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UN-Photogenic

Rebecca Rowe

Yesterday I had a friend surprise me at one of my craft-shows. As always, there was a camera draped around his shoulders and a smile on his face. We were chatting his camera slowly came up to his face and MY neck started turning red, my face started getting blotchy and I began to look away. The night before at a fashion event I had a photographer try and take a photo of me while talking to a friend, same thing. Red, blotchy, hyper aware of where the lens was. It is actually my super power. I always know where that horrible little piece of machinery is.  In my line of work, where I am my own brand, this is becoming a problem. I’ve been scolded by quite a few photographers who have tried taking my picture and like the Flash, I’m gone! (…get it? Flash, camera….bad pun) Am I the only one who hates having their photo taken??

PHOTO by @thiswildeye

So why do I do this? Well, it wasn’t from lack of practice. My mum loves taking pictures!!! Especially of her kids. As I grew up though I began being told things like; “you look really healthy. I’d date you.” (Um…what?) “you’re medium fat” (okay?) “Are you going to wear that?” (not anymore!) “That just shows off all your curves.” (Didn’t realize that was a bad thing). So in a world where we’re supposed to be lifting each other up and embracing diversity why do we get told these things? by both men and women. These words have made me self conscious, to the point where I don’t like having my photo taken.

I know the world is pushing for more acceptance and understanding of people and their appearance. I think it’s important to realize though that these statements are still coming out of people’s mouths and that they make an impact on people. I also realize that it’s important for me and my own self growth to not take a lot of these comments personally.

Acceptance isn’t something that happens overnight and I get that, regardless if it’s self acceptance or acceptance of others. It’s a conscious choice that needs to happen every time someone wants to take a picture or wear a form fitting dress. It starts from within and I think that it’s something we can train our mind to be. Just takes practice. My promise is to not look away when someone asks if they can photograph me, what’s your promise?

Header Photo by: @thiswildeye


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