You are at an event – a party, a holiday gathering, or vacation – and inevitably someone wants to take a picture of your group, and they want you to be in the picture. You feel super uncomfortable. You try to run away, or tell them you don’t like your picture taken. They get upset or angry, and plead for you to be in the picture. You get embarrassed by their pleading and now you are faced with a decision. Do I allow the picture to be taken and splashed all over facebook or instagram? Or, do I persist and insist that I won’t be in the picture?
Having photos taken can be super stressful for anyone who has body image issues. Individuals who struggle with their body sometimes find it painful to see themselves in print. Why is this??? Well, when someone is super critical of themselves and their flaws, they may instantly focus on those flaws when they see themselves in pictures. Truly, no one takes a great picture 100% of the time, but when you have low self-esteem and body image issues, you often can’t look past the imperfections to see yourself the way others see you.
I recently saw a picture of four women I knew. The picture wasn’t flattering of any of them, yet they loved the picture because all they could see was the love and friendship that they shared for over 30 years. None of them focused on the way their hair flew all over the place, or, in their words, the “lumps and bulges” that might have put another person over the edge.
Memories are created through pictures. Once an event has passed, all you have as a reminder of it are the photographs. In years to come, you will crave the memories of all your life’s events. Have you ever looked at pictures of yourself as a child, perhaps with a childhood friend, and smiled at the memories it conjured up? Did you have good feelings about the young person you saw in the picture?
Your feelings about your body will hopefully improve over time, and you will want to see yourself, as well as the places and people who were special to you. And, remember, that you are special to those around you. They aren’t looking at the pictures of you picking apart everything about you. The love they have for you makes them see the beauty in you, regardless of what your body looks like.
Try not to waste another moment of your life running and hiding from the camera. Try not to let your body image issues and your eating disorder prevent you from trying to create memories. Don’t wait until you think you will take the “perfect” picture. Obviously, I’m not recommending that you put yourself into any situation that will cause significant emotional distress. I’m simply recommending that you don’t let your eating disorder guide your decision to avoid the camera. Try to see what others see…your inner beauty, kindness, friendship. Create and savor each and every positive memory you can. Lastly, try not to pick yourself apart if you do see pictures of yourself. Try to find something positive about what you see.Share on Facebook