A weird question to ask I suppose, but do you actually really know what you look like?
Apparently, the camera puts 10 pounds on you – thinking you’ve got that smoking hot bikini body and then *SNAP*… Your obligatory group photo on the beach, where you visioned yourself rocking those new ASOS bathers and outshining everyone else in the photo, has gone straight from Facebook-cover-photo-worthy to a breaking news ‘SPOTTED: Harpooned Honey Monster’ poster. Ideal.
And apparently, these days, you shouldn’t take any notice of what’s on the scales because of what we know about muscle mass and how it out-weighs fat – blah, blah, blah! Every single mirror has a completely different reflection – there’s one mirror at home that I look quite good in (relatively average, acceptable for public appearances), and then there’s another mirror that tells me to hibernate until I’ve lost another 10 stone. There’s this one mirror at the gym where I look like I have a fully grown moustache, and another in the same building that I look like I’ve been freshly waxed – not a follicle of growing facial hair in sight! You get my point.
And, can you really take any notice of your clothes size? In one shop, I’m a size 10 (an 8 if I really suck it in and if I’m totally committed to not eating, drinking or breathing for the duration of wearing the garment), and in the other I’m a size 14! I’ve even had to try on a size 16 in H&M once, and that was after I lost 3 stone!! I refused to buy the item. I’m 95% sure I wallowed in complete misery and spent the rest of the day longing for my dream body whilst comforting my self hatred with Prosecco and a family sized bag of Doritos. And that wouldn’t have been the first time I cried in the changing rooms of a store trying on new clothes! Pathetic really!
So, is it any wonder the majority of us has some sort of complex over our bodies? Take a look at these photos I took this morning…
But then, I put my top on. One that fits. But the more I looked in the mirror, the more I could see parts of me that I didn’t like. And the more I tried to look good for a photo, the worse I ended up looking:
Can you see what I see? I’m wearing the same knickers, stood in the same position and can you see how much bigger my muffin-top is compared to the first photo? Bigger thighs? A thicker waist? Why can’t you see what I see? Is it because I’ve been looking too hard? For too long? Or is it my perception changing? Does it even do that in a matter of minutes? Or can you see what I see? Is what I’m actually seeing, what you’re seeing too?…
Okay, well I added another top. And bear in mind, I’ve now been in the mirror taking photos for a good 10 minutes:
In that particular mirror, at that particular point, I felt 2-3 sizes bigger. But why? Is it my clothes? My sausage fingers? Is it the mirror? Is it just my changing perception because I’m slowly feeling more shit about my body and my mind’s playing tricks on me? How do I know for sure if I don’t know what I look like?
Then the camera started doing the same thing to me…
What should have been a relatively solid 7/10 selfie (ready for an Instagram filter, and 80 odd likes) had now dipped lower than a 5/10 because of that 3rd tit hanging underneath my armpit! It was the first thing I noticed. Was it the first thing that took your eye? Or did my on-point brow game just blow my third tit straight out of the photo?
If we see something we don’t like, do we class it as a bad photo? Or a true reflection of how we look?
This is a photo of me taken last week…DEVASTATED to have seen myself looking like this. When I left the house that morning, I visualised, and saw myself, with a MUCH flatter stomach – not with a gunt, and with nicely defined calf muscles – not with cankles!
So, what’s the truth? Are there good camera angles & bad ones? Does the truth actually lie in the glimpse in a car door or in a shop window? Is it when you feel good about yourself? Or when you feel bad about yourself?
Will we ever really know what we actually look like?