Days come from time to time when clothes seem to fit the way they should, hair falls the way you want it to, and a feeling of confidence in your appearance actually begins to grow. You head out into the world with a smaller sense of insecurity than normal. Less of the annoying negative thoughts on body image overwhelm your brain and you feel free to breath and smile.
And then somewhere in this positive period of secure body image, an opportunity for photographs presents itself. Whether it’s a selfie or a far away full body shot, you know your newfound self love is about to take a terrible tumble.
The photographer counts, “1…2…3…cheese!” And you smile. You try to present proper posture, keep your arms in flattering positions, and hope the breeze doesn’t blow your hair into an awkward arrangement.
I’m not sure when the comment, “Hey, let’s take a picture,” became such a nightmare, but the words are not fun to hear. Usually it’s obvious when these photo opportunities are approaching, and cringing sets into the skin far before any cameras are whipped out.
“Hey, let’s take a picture.”
Once the photo is taken, there’s no chance of avoiding it. Even if you could actually abstain from ever seeing it, you wouldn’t. You have to look.
It’s posted online, or sent directly through a text. You hope for the best…and then check it out. As you see yourself, your heart drops. All that positive body talk is in the past and quickly replaced with scorn.
“Wow, my thighs are huge.”
“I hate my smile.”
“My cheeks are chubby.”
“Why did I wear that?”
In short, pictures suck. Just let me walk around, thinking I look okay. Don’t make me take a photo that will shove evidence into my face on how hideous I truly appear to the world.
Body image. Sigh…Never satisfied.