100 lb. Club - Why are pictures so awful?!

View Full Version : Why are pictures so awful?!

03-29-2010, 10:18 AM
Recently, my picture was taken with a few other people. Of course, I hated the way I looked (I just think about how I would have felt 20 lbs ago!).

Anyway, that's not really my point. My point is that there was another woman in the same picture who has proabably at least 70 lbs on me. (I'm pretty bad at judging these things, but I have no doubt that she's signficiantly heavier).

In the picture, I thought she looked fine. I looked fat. I mean, she looked like herself, and I think she looks fine (albit quite overweight) while I saw myself as this hideous fat monster. Objectivly, I can see in the picture that she is bigger than me, but for some reason, I looked "worse". And it's not about being photogenic or anything. I don't know.

It was so weird! I always thought that I hated the way I looked in pictures because I always looked (and was) fatter than everyone else. But that's not the case this time!

So I guess my point is that I think that we're harsher on ourselves. At least that's my theory. Any other guesses? Anyone else experiance this? :?:

03-29-2010, 10:27 AM
we are totally harder on ourselves. Have you ever seen how to look good naked.. not the us version (i cant stand that carson guy) but the uk version.. he gets them to place there self in a line up of people and every time they think they are the biggest when really were not.. its really crazy!

03-29-2010, 10:32 AM
All the time. All the time.

It's sad, isn't it, when we're kinder and more forgiving of others than we are of ourselves.

I think it's also the shock of being shown an unsoftened, un-mentally-photoshopped version of yourself. We carry around images of ourselves inside our heads. Sometimes they are very out of date. I see this occasionally in women who seem frozen in particular periods of time in fashion, with hair, make-up & clothing of another decade. So I'm not surprised we also do this with our weight & the general mass & shape of our bodies.

I am inordinately fascinated by photographs of myself for this reason. I'm always thinking: "This is the truth. Can I handle the truth?"

03-29-2010, 11:12 AM
I like what you say about "truth" saef. So I guess we can handle other people's "truths" but not our own! My friend, she can look however she looks, it doesn't change anything about her (to me at least, although certainly not all of society!). But that's not the case when it's me!

03-29-2010, 11:23 AM
Interesting observation. I have noticed that I have a weird phenomenon, that even when I look at super-old photos of myself, when I was not fat, I still see myself as looking fat because it's almost like I memorized my old way of looking at myself. I have pictures from high school and college, when I was normal weight, and my eyes immediately picks out the little bulges and folds that I used to see back then. Then if I kind of blink and pretend I don't know myself, then I realize that I look normal....

I'm actually much easier on myself now-- my mental image of myself is about 100lbs heavier than I ever was, so when I see my pictures I'm pleasantly relieved.

03-29-2010, 11:53 AM
I was a pretty healthy weight until about 5 years ago (140-145) but I always thought of myself as fat because I wasn't a stick. When I looked at pictures of myself I would think that I looked absolutely awful. Now that I really am fat and I look at pictures of myself from those ages (and even heavier, but less than now) I'm surprised by how good I now think I looked then. I couldn't see it at the time at all.

03-29-2010, 12:42 PM
Yes! I was 127-135 for years and always thought I was fat! I remember being so upset once I got to 146, felt too big to go to WW and when I went to the meeting these young boys were oinking at us! Little did I know I'd gain 100 lbs. When I see earlier photos of myself I can't remember how it felt to be that size. The mind is a very strange thing. My goal is to try and stop all negative thoughts about myself the second I think them. It won't be easy.

03-29-2010, 12:46 PM
What an interesting thread! I have two friends who are a good bit larger than me, but to me they do not look nearly as fat as I do. I think they're gorgeous and I feel like they are a "tight" fat and I feel like I'm a blobby fat. LOL! If that makes sense. They don't jiggle! They're all tight and compact and beautiful! I think in pictures they look great, and I look huge.

I'm afraid of pictures right now. I catch myself in the mirror and am amazed, but I don't really know what I'd think of a candid picture.

03-29-2010, 12:46 PM
I feel the same way sweetpea!! I have never like taking pictures, and hardly ever look at them! Even pre-babies, weighing 160, I thought I looked horrible. I'm sure there is some psychological reason why we do this, I'm just not sure what it is. I don't have any pictures of me (besides our wedding photos) around, I always make sure I'm the one TAKING the pictures so I don't have to look at myself. I hope you can one day look at pictures and see the beautiful person that you really are!! Try finding one thing in every photo that you like about yourself, that might help! Good luck sweety and keep reaching for your goals!!

03-29-2010, 01:14 PM
You are so right!! We see other people fine just the way they are, but when we look at ourselves in a pic, we are usually upset.

For me, I don't know what to believe at times. When I look in the mirror, I like how my face looks and I am smiling and thinking that I look very nice. Then, I will see pics of me that people have taken, and I just think that I look so overwhelmingly bloated and distended and swollen and unattractive. However, to be fair, I do have photos from over 50lbs ago, where my pics look more like my mirror. So what is the deal? Is my mirror lying to me? what gives?

