Monday, 22 July 2019

Body Image and Taking Blog Photos


Man, do you know what? I've gone from rarely allowing a picture of myself to be taken to using the camera timer to take loads of pictures of myself or spending a full day with Chloe (My Second Attempt) walking around Manchester and taking pics of ourselves. I wouldn't say that this change was completely organic, it was mostly because I wanted to post more fashion-based content on my Instagram and blog, but it's been an unexpectedly healthy change for me! Seeing images of myself online (eg. when a family member catches you unawares and you end up getting notified by Facebook that you've been tagged in a hideous image) used to be my worst nightmare. I didn't want people to see my body, the weird way I stand, my nose and generally my self. However, when you're taking pictures with a purpose and you get to pose a few different ways, have fun with the process of taking the pictures, and then muddle them into your Insta feed, it becomes more of a fun and creative process rather than a horrible 'oh god untag me' kind of experience. It still doesn't quite come naturally to me to take lots of pics of myself but I have a little strategy to deal with the body-image based nerves.

 

Focus on the outfit, not the body

When getting ready to take blog pictures, thinking about what outfit to showcase (or alternatively what makeup to wear) is the first priority. In recent years I've changed my thinking from 'dress for your size' to 'wear what looks good as an outfit' which has helped my confidence quite a bit. When I had the 'dress for your size' ethos, I would cover myself in baggy clothes which swamped my figure and ended up making me look unshapely and left me feeling massive. I still love baggy pieces, but I wear them with better-fitting pieces so that I'm at least showing some of my actual body shape. When I focus more on the clothes and the outfit itself, rather than the body I'm dressing, it gets me excited to put the outfit together and share it.


Focus on the picture, not the body

When in front of the camera it's super easy to want to find ways to hide your body and your figure, so I have decided to push thoughts of my body to the back of my mind (when I can) and to think of ways I can pose to make the picture or clothes look better. For example, taking photos from a low angle wouldn't be the most flattering, but the picture itself would look nice with the blue sky in the background. If I'm wearing funky sleeves, I think of ways I can show them off. If I find a mural, I find a way that I can interact with it in the picture. Thoughts like this pull my focus away from my body while I take the pictures.



Oh wait, that looks good 

Going through a load of pictures of yourself can get very mundane and I end up deleting the majority of the pictures I take or are taken of me. However, those that make the cut have passed my tremendous scrutiny, they're decent pictures. They show the outfit well enough, the pose worked, the lighting is decent. It's a good photo. Liking a picture of myself is a good feeling, and I feel like we all need a few good pictures of ourselves. Plus it's nice to have a new profile pic or a new picture for the grid on Instagram!


Oh wait, my body looks good

The more I look at the nicer pictures of myself, the more I look at the way my body looks and the things I used to hate about myself I've learned to start to love. Seeing pictures in clothes that hug my curves reinforces the fact that a lot of the time (when I'm not having issues with my body-image) my curves make me feel good. I feel soft and kind of cute. Learning to enjoy pictures of myself has helped me in my attempts to learn to love my kind of plus-size body, the tummy that won't go away no matter how much I diet, the nose I used to be teased for, the large thighs, and the bum that I used to think was just too massive.



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