A few weeks ago on twitter I was tagged in a post as part of a brands clothing campaign which asked those tagged to share four photos that made them feel good about themselves. In my head I thought it would be easy. I’m a blogger for goodness sakes, I have loads of photos of myself. As I started to scroll through my camera roll, I found a reason to pick apart every single image I had tagged as a maybe. My nose looked too weird in that one, or I knew I wasn’t happy on a day in another. After debating my options I finally settled on four. I chose one that included an outfit I adored, another including my signature makeup, the other offering a cheeky smile and the final, a silly snap of myself with a funny expression. After I posted the images I began to think about the reasoning I’d given myself for selecting each one. The whole concept behind the campaign had become lost, I wasn’t picking images that I loved because they made me feel good about myself, I’d picked them for my love of other aspects. I was scared to love myself.
It feels very “anti-British’ to blow your own trumpet. For we live in the country of the stiff upper lip, where we are warned not to boast of our achievements for fear of arrogance. Taught to brush off compliments with an awkward thank you and scolded for agreeing you are happy with a part of your image.
Often as bloggers we’re accused of being self absorbed, narcissistic and self indulged, when upon getting to know most you find they are anything but. Those who have found an escape on the web are often some of the most self depreciating and humble people you may ever meet.
We pore over every flaw in images, we question ourselves at every opportunity and often pull ourselves down needlessly with our old pal comparison. As any wise person will tell you “comparison is the thief of joy,” so it often leads to the question, why do we all so often fall into the trap?
You see as a beauty blogger, I spend an awful lot of time looking at my own face. I look at in the mirror for the hours I spend applying makeup, its there again staring back at me when I make adjustments to images in Lightroom and it pops up again in my instagram feed as I refresh my likes and follows.
I know obviously that you could argue the point that I could just stop posting photos of my own face, but I enjoy the challenge that comes with turning myself into a character, be that a being from another universe or a 20s starlet from a black and white film. Makeup offers me an escape from reality and it offers me an outlet for my creativity.
I digress. A few years ago, I hit breaking point with my blog and the imagery started to take more of a backseat. The break away helped me immensely to see what was important. No longer do I frantically smooth the texture of my skin into oblivion with Facetune, nor do I find myself uttering the words “oh I wish I looked more like her.” I still have my bad days, and hell I’d be lying if I said I still didn’t have those moments of doubt like the recent one that sparked this post, but I think its important to learn to love yourself for who you are as a person and know that in time the rest will follow.
If I ever have a moment of doubt now, I ask myself if I would utter these words to a friend. At this point I always find myself saying no. So this valentines day, I am asking you to do one thing. Whoever you are loving, please leave some room for yourself.
Until Next Time