Loving Our Selfies – Know You’re Beautiful…You too Fellas!

tara mesynWhen I was younger and someone pulled out a camera, watch out, my idiocy would come out in full force. My tongue was almost always out, eyes were generally crossed and my hands always gave someone bunny ears. They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and in the Ward family, my daddy was right next to me, acting just as much the fool. My poor mom, I don’t think there are very many normal family photos of us.

I would say things have changed, but not so much. My dad and I still act like morons in front of the camera. And now so does my niece, and I love it.

Many of us photographers get a little weirded out when we have to get in front of the camera. EEEEEEKKK! Headshots! It feels foreign to step out from being the shooter to the becoming the shootee. However, it’s something we NEED to do.

We all need headshots for our businesses. That’s a gimme, but we also need to remember how awwwwkwwwwaaaard it can feel in front of the camera too. We often see our beautiful and handsome clients and think, “They’re perfect, they won’t be self-conscious” but that is far from the truth. Many teens aren’t as comfortable with themselves as we think they are. Everyday they are bombarded with unrealistic images of “perfection” and when they don’t see that staring back at themselves in the mirror, it can be devastating. It shouldn’t be that way, but unfortunately, we’ve all seen this time and time again.

Disclaimer: This is me (and my chunky monkey) on any ‘ol day. ABSOLUTELY NO PHOTOSHOP except to size it, and you know what? I’m ok with this! #lovingmyselfie, now, go #loveyourselfie!

 

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That’s not just true for teens, it’s true for women AND men of all ages. According to The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, only four percent of women around the globe think they are beautiful. And 54 percent say they are their own worst beauty critic. That’s tragic.

Last week I was getting dressed to go out and meet a girlfriend, but it was one of those days where I was throwing clothes around my room because NOTHING was feeling right. I felt fat. After trying on outfit number three, I sat down and decided to give myself a break. I probably didn’t look they way I felt and I hate when I hear people say “I’m so fat” or “Ugh, I’m disgusting”. I don’t want to be that person. I especially never want to say things like that in front of my daughter because I would hate for her to grow up thinking and saying that about herself. And I really don’t want others to feel that way about themselves either. Again, we are so often compared to what we see in mass media and it’s not an accurate portrayal because we what we see isn’t always the truth. Check this video out if you’ve never seen it before. It’s old, but it helps me understand why I need to not compare myself to models and be happy with what I see in the camera and why YOU should too!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U

Dove isn’t the only big name out there getting into the raising self-esteem arena. The Today Show began a series called “Love Your Selfie” exploring why we feel the way we do about ourselves. They even did before and after photos with no makeup. That’s a big deal. It’s refreshing to see at least some of the media acknowledging how what we see affects us on a daily basis. Check out this link to see for yourself: http://www.today.com/health/todays-love-your-selfie-series-explores-our-body-image-obsessions-2D12136259.

Dudes, you are part of this too. For a long time, the self-esteem issue was seen as a feminist one, but in reality, it affects the male population a lot more than we give it credit for. Many of the “heroes” and “studs” are the muscle-bound, classically handsome and multi-talented men. If you are a dude who maybe doesn’t look like them and can’t act, dance and sing like Justin Timberlake, maybe you don’t feel so hot about yourself. You don’t need to look like JT or Zach Efron to love yourself.

Hence, why so many of us say we hate having our photo taken. It seems like the biggest oxymoron since we take photos for a living but don’t want to get in front of the camera. We pick on things about ourselves we don’t like. My nose is too big. My teeth are crooked. My arms are too thick (that’s my personal plague). Whatever it is, we need to stop giving ourselves such a hard time and realize there is only ONE of us, and that makes us unique. And amazing.

Disclaimer: These are my “official” business headshots my hubs so lovingly took. Kudos to Lindsey Losiewicz for the amazing hair and makeup.

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Something else to remember is clients aren’t used to working it like Madonna and VOGUEING in front of the camera (I know, I know, I keep using really outdated metaphors and I apologize, but for cripes sake, I haven’t taught in two years and I feel like I’m so far out of the loop I will never get back into it!). We have to step outside our comfort zones and put ourselves in their position. The more we do that, the more confidence we can give them and the more we can gain ourselves in front, as well as behind the camera.

Bottom line, you’re gorgeous. You’re handsome. And I’m not blowing smoke. Let’s try to stop perpetuating a culture of self-doubters and become a culture of people who are confident in themselves (just don’t be an arrogant jerk, that would not be cool). I’m not saying we are all flawless, but our flaws are what make us who we are. Not one person can be you except for you, so get in front of that camera and rock that shhhiiizzz!

P.S. I showed you my selfie, now you all show us yours!!!