When You Don’t Like What You See

(My apologies.  I know I promised to post my rosette tutorial today but this has been on my mind and I feel I have to write about it so I can move forward. )

B. and I woke up to a hazy day.  We decided to spend it lazing around at home.  But as the hours passed, it became sunnier so we changed our minds and opted to go out.  I rushed to put on the first shirt and pants I could put my hands on. and B. took these pics outside our apartment.  After I saw them, I hurt his feelings by saying, “how come when you take my picture I always end up looking stupid?”  I actually meant it’s me, and not him, acting stupid when he’s holding the camera. It’s my own doing.  I’ve never felt comfortable being photographed.  I get very self-conscious and start acting like a buffoon.  The shot below was alright but it was the only good one out of 10 or so.

Black hat:  Ben Sherman, TJ Maxx, $19.99 (B. bought it for me!)
Maroon Tee with embossed felt design:   a gift from B.  He has one just like it!
Black long-sleeved mesh shirt:  thrifted from back home
Generic tight-fitting jeans : from a store back home
Black suede lace-up boots:   Miu Miu, thrifted back home for less than $3 (!!!)
Leather bracelet:   from a stall in a store back home.  I can’t recall how much it was but I’m sure it was more expensive than the Miu Miu boots.  Hahaha

Why is it when I look at the mirror, I seem to have this better image of myself that’s not reflected in my photographs?  Take this hat, for example:

When I put it on, I thought I looked mighty fine.  But after seeing the pics, I think I might have walked around looking like a fool the whole afternoon.  It doesn’t matter that the lady at the check-out counter at Kohl’s told me she liked my hat.  Or that B. told me it’s all in my mind and he doesn’t see the stupid version of me that I see.  A thousand people can come up to me and tell me I look great, but if this is what I see…

… then I’d think they’re just being kind.

This is the main reason I photograph my outfits.  It’s not really about the outfits.  It’s a way to conquer my fear of the camera.  Really, I hate it because it shows me all my flaws.  But it’s because those are the first things that I choose to see.  This is the reason why I take many shots of myself before choosing a few to post, and why I have to be by myself to be able to pose without freaking out.

This blog is really about me accepting myself and, ultimately, celebrating myself.  I’m too old to continue feeling like an awkward teenager.  I don’t want to grow older insecure and self-conscious.  How sad would that be?  I want grow older gracefully and at peace with what I have.

I want to start loving myself before I die.  Then I can say that I truly have lived.

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6 thoughts on “When You Don’t Like What You See

  1. Aw, this post made me sad because when I saw your pictures the first thing I thought was how freaking adorable you looked, especially in the portrait with your hat, and then you posted all these criticisms that I couldn’t even see or agree with! I do know what you mean though! I always used to get mad at my boyfriend when he took my outfit shots and told him the exact same thing about me looking stupid! And I get VERY self conscious posing in front of others and probably look worse in front of the camera because of it, perpetuating the cycle. I also tend not to like a bunch of pictures of me and avoid posting them, and then when I come back to them, months later, I think — hey, these aren’t so bad, what was I so self-conscious about? It’s interesting. And I’m the same way with taking a bunch of photos and only posing a select few as well…I actually think that’s par for the course for most bloggers!

    Anyway, I think the purpose/statement of your blog is really admirable, and I hope you can become happy with yourself and your appearance through it. Take care 🙂

    Hello, Anjali! I’m very happy to see you here. 🙂

    I think we females are quite unforgiving about ourselves. Look at you, for instance. When I look at your pics, I see that you’re beautiful and confident. And for your post today, you took pics of yourself in the mall — something I’d be too shy to do. I never would have thought that you shared the same insecurities that I had.

