Written by Charlene Hartung


4 Comments(s)

22 Mar, 2022

Being comfortable at 39 

I recently had a photoshoot with Caroline de Meerseman, a beautiful young lady I met a few months ago. She was the photographer at my best friend’s wedding last year. 

When I received the images today, I looked at them and found myself thinking – who woulda thought that at almost 39 I would finally love what is looking back at me. I was so in love with the girl in those images. The images speak to the fun we had working together, and she captured the true essence of who I am. My fine little wrinkles show, my skin glows and my laugh is authentic. It comes across in every image. 

For the longest time I struggled with my image.

She did not think she was enough. Her skin was not clear enough. Her hair was too short. The color was not dark enough. It was a constant battle with who I was physically. I am a no-nonsense kinda girl and I believe in my ability as a human. As a woman. Perhaps suffering in silence with my innermost insecurities of self doubt and a ton of anxiety. If I told you what I mentally struggle with daily, you would not believe me hey. 

However, I always put on my big girl pants and keep things moving ahead. I choose to be strong and not be overcome by my fears and the big mountains I often put in my own mind. The freedom that comes with looking at yourself in the mirror or in a photograph and being pleased with what you see, is indescribable! 

I am beautiful. 

My hair is just the right length and color. 

My thighs are not too thick. 

My skin glows. 

My smile shows just enough teeth. 

Being your own worst critic is tough but I am finally in a place where I accept who I am and what I look like and that is freedom. 
I always believed my brother was prettier than me, he got all the pretty and I got nothing. Today I find myself saying to him ‘wil jy jou mooi suster sien’ on photos. Lol.

I finally feel free and I am so in love with the woman I have become. 



  1. Nadine

    I totally agree Charlene…you look beautiful and the new look suits you perfectly 😀

    Thank you for inspiring me to also look at myself with love …

    • Charlene Hartung

      Thank you very much.
      It warms my heart to know my experiences inspire others. We live to teach and learn right 🙂

  2. Stephano

    You are looking absolutely fabulous. You are like a fine red wine, just getting better and better with age. I love and admire the person you are.

  3. Magdalize

    Such an inspiration


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