I hate having my photo taken...
It's true, I do! I smile like a five year old that's just been asked to say cheese! And the thought of being photographed, or worse filmed, makes me feel very self-conscious about my face and body.
Exhibit A -->
(Christmas a few years back)
I'm not too sure when body image issues entered my life. Like all 90's babies that turned teens in the 2000's, I was bombarded by magazine headlines telling me how to get thin, provoking my teenage mind to ask itself, am I fat?
A damaging path for any young teenager to walk down. But it was everywhere! I clearly remember watching Pop Idol and the beginning of X-Factor and having conversations with my family like "yeah she can sing, but she doesn't look right so she won't go through - she doesn't have the whole package!"
And do you remember that time that Nasty Nigel called Kym Marsh from Hear'Say fat? FAT! A beautiful young girl with an amazing talent but our mid-2000's brains couldn't accept her as a popstar because we thought she was fat!!
We may have been able to leave some of this nonsense in the era of low-rise jeans and belly-out tops, but it still lives inside most of us...
Is my body too big or too small?
Do I have the right eyebrow shape? Can you see my acne?
Are my clothes right?
Are my roots showing?
Don't look at my teeth!
I could write an entire post about the amazing people who campaign for body positivity, and show us the beauty in all bodies and people - and I could write for days about the hateful goblins that are still allowed to grace our screens (thinking Jason Gardiner, Piers Morgan) and how people are still bullied into mental health and body issues (Jesy Nelson for one example!) But if I continue this will turn in to the most non-constructive rant-like post I've ever written, so I will stick to the topic at hand and address this another day...
I hate having my photo taken...
But I don't want to hate it. I can't undo the trauma caused by a childhood of size-zero aspirations, but I can do things everyday to change my mindset and opinion of myself and how I look.
Here's my own top 5 tips for self-love (and keep reading for our top 5 tips to start loving photos of you!):
1. Seek out those that inspire you
Social media...although it has it's downfalls, is a great platform for all people to share their stories, photos and tips and I've found some amazing accounts to follow that help give me confidence. Whether that be because their body is similar to mine, I like their fashion sense or they just post great quotes! Find these people for you, build your community and remind yourself everyday that you are amazing!
2. Look at yourself naked
It sounds strange I know, but trust me! Before your morning shower just take the time to look at yourself. You might not like everything you see and that's okay, but focus on the bits you love! I love my bum and legs, a little jiggle in the mirror every morning gets me smiling for the day.
3. Tik Tok!
I love it! I don't care. I'm over 30 and I love it! The power of raw videos, no edits or Instagram wizardry, is incredible! It really is a great insight into average people, just like all of us! And the amount of tips and tricks are insane! I love the fashion accounts, so many ideas (just need lockdown to lift so I can strut my stuff!)
Make time to do the things that make you happy where you really don't care what you look like! Be that a sport, activity, day trip or slob about in your pjs. For me this looks like a bottle of wine, bath, face mask and film - it's a weekly de-stress time just for me.
5. Believe people when they give you compliments!
My husband gets so frustrated when he compliments me and I find a way to talk him out of it and see the real beast that I think I am. My Mum rolls her eyes when she tells me I look nice and I come back at her with 'but this bit looks awful right?'. We need to stop questioning the compliments we get, this is easier said than done I know, but as someone who has been practicing just saying 'thank you' and walking away believing I am a hot piece of ass, I can recommend this tactic!
So once you start to love yourself, then you can work on loving photos of you. And it's hard. The only thing that will really make this easier is the amount of times you do it!
But we have pulled together a free guide for you with our top 5 tips to remove any awkwardness and start to love photos of you!
These are 5 simple tips to ease your nerves, stress and fears in front of the camera. They are practical things you can do now to avoid the awkward 'stand and smile like like 5 year old who has been asked to say cheese!' pose.
These tips work for everyone - any age, gender, body etc. And can be used when taking photos solo or as a group.