It seems like every weekend these days there’s an exciting event happening. There’s bridal showers, baby showers, baptisms, milestone birthdays, weekend getaways and holidays. For these events, if you’re like me, you have a tendency to mentally map out your outfits for these events months in advance. We do this for roughly 3 reasons. 1. We need to know if we even have something to wear or if we need to go shopping for something new. 2. We need to know if the outfit we want to wear is going to fit on the day we plan to wear it. 3. We need to know if the outfit we choose to wear to this event is going to look good in pictures.
The truth is we live in a world right now where pictures are everything. We are a generation obsessed with pictures. We invented the skinny arm. We revolutionized the selfie. Everyone has a camera on their phone and it’s second nature to upload these photos straight to social media for the world to see. And since everyone is taking pictures at these events you can be photographed at any unflattering angle at all times.
Now let’s just all be honest with ourselves about what happens when we look at a picture… Our eyes immediately go to ourselves and only ourselves in the photo. It’s a good picture if we look good and it’s a bad picture if we look bad. Literally the other people in the photo could look like a one eyed cyclop and we still wouldn’t hesitate posting it if we look good.
One of the most frustrating things in the world is thinking you look great when you leave the house but then seeing a picture of yourself and being absolutely horrified by the way you actually look according to a photo. That happened to me this past weekend. I was at my future sister-in-laws bridal shower. It was the most lovely shower by the way. I decided to wear a solid colored red shift style dress from Express with black tights and black booties. When I put it on that morning it felt looser than I remembered so naturally I was pumped. And because I am who I am, I even checked the size of the dress to make sure I didn’t accidentally pick up a bigger size when I left the dressing room upon purchase. Nope, phew. I had my husband do a quick once over to get his approval. He said it looked great and I thought the mirror agreed. Fast forward 12 hours when it was time to look at pictures from the day. When I looked through my phone at the pictures I had taken all I saw was a giant red whale. I immediately ran to my husband and I said “Why didn’t you tell me I looked like a giant red house in that dress!!” Clearly I made myself bigger and bigger as the minutes ticked on because that’s what happens when panic sets in. Was it just an unflattering dress I wondered? Or was I seriously unaware that the extra bites, licks and tastes I had eaten the week before had turned me into a a red monster the size of Texas? I’m still not sure but it doesn’t matter either way.
A tiny sweat broke out when I saw an album of 202 pictures posted on Facebook. That’s when it was time for me to have a serious reality check.
Here’s the thing, pictures have become our biggest tool for judging ourselves. And we can be really mean to ourselves, overly critical and dramatic. Have you ever gone back to look at pictures from years ago and realize you weren’t as big as you thought you were? Or maybe you wish you looked the way you did in old pictures that you once thought you looked fat in.
The first glance at a picture shouldn’t be disapproving of ourselves because that’s what leads to our needing of others’ approval.
We may never feel in control of how we look in pictures. We cannot control the angle a certain photo catches us in. We cannot control the way a certain outfit flatters our bodies on certain days. It’s even hard to control the weeks we may be up a few pounds. But we can control how we judge ourselves. It’s hard to remember this but a photo is a representation of a day, an event, a memory, it’s shouldn’t be a timeline of our weight fluctuations.
Here’s the red dress! And some of the most unflattering angels ever.
.But here’s the best picture of the day…the bride to be & my amazing brother!!