Yesterday I posted this Instagram challenge as a new way to experience a social media platform I know nothing about. I understand that it is picture driven and figured that a photo challenge would be a great way to jump start my use of Instagram. However, a strange thing happened. Once I posted the challenge I took a look at the first days requirement. It was to post a self-portrait.
When I first read the challenge list I figured this wouldn’t be that big a deal. Now when it came time to take and post a picture of myself I was nervous. Nervous? I never realized how few pictures I was in. Also, I never took pictures of myself, by myself. If I did I always hated them and deleted then as quick as possible. Here I was starting a challenge where I had to actually post (and not delete) a picture of myself. It was agony.
I kept thinking what is wrong with me people post “selfies” all the time and don’t think twice. Why was I so bothered by one single picture of myself, by myself. So I went off into a back of a room, in front of a window and took a “selfie” something I have only done once in my lifetime (Totally not on purpose.) I hated it. Deleted it. Took another. Hated it. Deleted it. Took another. Hated it. Hit delete. You get the idea.
After several tries, I realized I had a problem. Why did I dislike my own picture so much. Where was this self loathing coming from? I know I am no super model. But who is? I know rationally they are airbrushed and made up by a team of professionals to create a look of perfection. What was I expecting? Still with every picture all I saw were flaws. My face looks too wide. My skin was too blemished. My hair is a mess. My smile looked weird.
This picture couldn’t really be me? A reflection of me? Was this how others saw me? I realized it wasn’t how others saw me. It was how I saw myself. I didn’t see any beauty, any strength, anything thing of value on the outside. I only saw deficiencies and flaws. When did I get like this? Where did this poor image of myself come from? More importantly, how was I suppose to set a positive example of self love for my children when deep down I felt like this. I mean I never actually confronted it until the moment I issued this challenge, but it was always there lurking. That’s why I was always behind the camera, never in front of it. I could always see the beauty in others, but never in myself.
If I want to raise my kids to have a healthy self image. I needed to fix this. So I stared into my camera phone, clicked the picture and hit post.
( Side note: Did not get much of a response from the challenge so if you would like me to follow you on Instagram send me a comment and I will be happy to do so)