I hate having my photo taken. I know that must sound weird because as most of you are aware I have a YouTube channel where I happily sit in front of a camera, often without makeup. My Instagram account is probably around 80% selfies. To be fair, my issue is not that I don’t like taking photos of myself, it is literally that I am incredibly uncomfortable with other people taking photos of me. The difference between one of my selfies and a photo someone else has taken of me is astounding! One of my friends has commented in that past that somehow I manage to look like a completely different person when someone else takes my photo. It is 100% down to the fact that whenever I am standing in front of someone else’s camera I feel incredibly vulnerable. Every part of me tenses up including my jaw which makes my face look completely different. My body becomes ridged and I forget how to stand. My mind is racing with thoughts like:
“Is my arm fat showing?”
“Oh no! They are judging my crooked teeth.”
“Where do I put my hands????”
I will look at the photos and think “Is that actually me?” No matter who has taken the photo! It is ridiculous and I know it is completely irrational. Some of my friends are amazing photographers and I know they would never judge me but I still can’t get comfortable in front of their camera. I often feel under pressure because part of me believes I am wasting their time, which makes me look even tenser.
So what is this issue about? Let me start by saying that I have never met a photographer who has said anything that has ever made me feel uncomfortable or judged. They are complimentary, supportive and always try their best to get me to relax. But I can’t. My brain plays tricks on me. The main issues is, like most people, I struggle with accepting my body. I am guilty of flicking through glossy magazines and crying into my smoothie bowl. Even at my age I am still learning to accept the limitations of my shape. I look in the mirror and curse parts of me that are out of my control like the length of my legs or the broadness of my shoulders. I am far too harsh on myself and it needs to stop. I’m exhausted. We all need to stop this negative inner dialog that compares us to the airbrushed celebs that we are bombarded with daily. I am on a mission to love myself because I am sick of feeling ungrateful for the functional body that I have been blessed with. Everyone has their insecurities but I want to stop calling them “flaws” and start learning to love them as part of the jigsaw puzzle that makes me. There is so much emphasis on “beauty” but beauty comes in many shapes and size and most importantly radiates from within. The definition of beauty itself should be enough to wake us up:
“1. a combination of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.”
Nowhere in that definition does it say specific size, or weight, a specific shape, or colour, or height. Beauty is subjective, like art. We need to stop letting others define it for us.
In the words of the wonderful Dita Von Teese: “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there is still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”
Don’t be a peach hater and most importantly love your peaches!
Kimi is a Makeup Artist of 13 years and started a beauty YouTube channel 18 months ago because she was passionate about helping people with their makeup struggles. In her blog series "That's What She Said", Kimi will be exploring the world of beauty and talking to people about all aspects of the beauty community in order to remove stigma and dispel myths about the industry in a 100 per cent positive way.