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)
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.
(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!