Self portraits have always been an odd thing to me. I’m not talking about the ‘selfie.’ Which captures a quite candid moment of ‘just because I was feeling good.’ Posing for something more formal like the pictures you see here, is very different. As a blogger I’m constantly looking at pictures of myself. Scrutinising, editing out spots (we all do it) and playing about with an image until we are happy to show it to the whole world. These are unedited, well apart them them being black and white because I’m not THAT brave.
When I decided to capture these images of myself and three other friends I wanted our personalities to shine through. This was an exercise in learning to love ourselves.
I chose this photo of myself because I don’t really like to smile like this in photos. Something I always focus on is my laughter lines they really bother me. I feel like they are really prominent and I always want to smooth them out in pictures. As I’m not used to posing without my glasses on I find it weird to see my whole face without that barrier. I’m drawn to my flaws again, my nose seems too big for my face and it’s all I can focus on. I’ve said this lots of times to my boyfriend and he just rolls his eyes. I’m learning to accept this is my face, I need to be happy with it and enjoy life instead of picking myself apart. I can be pretty hard on myself and I know that this year in the lead up to 30 I need to be kinder.
As I get older, I’ve become more accepting of myself in photos. We all have an image of what we think we look like, don’t we? …but often that aspirational image doesn’t really fit with what we actually look like. I’m a bit of a perfectionist in quite a few areas of my life and I can be pretty critical. This means I can be harder on myself than I need to be. Like everyone, I’ve got a few areas I often focus on…but I’m definitely getting better at looking past them and actually even embracing what I see as ‘faults’. I purposefully picked this photo as I think it’s ‘me’. It’s not the ‘best’ photo of them all….but it shows my personality…and for that reason, I love it. I do use the word ‘love’ on purpose. Getting into my thirties has meant that my respect and love for myself has greatly increased. I’m a confident woman who’s not afraid to have opinions or make myself heard. As I near forty years of age, it only gets better. I love my photos more, because they are more ‘me’….and I really do love ‘me’.
When it comes to picking my favourite photos, it’s not that difficult to pick between 100 identical pouting faces. My excessive selfie taking always gets a giggle from friends, but you won’t often see me smile. I’ve got a huge over bite (thanks for nothing braces) and a gap in my teeth. After watching enough next top model, I learned to love my gap, but you still won’t often see my smile on photos. So I’m trying to shake that. No, I’m not about to stop pouting forever, but when I’m spending time with people who make my life incredible, I’m going to give them the biggest cheesy gap-toothed grin in can manage!
I’ve always been self-conscious of my baby-face. That chin, those dimples and the roundness of my face. Whilst my friends have always been described as sexy, gorgeous and stunning, I always get cute, adorable and sweet. Great when you’re 12, not so much when you are a 27-year-old woman. However, the older I get, the more I think ‘Fuck yer! Own those dimples!’ If is far too short to worry about the comments I might get on one photo where my baby-face is in force. Comments, that realistically, I don’t really care about. And also, it’s a great party trick revealing what your actual age is…