Self-Misperception

This is no new thing for me to suffer from; if you’ve been reading me long enough, you know I’ve already spoken on it before. But sometimes it seems to sneak up on me like a snake, and takes a bite out of my heart (aka: what little confidence I might have built up since the last time I was bitten) so big it knocks me off my feet and depression rakes my soul.

 

In the last two years I’ve made legit efforts to work on both my inner and outer appearance; to wear clothes that were more representative of my style and figure, to be brave enough to express myself with funky hair and makeup the way I always wanted to, to take care of myself with better eating and fitness for both my overall health and weight issues, and to actually “feel” pretty on occasion. And as several of my posts have indicated, I did feel pretty on occasion for the first time in a long time because of these efforts. There have been several days I’ve finished my makeup and hair and even considered taking a selfie to mark the moment because I was so impressed with the look. But those pictures never seem to look the way my eyes or mind see myself, which brings me to this latest snake bite.

 

I finally got my wedding pictures back this past weekend and to say I was excited for them would be an understatement. The whole day was over so fast, I feel like it was more like a something I dreamed rather than something I actually participated in. My memory of the details of that day hardly exists; I just know I was happy. I remember feeling like a million bucks, gorgeous the way every bride wants to be on that special day. But as I look through these pictures I feel like I shouldn’t have lied to myself about feeling so pretty. Every little flaw seems to beam at me brighter than anything else in the pictures; my double chins that have almost eaten my neck whole at this point, my waistline, which a tape measure swears I have, but certainly isn’t evident in the pictures, how my unnecessarily big boobs that had just went down 2 bra sizes still manage to look even bigger than my already big head, the way my fat bulges out of the sleeve, even though I had to have them taken in and they were nowhere near tight on me… I could pick apart these pictures forever. In fact, the more I look at them, the less I love myself in them.

 

Everyone I’ve showed them to says I’m crazy and I know I should probably listen and stop tainting such a special day with self-hatred. But while a big part of me knows it’s not healthy to pick on myself as much as I am, I also don’t believe it’s a wise idea to lie to yourself about your appearance because then pictures like these fall into your lap and the shock of what you truly look like is almost too much to bear.

 

All of this being said, I still intend to share the pictures and recount the day in my next post. I recently read a very thought provoking article about photographers, this particular one being overweight like me, always capturing someone else’s memories and never putting themselves in front of the camera because they don’t want to remember being that big or flawed. That one day they’d regret not having those memories of their own because they kept waiting for that magical moment when they wouldn’t hate the way they looked and it never came. I already feel this way at almost every family gathering. I’m there to capture it for everyone else, but I almost never put my camera in someone else’s hands to capture me being there too. Not just for my own memories when I’m old and losing it, but for anyone I leave behind when the end of my days comes.

 

I haven’t had this sort of hatred for myself in a long time and I doubt it will just vanish overnight, but I’m going to keep trying to improve myself both physically and mentally and hoping that one day pictures of important moments in my life won’t make me cry the way these did. That if there are tears, they’ll only be the happy, nostalgic kind.

 

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2 Responses to "Self-Misperception"

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  1. Heather R. Holden

    February 5, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    *HUGS* So sorry to hear these photos of such a happy time for you are making you feel nothing but depression now. :(

    I read once that the reason people tend to HATE pictures of themselves is because they’re used to seeing their reflections. When we’re confronted with an image that shows our features in reverse, the brain can’t help but view it as “wrong.” Obviously, the people in our lives always see our features as they actually are, and not a reflected version, so the flaws suddenly apparent to us in a photo aren’t existent to them.

    I’m not sure if that will help you at all, but it’s a good perspective to keep in mind, I think.

    But yeah, I know what you mean about it being hard, if not downright impossible, to shake off this kind of self-hatred. I can’t stand photos of myself, either. (I especially hate the way my mouth tends to look.) I hope, one day, that your wedding photos won’t end up devastating you, and that they’ll just help you remember all those happy moments instead…

    • Sarah

      February 7, 2016 at 10:26 pm

      This reflection theory is really interesting and something I’m going to try to remember from here on out. Thanks for sharing!

      I appreciate the hugs and you sharing your own insecurities. I wish we weren’t our own worst enemies; almost no one seems to see us as horribly as we see ourselves. :/

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