I remember when the standard answer to “can I take your picture?” was: “Okay, but I am so not photogenic!”
I heard this come from my own mouth many times, as well as many of the mouths that surrounded me as a teenager, and a young adult.
As if we had to preface everything with the underlying notion that we don’t think we look that nice. In photos or otherwise.
Maybe it was a lie we told ourselves, or maybe it was honestly what we believed, but the truth is that if we were taught to believe that our worth was based on our appearance, then we were communicating that we believed ourselves to be unworthy.
*note: our worth is not based on our appearance, just for the record.
Recently, I was watching a video of myself and thought “damn, I look good!”. In the past, I would have been immediately uncomfortable with that thought, trying to find something that I didn’t like about my body, or how it was moving. But, in recent times, thoughts like this have been more prominent – a welcome change.
In the last year or so, I have taken to sending my closest friends, and more-than-friends, photos of myself in various poses, in various amounts of clothing, as well as close-ups of my face – smiling, or, more likely, sticking out my tongue. More often than not, I enjoy the image that I have produced – far from the photoshopped perfection that I used to believe was imperative to “pretty pictures”. p
Likewise, when I receive photos, I believe that the humans who have sent them are fucking babes, and I am so grateful that they have chosen me to grace with their photo presence.
I do realize that I surround myself with particularly beautiful humans – who are beautiful because they believe themselves to be. Because their confidence and shine seeps through the small screen in which their face, or body, is staring back at me.
All of this has led me to wonder – are we vain to believe that we are beautiful?
And, of course I think this is a silly question. So obviously rhetorical. But I know that there are people out there who would believe me to be vain, and what’s more, would still answer the question “can I take your photo?” with the response “sure, but I’m so not photogenic.”
Not to fret, I have a solution for both of these concerns – because I truly believe them to be concerns. And I also believe that they are intricately linked to one another.
4 steps to shedding photo judgement and increasing photo confidence:
- Take a shit ton of photos of yourself. And videos. Purely for your own viewing. With various faces, and angles, and shapes, and clothing. Do not take them with the idea of posting them on social media, or sending them to a lover, or making them look a certain way. Take them for yourself. Be silly. Have fun. Put on music. Drink wine. Just do you.
- Send as many photos as you want to your closest people – the ones who you are 10000% confident will shower you in compliments. I do not care who these people are – your partner of 15 years, your new bff, a particularly complimentary date, your cousin, your mom. Just someone who will confirm a fact that you already know – you are a babe.
- Encourage your peeps to do the same. Send them all the love and compliments when they share their photo magic. Shower them in good feels. This will create a beautiful cycle of support and confidence boosting.
- Repeat as needed. Add more people to your group chats, and photo sharing. Have photo shoots with your friends. Drink tea or Champagne, and direct them into their best poses. And then continue to share your beautiful self with your world, however you see fit.
The world does enough to try to make us feel badly about ourselves. It is up to us to destroy these false narratives and build one another up. I witness so many humans carrying themselves as though someone is about to push them over, or tell them how hideous they are, and I will not stand for it anymore. Let’s start to take selfies and nudes – of all bodies, all faces, all shapes, and all genders. And celebrate them all. Always.
Send me your photos, and I will tell you all of the amazing ways that you light up your world.
Yours in sexy photo solidarity,