I was photographing a client who I also knew had experience in photography. Knowing that I often share the sentiment of not liking any photos of me I asked her if she wanted to turn the camera on me for a minute. I had no make up on and went and threw on a black polo that I often wear while shooting. I don’t think I even ran a brush through my hair. But if I am honest, this is me on a typical day. A reflection of me. My body image. Simple, but ready to attack the world.
I didn’t like what I saw. Initially.
I opened the pictures to cull and possibly edit a few so I could maybe have another headshot aside from the fancy selfie I have essentially used for over a year now. Initially I did not like what I saw. Lot’s of red spots. I should have fixed the lighting. My hair was not perfectly straight. And oh look at those lovely arms. Age… well it has been age.
Earlier this week I was listening to a class by my mentor when she was relating eating habits to body image. While I will be the first to admit my eating habits are not as top notch as they could be I usually would title my body image as indifferent rather than hate or love.
This is me. My body image.
But there I was looking at a picture of myself. Picking a long list of things apart. And starting to doubt myself.
Then I thought- what if I put this picture online? What would people say? Given my recent experience (and realization about wrinkles) I made a different list. Perhaps I am wrong but I think people would say the picture is pretty. Given I did not prepare for the picture at all- not bad.
So I decided to post about my experience here.
First I think we judge ourselves too harshly. I think a lot of our demeanor and outlook can be changed simply by what we focus on. As soon as I started to look at what others might see in the photo the image seemed to change a bit.
Second I have given some thought to what my mentor said. To what people have told me about their insecurity stopping them from getting photos. In all honestly perhaps it stops me too. What I realized after thinking about what my mentor said I realized I actually do not like my body very much right now. I had just stopped looking at it awhile ago because it was easier that way.
So I don’t really have a plan yet. Those of you that no me know I like to make plans. But I would like to change that. I truly believe that in order to change what I want I need to change my thought first. I need to also learn to love what is now before I will be able to change that. Today I wanted to just raise my hand to all of you out there and say ‘me too’.
This is hard for me to admit.
In my group of girl friends until I got sick I was the first one on the bike up the hill. I am generally the more ‘fit’ one in the family. I am known for more healthy eating habits. I was a tri-sport athlete in high school.
What people don’t know is there is a lot of anxiety. There are things in my life that I am dealing with and managing that I don’t talk about a lot. And I probably am ‘eating’ them instead. I eat my anxiety. Money, stress, relationship, parenting. I eat it all. Yes, I do try to moderate it but there are a lot of days I do just want to eat the days away.
I don’t know what else to say other than I am working to change that. I am hoping I will have more to share soon. But for now like I said. I wanted to at least raise my hand and say I struggle with body image too.