I recently came back from an amazing trip to New York (if you follow me on Instagram, you definitely saw), it was nonstop and filled with adventure from beginning to end. Every time I visit, there’s something new to explore and the energy I feel is unmatched. From the first time I visited New York until now, it’s always been my unofficial home. But, enough about New York, you all know how much I love it; I actually wanted to talk about something a little deeper:
I had gotten my mind set that on this trip I wanted to have some pretty pictures taken of me. New York in the fall is stunning, I had picked out and brought with me cute outfits, and I was feeling excited about getting some actual fashion-esque photos. For a girl with a blog and handle titled Frum and Fashionable, I had very few photos of myself that were “Insta-worthy”… yeah, even typing that I’m slightly cringing. All that being beside the point, I was ready for some great photos in my favorite city.
Day one, up near Columbia university and surrounded by some of the most beautiful streets and architecture in the city, I decided to hand my mom my phone and have her snap a few photos. Every photo that was taken made a little piece of me die. None of them looked anything like what I’d wanted and I didn’t feel as though I looked as beautiful as some of the other Insta-bloggers I’d seen. They all looked so effortless and poised, and felt as though I looked like a potato.
Hair up, hair down, body angled this way, purse set that way, sweater falling just so, yet nothing. Not one photo looked as how I’d hoped.
I haven’t had great self image since middle school, I always hoped that would change, but even at 23 it still hasn’t. I’ve adapted to life while having body dysmorphia, but that doesn’t really help when you’re trying to run a fashion inspired blog. I believe in being open and transparent, hence why I’m putting this all out there. Also, because I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.
In the world of social media, it is so easy to get wrapped up in the tunnel vision of what we’re supposed to look like and how the “Insta-famous” look so phenomenal. Someone wise once said that being Insta-famous is like being rich in monopoly money, and it’s really true, but it still doesn’t stop us from comparing our lives or our bodies to those that we see popping up on our feed.
How do we change this? How do I change my perception of myself? I feel like this is a million dollar question, and I would be cashing in on it if I had an answer.
While we live in this deeply interconnected world, and take pride in showing off the different parts of our life, we also are guilty of– even in our worst moments, trying to make them look better; be it a dog filter, black and white filter, maybe a little photo editing here or there. There is nothing wrong with doing something that makes you feel better about yourself, and everybody is allowed to do what they need to to get through the day, but it does affect how we look at ourselves.
I’m guilty of it. If my hair is in a bun, I take it down for photos because I prefer how I look with my hair down. If I’m not wearing makeup, I will find whatever filter makes me look best when I’m sending a snap even if nobody aside from my best friend will see that picture. After seeing how flawless my skin can look with a certain filter, or it makes my face look a little thinner, it’s disappointing to look in the mirror and see the reality.
The art of loving yourself is just that, an art. It takes time, patience, and it’s fluid. Some days when the stars align, I can look at myself and feel as though I can conquer the world. I can have my Mimu Maxi dress on, strut down Kingston Ave, and have people smile at me and say “Hi” (totally not an actual situation that occurred when I was visiting Brooklyn), because my confidence radiates. Then, there are days I would so much rather stay in my oversized sweater dress and leggings and never leave my comfy chair. If humans could be like turtles and hide in a shell, I would love that. Days like those really put a dent in ones’ spirit, but they happen.
So, to thy own Selfie be true… What does that mean? Does that mean foregoing the Photoshop, or does that mean taking three photos instead of 33?
It means, you need to do what’s right for you and I need to do what’s right for me. Authenticity comes through whenever you’re happiest and most confident, and that’s for no one to determine but you.
This is my confession of having a less than stellar body image and self love, but it’s also my promise to myself to try harder and to be true to who I am. I’m never going to be a size 0, I’m also never going to have long flowing hair that cooperates, and I’m never going to be over 5 feet tall and this is life. This is the hand I’ve been dealt from the ultimate Creator, and I am made in His image. How could any of us be less than beautiful if that’s the case?
From here on out, to thy own selfie I will be true.