I was recently chatting to my friends Katie (check out her blog Katie L Clark) and Nicola (check out her insta here) the other night about photography. It was then that a big realisation hit me: since I have been blogging for the last year and a half, I’ve stopped hating photos of myself.
Two years ago, I used to dread seeing photos of myself. All I could see in my image was my “fat arms”, “huge nose” and “gross skin”. Even though now I still get some of those dark thoughts, I don’t listen to them and just feel way more at ease with myself. In fact, I feel pretty.
I haven’t drastically changed how I look, except maybe put on a bit more weight (but I don’t actually know as I don’t have any weighing scales). Instead, it’s my brain that’s changed. I see now that I have my own beauty (cheesy and lame I know, but it’s true).
It is harder to love your appearance when you don’t conform to society’s ideals of beauty. But you know what I only discovered in the last few years? No one conforms to those standards. And people that I think are bloody gorgeous, have serious body confidence issues too. I used to be plagued with thoughts about how I wished I could look like many of my friends. Until I sat down with one of them, and they shared their thoughts about their body and said they envied mine! Short legs, long legs, small boobs, big boobs (I don’t even understand what counts as what any more), small bum, big bum, curvy, slim, tanned, pale or dark. There will always be people wanting what they don’t have, without realising that someone else is thinking the exact same about their attributes.
We really are all beautiful in our own way and this really shows in photos where we are happy and being ourselves. So instead of cringing when someone wants to take a photo of me, I smile *and* I often even ask Ross to take photos of me for the blog and my Instagram. It’s so freeing to not panic at the sight of a photographer or at the ping of a tagged photo notification.
It’s also allowed me to become more familiar with my face. I didn’t like looking at photos of myself, but hey, that’s how the rest of the world sees me. And now, I find that fascinating. Spending more time looking at my features, has turned my face into an old friend rather than an enemy.
The best thing about photography though is how it can capture memories. I have taken so many photos over the years and I adore looking back on them. But it was always a bit odd how I was rarely in other people’s photos, and never in my own, despite taking hundreds of other people! I think it’s especially important that I have photos of myself on our current travelling trip because myself and Ross are adventuring together. Before my confidence increase, I would just have had tons of photos of him. It’s nice to have that mixture – we are partners on this journey and now we have records of both of us doing things!
I advise you to expect many more photos of me to come, because posing and photography is fun and the memories they inspire are worth so much. How do you guys feel about photos of yourself?