Getting Over the Mindset that You’re Too Fat to be Photographed
For all my talk about body positivity, I’m going to admit something to you: I hate having my picture taken. I’m not talking about those selfies you’ve mastered where you know how to take advantage of your face’s good angles, turning just the right way to get the most flattering shot in the best lighting.
I’m talking about having other people take my picture.
My reaction to this borders somewhere on the realms of irritability, fear, and absolute despair. This reaction increases tenfold when my mom’s behind the camera, because I know the photos are going to be shared as is, to everyone I know, with no edits or crops to make me look halfway decent.
From the start, I went to London with the mindset that I wasn’t going to have any good photos taken of me.
This is a shame, because I probably missed out on so many photo opportunities with Ty. I’d hand the camera over to him or my brother, hoping they’d manage to take a flattering shot of me, but I was never satisfied with the image I saw on the screen, always finding something wrong with the way my hair stuck out on one side, how I wasn’t smiling enough, how squinty my eyes looked because of the sun, those double chins . . . oh, dear god, those double chins . . . I could go on and on. There were full days I didn’t even attempt to let anyone take my picture.
We’re our own worst critics, ladies. I’m pretty sure nobody else cares about pointing out my flaws in my beloved travel photographs, and the only people who matter already love me anyway, so why do I care so much? I wish I could answer that, but it’s one aspect of self-confidence that I’m still working on. And I have a long way to go.
In the end, after coming home from the trip and reviewing all the photos on my laptop, the pictures of me that made me cringe so much in London suddenly didn’t seem so bad. I began sharing my “fat travel photos” on Instagram, and was surprised at how many people liked them. It’s encouraging, and it made me reevaluate my initial mindset that I’m better off behind the camera than in front of it.
I didn’t wait until I lost weight to book a travel adventure so I could finally see the world. Why should I wait to slim down before making photographic memories? The short answer: I shouldn’t. No one should.
My mom told me the other day she wants to have a family portrait session this year. You know what? That’s just fine with me.