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Stuff We Love: Joy
Posted by Toni in Stuff We Love
Image by Chelsea Ruth

Recently I saw a photo a friend captured of me during a weekend away in Chicago, and I was struck by how happy I looked. Joyful, with a side helping of silly and a dash of "probably about to crack wise." I think we all need to have photos of ourselves that take us by surprise like this, that show our inner beauty reflected outward. This week's image captures that spirit of joy we should each attain for ourselves. It's contagious--I dare you to look at this vibrant smile and not want to smile yourself. Another cherished photo of mine features my parents and brother meeting my first son for the very first time; I've never seen my family look more beautiful than in that moment. When a dear friend's son welcomed his first child into the world last week, his mom captured the palpable love and happiness on his face as he greeted his new daughter.

From our most memorable to our tiniest bits of silliness, seeing ourselves happy makes our burdens that much lighter. So we have a challenge for you camera-shy girls, because we all know how some of us carrying extra weight avoid being photographed. Take your camera out with a good friend who makes you giggle and get some great photos of yourself. Or at your next big event, take a chance and make sure you're part of the photographs from that day instead of being the one behind or hiding from the camera, to firmly ground yourself in the happiness of that moment. I can tell you that as a big girl with a few more years under her belt than some of you reading now, you'll look back on those joyful moments from decades ago, feel that happiness shining through and wonder why you ever felt the need to hide.

Tell us: what brings you joy? What does your happiest photo, memory, or both, look like?