Back in High School is when it started, I was okay with pictures being taken of me. So long as I never saw them. Then it changed to just never liking pictures. It was hard to look at my body. I hated it every day. Self-love was not my best skill. Eventually, I stopped taking my own pictures.
It wasn’t until close to 2007 that I started to let myself take the rare selfie. Even today most of my social media pictures are of other things or living creatures in my life. My looks have always tied to my weight. It is the thing that I heard most about growing up. But it also was tied to my depression and the abusive relationship I was at current in. Posting pictures of myself often turned into fights if others commented on my picture. I started to hide away in bigger clothing so I wouldn’t stand out. Toned down my makeup only to work because it was in cosmetics. Which of course did not help for how I felt my body looked. The spiral was always there waiting for me to trip down it.
As my life started to change, so did my picture taking. I was happy to be a little more frequent with the pictures I take. I started to be happier with the person I saw in the mirror each day. It was a small change but a good one. Makeup and I became closer as I started to experiment with how I liked my face to look. I even found some of the best lighting, which has prompted me to get a ring light. Something I never thought I would want.
I started to surround myself with people who reacted positively to my pictures. In turn, also giving the same positive feedback when they would share their own. Though I was still finding myself with a few other hurdles that I was having some issues with. Sharing my full body in pictures being the biggest ones.
Putting the Camera Down, Not Myself
Being plus sized is a thing I have been dealing with all of my life, even as a kid it was hard. Though as an adult it can sometimes be harder. I see so many other plus sizes folx rocking their size and I wonder why I cannot enjoy it. It comes down to hearing the put-downs in my head. When I see pictures of my body, I don’t focus on my make up or how cute my dress looks. It is the repeated words of those that put me down the most. I would focus on the numbers that I knew and flesh them out as I looked at the person in the picture. The number on the scale was the first target to cut out.
The second was being in control. I started setting a timer, just 5 seconds. Enough time to walk away and just move. Do what felt natural, but not let hitting that button stand in my way. It actually started to produce some amazing shots. Heck, some of them even made it on to my Twitter recently. Even if they don’t make it up somewhere I take the time to enjoy them for me.
One Picture A Day
I have started making this point every day, once a day. Take some kind of picture of myself. From just a normal selfie to something risque. Slowly as I keep seeing myself from different angles and looks, I start to see who I am. What makes me happy to show to the rest of the world. What I want to keep to myself. Even what I want to show my partners. Slowly learning what angles I love and what places I want to learn to love.
Even when I am not feeling my best I still take them. I try to take at least one every day. So I can learn to see a range of my emotions and feelings. Not forcing myself to smile when I don’t feel like smiling. Even allowing myself to cry when I am taking them. Each picture allowing me to heal something even in the smallest way.
What do selfies and pictures of yourself mean for you? Do you have any tips or tricks for taking those harder pictures? I’d love to hear in the comments! Also, don’t forget to check out what others have written as part of Summer 100!