Thursday, 7 May 2015

How to LOVE other people's photos of you.

So we've all pretty much nailed the selfie now, right? I don't know many women who haven't mastered the art of good lighting, raised camera and duck face pout of course!

I am really good at selfies hahaha. Here are some of my favourites...

I'm sure you also have some selfies that you are comfortable with, that make you smile and that you'd be happy to show to anyone... And that's why they are probably (like mine) used as your social media profile pictures.

So why is it that most of us feel very differently about photos that other people take of us? Is it the lack of control? Is it that they aren't bothered about our best side or most flattering angle?

Well there is actually a proper grown up scientificmabobs explanation for this. We have one very frequent but surprisingly inaccurate source of seeing ourselves, and that is the mirror. We are so used to seeing our concise mirror image, on average around 70 times per day, that seeing a completely different angles/ratio/distance image is a bit of a shell shock.

Now you might be in the minority of women who are so completely happy with their appearance and comfortable in their own skin, that anyone could take a photo of them from any angle and they wouldn't mind in the slightest. If this is you then you have my admiration and utmost respect. You are very few and far between though...

So to recap, a selfie recreates the mirror image of us that we are used to seeing on a regular basis. A photo that someone else takes of us represents how other people see us everyday. From a variety of "bad" angles that we are never even aware of. That's why your friends and family will usually be shocked if there is a photo of you that you hate - as that's how they usually see you.

So how can we get over this? Well, like any fear, the best way to tackle it is to face it! We did a little bit of research on this and discovered that there is also a scientificmabobs way to deal with it.

The theory is called "Mere-exposure" and can also be known as the familiarity principle. The idea is simple - the more often you are exposed to something, the more you will like it. So when it comes to photographs you hate, the only way to start liking them is to keep looking at them. OVer and over again, for as long as it takes. But it actually won't take that long for you to start tolerating the images before you will actually begin to like them. And what could be better than liking yourself and the way the world sees you, that little bit more? Not much I'd say.

I will let you into a little secret now. Here are some pictures of me that other people have taken, ones that I HATED at first but have now grown to like with this very effective method...

Those of you who have met me will probably wonder why I ever hated these. But I did. I can confidently say now though that I really like them and no longer see the problem myself either.

So, your mission (if you choose to accept it) is to find those photos you hate that other people have taken of you and keep looking at them over and over again. You'll more than likely go from "Ewww" to "Hmmm not too bad I suppose" to "Actually I quite like that" much quicker than you think!

Let me know if this works for you and how much better it's made you feel.

Bye for now
Em xx