Frocking/Friend Friday: Body Image
(Dress, ASOS (obviously); shoes, Christian Louboutin. Worn on a Valentine’s dinner date with Terry. The shoes were the first to be rescued in my Shoe Challenge, hence the numbers at the bottom of the image…)
The Friend Friday-ing:
1. Since you started blogging has your image of yourself changed?
Since I started blogging in general, no. Since I started taking photos for my blogs, yes, I think it has, more so with the photos I take for Hey, Dollface! because as it’s a beauty blog, and the photos are done for the purpose of reviewing products, they’re normally extreme close-ups of my face, and I defy anyone to look at photos which are THAT detailed and not want to recoil a little. Trust me, it can be pretty scary. Even the photos I take for Shoeperwoman have changed my image of myself a little: I think just looking at so many photos every week has made me notice things I probably wouldn’t have otherwise!
2. Are you self-conscious about any aspect of yourself? If so, do you go out of your way to avoid it or do you post it/talk about it anyway?
Oh hell, yes, I’m self-conscious about lots of things. I’m not going to tell you what they are, though, because in answer to the second part of the question, no, I don’t talk about them. When I was younger, I did: I was the kind of person who would always point out her “flaws”, so if I had a giant spot on my forehead, say (which I often did), I’d be all, “Hi, everyone, I’m Amber: get a load of this spot! I bet you’ve never seen one as big as this before!” I kind of felt like if didn’t mention those things, people would obviously notice them anyway, and, I don’t know, it would be like they had one up on me, or something. As if they’d be thinking, “Ha! Amber has a huge spot and she doesn’t even know it!” So I would attempt to remove this “power” from them by making sure I always mentioned it first, whatever it was. Pretty stupid, no?
These days I don’t go out of my way to draw attention to the things I’m self-conscious about, particularly not on the Internet. I just don’t think there’s anything to be gained from it, and I’ve also learned the hard way that people on the Internet don’t need me to point out my flaws to them – they’re more than capable of noticing them all by themselves!
3. Based on how you are feeling now, what do you think the future holds in the evolution of your body image?
Oh, lordy, I have no idea! I think I’m a lot more comfortable about my body image now than I was when I was younger, so I’d like to think I’ll get even more comfortable with age, but who knows: once everything starts heading south, I may be singing a different tune!
4. Do you photograph yourself for your blog? If so, how do you feel about the experience when you’re having your picture taken?
Yes, I started off taking the aforementioned product review photos for Hey, Dollface, and then last year, when I started the Shoeper Shoe Challenge, I started photographing myself for that. I expect this will come as a surprise to most of the people who read my blogs, but I hate having my photo taken: I always feel really stupid and self-conscious, and this isn’t helped by the fact that I’m a “blinker” – seriously, I can take 10 photos, and in 9 of them I’ll be standing there with my eyes shut and my face all screwed up, so when I’m having my photo taken I have to do this crazy kind of “deer in the headlights” thing where I try to open my eyes as wide as possible and stare like a madwoman. It’s not fun. (Although I guess it might be quite fun to watch…)
(Sometimes I close my eyes deliberately. It’s easier that way.)
5. What would you want every person who struggles with body image to take to heart?
That we’re all our own worst critics, and that the things we’re self-conscious about are often things that are really only noticeable to ourselves. I’ve had so many conversations with female friends where they’ve mentioned something they absolutely hate about themselves, and they’re always things I’ve never even noticed about them, and I don’t think anyone else would either. I think that’s probably often the case: we’re all too busy worrying about our own body image to pick apart someone else’s. One of my favourite quotes on this subject is a really famous one from Cindy Crawford, who once told an interviewer, “Even I don’t wake up looking like Cindy Crawford…” I’ve always loved that, because I think it’s so easy to look at other people, and compare yourself unfavourably to them, but the truth is that we’re all struggling with our own set of insecurities, and no one is perfect. Not even Cindy Crawford.
Um, that was Jerry’s final thought for today. Until next time, take care of yourselves – and each other…”
Oh, and for those of you who don’t read Shoeperwoman, a short video of my shoes, filmed by Terry. I do warn you, though, you will feel like you’ve just watched porn after viewing this…