Camera Shy

I am a mean girl.
A bully.
A body shamer.

When I look at pictures of myself, I tear them apart.
Because all I see are flaws.

I expect to look perfect.
And when I don’t,
I beat myself down.

Which is why I don’t like taking pictures.
Because I know the ridicule that will inevitably follow.
Not from others, from myself.

I also don’t like being the center of attention.
It’s nerve racking to have someone behind the camera focused on me.
I freeze.
I become stiff.
And awkward.
When I smile I look like Chandler Bing (see Friends Episode 05, Season 07).
Or, just look at my Instagram feed.

The fact that I even have an Instagram is a miracle.
I avoided social media since it came out.
Because I hate taking and posting pictures of myself that much.
I really don’t like to be seen.

Before starting the blog and posting on Instagram,
I NEVER took pictures.
Having the blog has forced me out of my comfort zone in many ways.
And taking pictures, as easy as it sounds, is one of them.

Now I take pictures almost daily.
In doing so, I have become acutely aware of how insecure I am.
With my body and my appearance.

I have always known I was insecure.
And I always brushed it off.
I never thought it is was a problem.

Although I’m slightly more comfortable in front of the camera now,
It still makes me uneasy.
I still shame my body in photos.
And it’s not healthy.

I sometimes avoid taking pictures altogether to avoid my self-prescribed ridicule,
Like today.
We are in Paris right now and Rob booked me a photo session.
Taking professional pictures in Paris has been a dream of mine.
And I was really excited, but then I got nervous.
Paris is a busy city. The thought of taking pictures with people walking by made me nervous.

So I canceled the shoot.
And now I feel disappointed.
In myself.
I let my insecurities stop me from having great pictures in Paris.

As confident as I try to come across, I’m really not.

I mentioned the expectation to look “perfect.”
But what does looking “perfect” even mean?
In my head I have set this fake expectation that doesn’t even exist.
Or matter.

And after writing all of this,
Looking “perfect” isn’t important anymore.
What is important,
What really matters,
Is accepting and loving my body as is.
And becoming more confident.
Not just on camera,
But within myself.

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