We're Not 'Too Fat' for Pictures
Here's me at my body-image worst: I daydream about being rich so I can afford plastic surgery to take care of all of my problem areas. I'd be able to wear the clothes I want to wear and to stop gazing longingly at a pair of pants and a couple of skirts that fit me before I had two little girls.
I know, I know. You're probably thinking I should just give up on that dream and accept that I'm not going to fit into them anytime soon. And you're probably thinking I should take the advice of organization gurus: get rid of clothes in my closet that I haven't worn in a year. And for the most part, I do—except for the iconic clothes of a bygone weight era.
Mostly, I have a pretty healthy body image, and I don't allow myself to revel too long in these infrequent daydreams. But occasionally, something sets me off into desiring a different body. Something like another woman commenting to me about how wide she thought my hips had become during my first pregnancy. Now I see myself through her eyes: me and my wide hips.
Or maybe I'm set off by catching a glimpse of myself in a picture and am surprised to find that I look heavier than I feel—especially since I don't eat too badly and try to exercise. When I see myself in the mirror, I don't feel so bad. But then I see myself in a photograph and think, "Is that really me?" And then I don't want any more pictures of myself because they remind me of what I no longer look like.
I want to spare myself the constant reminders these pictures become for me so I can be myself, less self-consciously. It's all so self-centered and full of vanity; I know. With all the problems in the world, I'm focusing on this? Really? Like I said, it's me at my body image worst.
With the holidays upon us, there'll be increased picture-taking among the merry-making of family and friends. We take these pictures to commemorate our life together, to capture a moment for our memories.
Yet upon seeing these pictures, many of us wince, if not outright, internally (that's me!). Others of us are so self-conscious about our appearance that we refuse to have our pictures taken. And still others of us slyly stay out of pictures by only snapping pictures of our children.
That's why it's fortuitous that I stumbled upon photographer Teresa Porter's deeply freeing blog post entitled, "So you're feeling too fat to be photographed…". After a near-fatal car crash last year, she observed:
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