I wish I was one of those amazingly beautiful people who could never look bad in a photo because they could never be anything less than photogenic. You know those people who can take makeup-less selfies and they have clear skin and they just look good no matter what. It really annoys me that I’m not like that and how I don’t have the confidence to do that kind of thing and show other people.
I know that sometimes on social media people might do all kinds of things to their photos and then claim that it’s a makeup free day or whatever. But it’s impossible to do that on Snapchat because what you see is what you get. However the person looks in their stories is how they actually look when they wake up or how they actually look without makeup or without doing anything to their appearance first. So even know you might not know what’s real and what’s on Facebook, for example, you know that it’s completely real on Snapchat.
Back when I first got Snapchat, I only had like 10 friends but even then I felt weird about those 10 people seeing it and judging how I looked. But that was when I first got Snapchat. It’s not like I’m going to sit here and count each person on my contacts but I probably have about 120 people (if I had to guess) who have added me over the years, since I’ve always had the same username/account. Maybe other people have way more, maybe you have more than that, but for me 120 people seeing my photos is a lot and it makes me feel a bit anxious.
I have struggled with my self confidence, I’m not even going to bother lying about that because it wouldn’t be the truth and I’m not going to put anything up on my blog that is a lie. I haven’t always been the most confident person ever, but it’s definitely gotten worse and a lot harder for me with the presence of social media and all the pressure that comes with it, for me at least. That’s part of the reason why I don’t use Facebook anymore (I still have my account but I don’t go on for months at a time, if even that…sometimes I don’t go on for at least 6 months), I don’t have my own personal Instagram, I don’t use Twitter or anything else really.
I try to take a step back from those things because it feels like every time I go on and see other people’s photos or selfies, it makes me feel worse about myself because I automatically compare myself to that person, even though sometimes I don’t even know I’m doing it until I start to feel sad or an equally as negative feeling. It’s so easy to go on social media and compare yourself to other people…it’s too easy and your confidence is what suffers from it. You’re better off just not going on it at all if you’re like me and you know it’s going to happen, at least in my opinion anyway.
The thing with Snapchat is that I want to love it. I want to love the fact that people can see me for how I actually am and know that I’m not afraid of them seeing it. I want to feel confident enough to make a story of me without any makeup with my natural hair just lazying around or whatever. I want to come back in a few hours and see that 100+ people have seen it, and I want to feel okay about that. But sometimes seeing the number of how many people have looked at it (particularly if it was a selfie or had my face in it) just makes me feel anxious because I can’t help but feel like all those people are judging me and how I look in that particular photo. I feel like they’re looking at it, picking out all of the flaws or things wrong with my face and how I look…even if that’s not really happening in real life. I wish I was someone who didn’t care what other people thought of them and therefore doesn’t care what they think when they open my story on Snapchat.
The people that I see on Snapchat are all beautiful and attractive and photogenic in their own way. They have the self confidence to take selfies, even on a bad hair day or when they’re sick and feel like crap or after having absolutely no sleep the night before. None of these things stop them from taking photos of themselves or showing them to other people, and also I bet they have way more than 120 people looking at their stories. They are the people who I want to be like. The ones who aren’t afraid to show other people who they are and what their life is like. And not only that, but they can look beautiful and amazing while doing so.
I’m the kind of person who could literally try taking a selfie for hours and still not be happy with a single one. I would rather put up no story or selfie at all than use one that I wasn’t happy with, and have all those people see it within an hour or so. I could take 30 minutes to straighten my hair and another 30 to do my makeup and maybe another 15 to find something nice to wear and then another 20 to find good enough lighting for it to be a good photo, and then have nothing to show for all of that effort at the end of the day because I would just delete each and every photo that I take, telling myself that it’s not good enough. Each time I go to take a new photo, I tell myself ‘just take a few more and you’ll get a great photo, you can get it right so don’t give up just yet’. It’s like I know that I can do it because I tell myself that I can, but in reality it never happens and every photo ends up looking the same – no better or worse than the one before.
I know there’s that saying ‘we are our harshest critics’ but it won’t be to the same extent for everyone, even if that saying is true for all of us. Some people will have it worse than others and I feel like I’m one of those people. I don’t want to be critical of myself but I don’t know how to stop being so. Some days I can find so many flaws with myself and my appearance that I find it really hard to accept myself the way that we’re supposed to because it just feels impossible once you know of all the flaws you have and the things you would change if you could.
I will hate the way I look in photos where I’m with other people and ask the person taking the photo to take another 5 just so there’s a higher chance of getting a good one of me. Then I will run over and look at the photos, see what’s wrong with myself, remember what I need to do different in order to look better and ask them to take another after another until I’m satisfied. I feel like I have to prove to myself that I can be happy with the way I look in photos.
When I was in Italy, I asked my mum to take a photo of me standing on one of the bridges by a canal. She ended up taking about 10 or so because I would look at each one, not be happy with how I looked and ask her to take yet another. It would be for things like my eyes not looking even (one might look bigger than the other), my smile doesn’t look genuine, my face looks crooked or uneven in some way, my pose is awkward or weird, I look bigger than I actually am in real life, my clothes aren’t working for me, the lighting is too dark or bright, there’s people in the background, my hair isn’t looking right or is blowing onto my face from the wind, I look like I’m squinting because it’s so bright, I look too stiff and unnatural etc. Even when I was on holiday in a beautiful place like Venice, I was still having these negative thoughts about myself every single time someone would take a photo of me or I would try to take one of myself. Even when I was supposed to be having a great time in Europe I couldn’t stop myself from looking at the faults. Now it just makes me feel sad to think about myself worrying about that kind of stuff when I should have been focusing on being in one of the most beautiful places in the whole world.
The flaws are just so obvious to me and because I’ve seen them so many times in my photos, it’s like I’ve gotten used to just knowing what to look for now. If I take a selfie, I will look at it from all different angles before I dare show anyone or do anything with it. I will stop looking at it, go and do something else for a while and then come back and look at it again with a fresh pair of eyes to see if it’s better or worse than I originally thought. Often I don’t even feel like I’m good enough for my own very high standards because there’s rarely a photo that I will take and think ‘wow, there’s nothing wrong with me in that one’. I don’t think I’m picking flaws in my photos, but rather they stick out to me like a sore thumb. They scream at me when I look at the photo until the point where I can’t see anything else except for them. It’s like I’m obsessed with trying to be photogenic and taking a seemingly perfect photo.
What’s worse is that other people tell me all the time ‘you look so good in this photo’ or ‘you’re so photogenic, Lucy’ but I feel like I’m blind to what they see because I can’t see this at all myself. I can’t see what they’re seeing when they look at me in photos. I obviously see something completely different to what they’re seeing but I can’t change my perspective and look at it differently because the flaws that I know all too well are still there, staring back at me. I try so hard to look at it a different way and see it how they’re seeing it but it just never works; I can only see it the way I’ve always seen it. It makes me feel sad that other people are seeing something that I can’t see and even if this is true and they’re right, I’m still trying so hard to meet my own standards and to feel good enough for myself. It happens so much that it honestly just feels like the story of my life.
Lucy Rebecca x