Monday, 16 May 2016
The Influence of One Photo
Ever since I can remember I have hated having my photo taken. I would hide in the back of a group or behind someone to avoid being the photo. I would make an excuse to go and be helpful just as the cameras came out.
I didn't have many photos of myself because every single one I have pored over and decided I didn't like. I'd had ingrained that I wasn't pretty
Also the photos didn't look like what I thought I looked like in my head. In my head I was more confident. I swished and swooshed my hair. Instead the photos looked limp and lifeless. I never truly looked happy, like I was either trying too hard or not a trace of a smile.
I notice every single imperfection. How my skin isn't perfect or my eyes crinkle when I smile. The odd front tooth that is slightly longer than the other. The fact that my hair is frizzy and doesn't sit smooth. I was drawn to these points and saw nothing else.
I also had the thought that by taking my own photo I was vain. That if I took a selfie then people would think I was too keen. Too happy with myself and what I looked like. I thought I would be crushed if I uploaded a photo and not a single person liked it. It would confirm every bothering voice in my head that said I didn't look good.
When I look at other people's photos I don't over analyse. I look for happiness and I look for beauty, but I find it often. I find it in a clear photo. I find it in laughter. I find it in almost every photo I see. I find it in the quirks that make them individual, which are often the things we over analyse in ourselves.
Then I took this photo. It was a combination of the sunshine and loving my freckles, but I took it. And since I haven't been able to stop looking at it. I'm looking at it like it's someone else's photo. A photo of a girl I know. And she's beautiful! I know because people told me. I know because I believe it.
For the first time in a good long time I do believe that. Maybe the likes and the comments helped. The first ones made me cry just a little. Because I'm not sure the last time I was described as beautiful. Maybe I shouldn't be placing worth on a couple of likes, but I think it is more than that. I can't stop staring at this photo. Yes it's me and I'm beautiful and I will not pick at anything about this photo.