in friends, family, neighbors, co-workers and strangers never misses a chance to tear down anything and anyone that is different or, as us spankos know all too well: deviant. Yes, deviant. All that unsightly flesh and parts that shouldn’t ever be in close proximity unless all societal morals are met…. blah, blah, blah. Expose or not expose, missy, do what you need to do, not what you perceive your audience demands.
Thank you so much for this comment. You always have such a way of making me see things differently and oh how I have missed that. I think it was not so much how an audience saw me as how I see myself but I understand what you are saying and my views are definitely shaped and influenced by what I see and interpret around me. I need to look behind that and focus less on what is seen or observed and more by what is felt and experienced but that is the trick. Thank you!!! Missy xxx
I’d be sad if you would stop posting pictures. I have always enjoyed their artistry and beauty. They show that people in their 50s can be as erotic as any 20 year old on a magazine cover (the latter getting quite boring for me actually). Leaving things out is the most important part I think. Quite honestly for me personally just seeing a person naked as they are is very much not erotic no matter the age or body shape. By leaving things out one accentuates the things still visible…that is exciting and we can’t all be perfectly beautiful from every angle. That is the world of photoshop and not real life.
I think we should differentiate between youthful beauty, eroticism and sexuality which is very easy to depict and a privilege for the ones who are young (and we had this privilege too) and general beauty, eroticism and sexuality that we can have at almost any age. I think it is more difficult to tease those out with age and it needs more thinking about what to show and what to hide. Part of it is that we are almost conditioned to associate the signs of age with being non-erotic due to our societies fixation on youth.
A personal note maybe: The last time I went on dates before I opened up to polyamory was in my mid twenties. Now I am 41 and I wondered how it would feel to meet women who are also 15 years older, would I still see them as sexy and erotic as I experienced the women I met in my twenties? It is probably a very male thing to think about 🙂 Back then I looked at a 40 year old women and I essentially saw someone who could be my mother…there was no sexual attraction. Today I meet a woman my age and I find the signs of age actually quite sexy. Little wrinkles, strands of grey hair (I find these quite intriguing) a look of maturity, of times lived and experienced, a glimpse of promising garments…my perception simply changed with age to fit the people I can reasonably expect to get together with…and I think this is great.
So in a sense for some people you will definitely look old and unsexy and it is totally fine. For others you are very sexy and your images exude an erotic mood. For others like me I am happy to see that in another 15 years there will always be erotic and sexy women around.
Thank you. Your comment is helpful and I am starting to see more of the positives in what I do. I think if I can resolve the way I feel about myself the rest of the time it will make it easier. I have been trying to do things which will help so I will see how it goes. Thank you for your support. Missy xx
I agree with all of the above and hope we will continue to see you in your posts. We like what we’ve seen and Mr E will often comment to me ‘well I would’ looking at pictures you post 😁
My body will never be how it was 25 years ago but I try to look after myself. Yes I could do more but I like treats so there is a balance of being ‘good’ and having those nice things. Looking at our photos makes me remember how good I felt at the time they were taken, usually before or during play!
Look after yourself x
Well Mr E has brought a big smile to my face. Thank you. I agree with what you say too. You are right that I should look on them for the positives. I am still in two minds but will see how I feel as time goes on I think. Thank you for your support. Missy x
All i can say, missy, is you have been my inspiration for a D/s relationship in midlife. Shifter and I are in our second year and in our quite late 40s and you and HL have been a model, a template, and inspiration for doing this as the not-young-not-old set. Your pictures have helped me push my limits on kinky pictures and videos of myself and have helped me accept the beauty in my own aging body. You forged a path for me, and likely many others. Age is a number. Its not who we are. It is not who YOU are. It’s not who i am. No one gets to tell us what makes us beautiful. HL sees you. Shifter sees me. Use the camera lens to see yourself as HL does. You will never question again your beauty or value. I know I don’t post here much, but i lurk. I read. I am here. You and your blog, your pictures, make a difference …they do. You are a mentor to many of us out here. xxx Adra H
Oh wow. I cannot tell you how much your comment means to me. It is hard to believe but one of my rules is to accept all compliments with the with which they were intended so I am going to let your words settle over me. I am shocked but delighted that I should be an inspiration to anyone but so happy to know that you and your husband have taken so much from my blog. Thank you for reading and lurking. It really means so much. Missy x
Ultimately you will do what is right for you, but everyone posts pictures of themselves that they feel good about. There is nothing wrong with that. Women of all ages and shapes are attractive—but I would guess that most people (not just women) are unhappy with the way they themselves look. I think seeing others helps us to appreciate ourselves. You are a very attractive woman. On top of that, you think things through thoroughly, and effectively share those thoughts with us. Your pics add to your posts but if they stop, I think most of us will stay with you. You’re a multifaceted blogger!
Thank you Michael that means a lot. I think it’s not so much the pictures but accepting and embracing the other times if that makes sense. Perhaps the pictures don’t figure as much as I thought but I felt maybe they were making the gap between what I saw in them and in reality seem bigger. Missy x
Remember the pictures are reality. They may show you to best advantage or from your best angles but they are you!
Yes. It’s the me I want to see all the time though lol.
You just have to learn to see… that is you all the time! The hard part is learning how to see that.
I keep trying xxx
That is absolutely the spirit in which it was intended. Thank you for your honesty and the sharing and baring of your body and soul. It means much to me in my own submissive journey.