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Strengthening Your Self Image Through Photography

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It’s harder than ever, thanks to the media dictating unrealistic beauty standards, to not feel insecure about yourself and your looks. In fact, a reported 91% of women feel unhappy with their appearance and body. That’s an overwhelming number that is sure to include a super model or two! This often leads to a plethora of ways individuals react to their perceived bodily flaws. One of the biggest surrounds having your photo taken. There is no statistic around how many people don’t like to be photographed, but suffice it to say, it’s a lot!

A common reaction to physical insecurities is to avoid having a photo taken altogether. Maybe you think you need to lose weight, or don’t like how your hair has greyed, or you feel you have a crooked smile, the reasons are endless. The old adage is true – we are our own worst critic. It’s important to remember that what we see is not what everyone else sees. Do your friends and family look at you and see your physical flaws? No, they see the person they love and who makes a difference in their life. Love yourself as much as they love you. Make it a personal challenge to have yourself photographed often and from all angles. You’ll eventually discover your flaws aren’t really flaws and find self acceptance.

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Another common coping method of poor self image is never taking a serious photo, but instead always doing something silly. Maybe you make a funny face, use hand gestures close to your face or stick out your tongue. You do this to distract others from your perceived imperfections. And while funny photos are a great staple of life, don’t let it become a crutch. Encourage yourself to take photos that showcase a variety of expressions, especially ones of you simply smiling. You’ll learn to embrace yourself honestly and your mom, who always asks for a “serious photo”, will be happy too 😉

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You can conquer this fear and hesitations head on! Remember, a photograph is only one dimension and you are many dimensions. No photo will ever be a true representation of you, so don’t allow it to have power and define you. You are much, much more! And most importantly, photos are meant to be memories for us and for our loved ones. You should never find yourself regretting possessing only a few photos with special someone after they’ve passed. Nor should you rob your own loved ones of their own mementos for when you aren’t around (for distance or other reasons). Don’t let your self image create a missed moment. As Marc Riboud said, “Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.”

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