Photos and self-acceptance

So, have you heard of the idea that if you look at photos of “normal” bodies (i.e. not airbrushed, impossible-to-attain “perfect” bodies) it can help you on your journey to love yourself more? (Or just accept yourself, if that’s more your style)

There are some great articles by Marianne Kirby and Ragen Chastain explaining the idea.

I used to be the sort of person who untagged photos of herself on Facebook, or just plain avoided the camera because I was scared of “unflattering*” photos making me look fat. It was kinda sad, really. But what’s really helped me like my body in recent years – along with taking up powerlifting & learning about what my body can do vs what it looks like – is just taking photos of myself and looking at them. “Unflattering” ones, flattering ones, candid ones, posed ones etc etc.

Sometimes I take deliberately unflattering pictures of my face, and look at them because hey, this is my face.

And last night was my work Xmas party, and as usual there was a photobooth. A few years ago I would have wanted these pictures burned and never mentioned again, because hello double chin & big belly. These days? Eh, it’s just how I look.

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 10.58.02 AM

(I’m the one in the blue dress hogging the limelight, in case it wasn’t obvious!)

I also wore makeup last night, which is more or less an annual event for me. I’m still not sure I know how to apply it correctly 😉

Sometimes looking at these pictures is hard, I won’t deny it. I think I look slimmer in the mirror – less lumpy, smoother, a bit more hench maybe. Yet when I take pictures, there those lumps are. I guess that’s the brain’s way of curating what you see when you look in the mirror. Also photos are often more candid – you don’t have a chance to pull in your stomach or stand at your favourite angle before the photographer snaps the picture. As for my face – in my head I look much younger, with fewer lines and smoother skin. I used to hate how I look when I smile (those sticky-out cheeks and inevitable red face!) but the more I look at myself smiling, the more normal it is. Plus I’m obviously having a good time in those pictures, so why not capture it?

* I have a whole other set of thoughts about “flattering”, but Lauren sums it up well here!


3 thoughts on “Photos and self-acceptance

    1. lozette Post author

      That blog you refer to is totally the kind of thing I mean!

      I’m not feeling too bad today – I stuck to wine and didn’t have too many. Although when it’s FREE ALCOHOL it’s hard to restrain myself 😉

      Edit: OH! And the dress is a custom one from Get Cutie – one of their pencil dresses in an African Dutch wax fabric I bought in Peckham.

  1. jh

    Love the bottom left pic! 🙂

    And I’m all for silly selfies.. and unflattering poses and faces.. I am obsessed with the Snapchat app and will send pics I find awful all day long.. because this is me. 🙂 I’ve become all for posting the unflattering just as much as the flattering. In my online dating profile, I have one pic of my lying on the ground covered in sweat with a major bruise forming after pushing through 30 clean and jerks at 95# under 10:00. It’s far from sexy, but I felt awesome, so why not post it?

    It’s how the pics make you feel. What I love most about you is that you are so free spirited and open to just being you, whatever that is. And you can lift heavy, which is awesome. 😉

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