Photos and Your Recovery


Written by Andrea

I remember many years ago reading an article from some celebrity saying how after a photo shoot she found it very degrading that her image would be stretched, chopped, airbrushed and manipulated…what was essentially being said was that she was not pretty enough as she was…she had to be “fixed” first.
I think at that point people were beginning to realise that these photos were for the most part a hoax. Photographers were speaking out as were a select few of the airbrushed victims. Even with this speaking out it’s still often very difficult for an ED sufferer to see past the images bombarded in the media, but on some level there is an awareness that this is the reality.
Fast forward a few years and along with a certain social media platform came the filter (I actually did not know what this was for a long time!!)
Smart phone cameras now have built in beauty filters implying that you may not already be beautiful. So you can take a picture now that’s filtered and put it through another few filters when uploading to social media…excellent…how much of yourself is left?
What I find the most disturbing is that it’s no longer some random celebrity at the mercy of the hired photographer and their top of the range photoshop tools. It’s no longer a magazine editor barking orders about how much someone’s waist should be cropped or how much should be sliced off that celebrity’s hips. It’s normal people like you and me photoshopping ourselves. Photos or selfies, usually selfies appearing everyday where the filter is set to the max…there is not so much as a blemish, a stray pore or a rogue freckle. The skin almost illuminates more than the headlight of my car, the eyes are large, the lashes are long, I’m not sure if I’m still looking at photos of people or characters from some new Disney movie. “Sure everyone is doing it, right?” Why? What are you really saying with a photo like this? Do I really want to say to the whole world I don’t like myself and I feel not good enough so I’ll stick myself behind a filter? Do I base my self worth on my appearance? If I get a large number of likes on my unrecognisable photo do I feel better?
Photos for me are memories. I love looking back at old photos, laughing at the dressing like a marshmallow phase of my life because I hadn’t a clue who I was so I tried to be Britney Spears. I made some dodgy hair colour choices, again funny to open up an album and wonder what I was thinking. Reminiscing over that photo where I had circles under my eyes because I was up all night with a teething baby or indeed the first photo of myself and my son after he was born,no make up, oily, tired,hair unbrushed, happy and real. A real moment captured in an instant, a moment that tells a story.
I would hate to think in ten years time all I would have to look back on are a collection of photos which had been staged, deleted, restaged, filtered, filtered some more before finally being shared for people to examine, judge and hit that much sought after like button.
There’s no moment, there’s no magic, there’s no story.
Also maybe consider that your friend or relative that gets into a photo with you may not want to be filtered, maybe they like how they already look?!?!

Please open your eyes to what you are seeing, none of it is real. It takes so long to figure out how to take the perfect selfie and then figure out all of the filters-what if all of that time went into learning to love yourself?

You are enough, a filter doesn’t make you beautiful it hides you. Beauty doesn’t mean having porcelain skin, beauty is having confidence in yourself, owning who you are and what you look like, owning the skin you are in.
What pictures do you want to show your future grandchildren??
“Be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of a Disney cartoon”