03-29-2010, 01:17 PM
i do the same thing. here i am thinking im lookin good, then see a recent pic and have a meltdown. i look at pics of me from when i bounced around 160-190 range and can see where i looked great, yet even then thought i looked horrible. the mind is a very very strange thing

03-29-2010, 01:49 PM
I joined Facebook about a year ago, and have a lot of friends who haven't seen me since I was thin. I had a really hard time choosing a picture, and at first I ended up choosing one from about 40 pounds ago where I look a lot thinner than I was even at that time. Now my facebook picture shows me in my fat glory but it took me a long time to get to that point. I was so embarrassed. At the same time, I was likely to see some of them again and I wanted that moment where they notice you've gained a lot of weight to happen without me present.

03-29-2010, 01:59 PM
I despise pictures of myself to the point that I don't take them anymore to chart my progress. It upsets me too much. My self-image is much better off if I steer clear of cameras. I don't know what the answer is!

03-29-2010, 02:08 PM
For me, I don't know what to believe at times. When I look in the mirror, I like how my face looks and I am smiling and thinking that I look very nice. Then, I will see pics of me that people have taken, and I just think that I look so overwhelmingly bloated and distended and swollen and unattractive.

The image you are most familiar with, in the mirror, is turned backwards because it it a reflection.

When people see themselves in photos, this is head on, and NOT "flipped" so they usually feel weird about it.

Sometimes photographers flip the negative or image to accomodate the client.

Think about it. When you look in the mirror and touch your right cheek, if that mirror person were real and was using their right hand to touch right cheek, it would be the other side of the face.


03-29-2010, 02:22 PM
I guess I have a different problem. In my head I know that I am morbidly obese, but I don't see myself as 'that fat'. I just lost 50 pounds so I am seeing my body as thin. It's not. One reason the keep using y'all as a reality check.

03-29-2010, 03:08 PM
I was at work a couple of days ago and I saw someone who was getting a lot of praise for losing weight on our workplace's biggest loser program.

She mentioned that she had lost 12 pounds and that when she started she weighed 202... She "says" she's 5'9" but standing next to her, she's not much taller than me-- we're about the same.... Well, to me, she looks SKINNY!!! She's wearing size large scrubs, and I'm wearing a large top and XL pants-- but the XL pants are getting a little big, and I've been thinking that I'd be going down a size in about ten to fifteen more pounds...

But then it really hit me-- I was thinking that I only weigh about ten pounds more than she weighed before and only about twenty pounds more than she weighs now, but I'm thinking in my mind that I'd have to lose sixty or seventy pounds to be as thin as her. Weird.

03-29-2010, 03:49 PM
I know how you feel...

I was a bridesmaid last September, and one of the other girls is significantly larger than I am... I thought she looked great, and I thought I looked like a big fat cow in the dress.

On my facebook page, I only have my thinner pics from a few years ago, and tell my friends, "please don't tag me"

03-29-2010, 05:43 PM
I wonder how many of us do this? I have threatened all my FB friends not to tag me in any photos, cause I have many friends in there that think I'm still thin. It's nuts.

Enduring Infinity
03-29-2010, 05:59 PM
Maybe I'm an odd one, but I really tend to like pictures of myself more than I used to, even as I've gotten fatter. I think right now a big part of it is knowing that I'm putting effort into my health and physical fitness, so in a way, I feel like that makes me look so much happier in photographs than the miserable in-denial, self-hating person I used to be, even when I weighed a lot less.

I think another big part of it for me is that fact that at some point not-so-long-ago I decided that just because I'm fat doesn't mean that I can't put effort into my appearance and dress more feminine while I work on chipping away the 120+ pounds I want to lose. I think maybe my brain picks up on the positive changes in my appearance (thinner face, make-up, slightly longer hair) when I look at pictures rather than dwelling on the negative (imperfect skin, still over 100lb to lose, etc) because it doesn't want to sabotage my efforts with negative self-perception!

What I'm really angling at is that when I look at pictures of myself now, I'm not 100% happy with what I see by any stretch of the imagination, but I am proud of myself for where I've gone and what I'm going. Besides, I'm sure I'll love having my fat pictures around to compare my goal pictures to once I'm finished losing weight! ;)

When you look at pictures of yourself that you aren't particularly fond of, try forcing yourself to focus on one or two things that you are proud of or do like about yourself and focus on those and try to remind yourself that you've lost almost 25 pounds, that's nothing to scoff at!

Arctic Mama
03-29-2010, 06:33 PM
This is actually the reason I LIKE photos now, though I never did before - I see the truth of things, how I actually looked and look now, and how far I've come. I also see how skewed my self image was when I was younger. Nothing like being 'worse' to give you a perspective on how good you look now ;)

03-29-2010, 10:11 PM
When you look at pictures of yourself that you aren't particularly fond of, try forcing yourself to focus on one or two things that you are proud of or do like about yourself and focus on those and try to remind yourself that you've lost almost 25 pounds, that's nothing to scoff at!

Yeah, this is totally right-it's nothing to snuff at! I did try to think of that while looking at the photo, but I was still disgusted with it. And the fact that I've lost almost 25lbs and still look gross was a bit disheartening. So I guess it's motivation to keep going and not give up, but it could easily be used as a "oh well, I'll never get there" excuse to give up. I totally don't feel that way, but I can see the possibility, I guess.

I guess it just makes me wonder if I'll ever be happy with a picture of myself, or myself in general, even when I get to goal weight. I guess it's possibly a bigger issue than just weight loss!

Edit: I sound so whiny! Sorry! I don't mean it that way. Anyway, I'm glad that other people have had similar experiances, it's great not to be alone!