Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Lessons from a bad photograph

I learned pretty early on that when you have big, mad hair and a large head to go with it, there's not much point getting upset about how you look in photographs. Your hair is invariably going to be bigger and messier than everyone else's and if you're standing next to a person with a normal sized head, your's will look pretty massive. Tis just the way of life. Accept, move on, learn to embrace both of those things as being totally you and get on with it. 

That philosophy was all going really well until last night. I am quick to add at this point that I am in no way assigning blame to the person who shared this photograph, but my reaction really took me by surprise. Mainly because I was upset. Like properly upset. I looked at that photograph and felt enormous in comparison to everyone else. I fat-shamed myself, which made me feel even worse. 

Let me tell you a bit more. Throughout all of my 40-something years I have learned to accept (and most importantly, love!) how I look to the point where 99% of the time I reckon I look pretty kick-ass and I have the sass to go with that attitude. I will freely admit to strutting about in front of my full length mirror and sharing a photo to my social media feeds when I am really feeling my outfit of the day. There is absolutely nothing wrong with some good, solid self-love. I totally own my double chin and size 16 body, the hair that is generally out of control and the style I have chosen along the way. Until life throws you that curveball...

The particular night in question I thought I looked pretty good. I was wearing a fake leather mini skirt, a floaty blue blouse with ruffle cuffs and I'd made my hair extra specially large because that is what I do. Turns out, when you put that next to some gorgeous friends who are all thinner with smaller heads and shinier hair, and you trust a photographer from the bar to take a photo, you're kind of putting your feelings into someone else's hands. This is most definitely why selfies have become so popular in my humble opinion! 

Let's talk about the feelings. Feeling fat is a pretty crappy way to feel. I completely, 100% admit that I could do with losing some weight and doing more exercise, but when it's staring you right in the eyes it is very definitely jarring to say the least. As it happens (and there's a very distinct possibility that it has led to this reaction), Dave and I are currently at the very beginning of a 4 week healthier eating plan. We had both admitted that it was time to take control once and for all and made a pact to work on it together, and then the photo happened. 

A day has passed now and I'm starting to get a little bit of perspective, although it still makes me cringe when I see the photograph. I'm day 4 into the healthier eating plan and I'm feeling positive...and hungry, but that's because it's nearly tea-time. It's not about losing a massive amount of weight or suddenly going to the gym every night; it's about being a better me, for health and wellbeing.

All of that being said, I think it will be a while before I'm happy to smile for any more photographs on nights out. I think the biggest thing that has shaken me the most is how crap it made me feel about myself. I don't enjoy that feeling, it's not kick-ass or sassy, it's mainly sad, and not at all me. 

Life can be so weird sometimes...

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