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.

Kate xx


  1. I saw the photo and thought, "what beautiful freckles she has!" and then low & behold I read down and you took this photo because of them. We all find the imperfections within ourselves, we just need to be told a little bit more that we are all beautiful, no matter of shape, size, colour or anything else!

    Bee |

  2. This is a gorgeous picture, especially as you look so happy. I'm so glad to know I'm not the only person who sometimes stares at great photos of themselves! I also hate having my photo taken but, over the past few years as I've got more confident, there are a handful I actually love, and I look at them all the time.

  3. As soon as I saw this photos on my Twitter feed, before I'd even read the accompanying text about the topic of the blog post, I thought to myself how cute your freckles are and how much I miss having my hair as long as yours. Looks aren't everything but in the vain world we live in, feeling good about yourself physically is so important. You're a beautiful person, inside and out and I hope every day brings you one step closer to realising that <3 xx

  4. YASSSS love your face! It's the only face you get! :-)

  5. Kate you are wonderful, inside and out (and your freckles are just divine!) I know that I don't really *know* you but this picture of you seems to radiate everything I think I know of you.

    That realisation, the one that means you no longer - for ten minutes at least - pick on any flaws that you have, when you look at your face as a stranger would, is so ridiculously empowering and I hope you hang onto that feeling.
    M x