    Thanks so much for sharing! Although I wish for you to be happier with yourself, too, I feel better knowing that I’m not alone in feeling this. It really is all in our minds. 🙂

  2. cato says:

    hi ms c—-l!! 🙂 (i dunno.. should i stop calling you ms c—-? :O) i will now stalk your blog. or read an entry here and there. if you don’t mind. hehe. 🙂

    i sometimes feel exactly the same way about myself. but sometimes i love how i look equally as much. it’s a very strange thing to be seesawing between the two. but i do sort of have the same problem with the camera. and pictures. because when i look at pictures, i don’t really think pictures of ME are any good. EVER. pero dapat pictures of the moment. pag pictures of the past, mejo mejo okay pa. 🙂

    i browsed through this blog a bit. i sorta forgot you were a crafty person too. 🙂 i’ve made some amigurumi dolls recently. if you’re interested to see them, i posted pictures of them in my facebook. 🙂

    I get what you mean. Past pictures are easier to swallow. I might have cringed when I saw them after they were taken, but after a few years I look at it again and think, ‘hey, I didn’t look so bad!’

    Nowadays, I’ve been working with my hands more because I miss teaching. Notice that I like giving tutorials here. I don’t make music as much even though I brought my clavinova and other instruments with me. It’s the apartment thing. I feel self-conscious about playing or singing because I feel I’d have a reluctant audience. Hahaha!

    Stalk away, dearie. I’m truly delighted you, one of my most inspiring students, dropped by. And I will look at those dolls you made. I’m very curious to know what amirugami means! 😀

    By the way, you can call me anything you like, of course, but I’d feel weird if you called me by my first name. It’s not a pride thing. I don’t know what it is. Maybe you should ask your mom if her former students call her by her first name.

    • cato says:

      aww.. in some ways, i think music making works better when you have other people to do it with. :S sometimes i like it better with someone else because then i don’t get lazy to do it. or there’s someone else to notice i’ve done something wrong (i.e. interval-wise when solfege-ing. 🙂 ) and can correct it. or basta you have someone to make ‘all that loud noise’ with. 🙂 but you’d be surprised with the ‘neighbor-audience’. if you practice well enough, usually they say good things about the music. 🙂 kahit nakakabaliw minsan kasi paulit ulit. hehe. 🙂

      as far as i know, all my mom’s old students, and even the recent ones, still call her ma’am cheng. college level kasi eh. pero yeah, it feels strange to be calling you something other than ms c (c na ha, para di mo na i-censor. hahaha!). it just doesn’t sound/feel right. 🙂 it’s hard nga to shift from calling mimay mimay to teacher mimay. i got the opportunity to get her as my teacher for elem practicum eh. 🙂 ma’am mimay sounds weird. hahaha! 🙂

      Hahaha! That happened to me with Joy Marfil. One moment, she was just plain Joy to me and I even helped her out in her recital. Then after she graduated, she was now Ma’am Marfil. Weird, I agree! It’s almost like deja vu (“Heyyy, don’t I kow you from somewhere?).

      As far as neighbors are concerned, I’m still trying to feel my way around here. This place is so diverse when it comes to ethnicity and cultures. When B. and I put up our parol last Chrismas, we were worried how people would perceive the 5-point star. They might think we’re witches or something! So we made a poster outside our door to let them know what it meant. I agree that sometimes neighbors could like what they hear. But I’m a little rusty so I don’t think they’ll appreciate being bombarded with hours of hanon or sirens (remember that?)! Hahaha

      • cato says:

        eh di start little by little. 🙂 but having a neighborhood of diverse cultures sounds interesting. maybe you can get different pieces of music from them. hahaha! ethnomusicologist thinking? 🙂

        Sound advice from my former student/old soul. You are wise, indeed!

        • cato says:

          i think i’m starting to think like some of my teachers. or my mom. if you have an opportunity to collect music for future teaching, collect. or hoard. haha! 🙂 if you find good pieces though. you never know when they’ll come in handy. 🙂

          I started collecting early, too. They will definitely come in handy!

  3. Amen, sister! I can get so self conscious about how I look in photos, too. But let me tell you, so much of it is in our heads! You’re beautiful in all your photos, and right on for choosing to keep stepping outside your comfort zone by taking photos.

    P.S. One of the reasons I keep wearing glasses instead of contacts is that I can take them off when I look in a mirror and see myself in self-focus. I much prefer it that way 😉

    Thanks, Katie!Hugs to you! You don’t look self-conscious in your pics, though. You’re quirky and lovely, and always seem to be having fun.

    Regarding glasses, I hate looking in the mirror with them off because I begin thinking I look good… until I put them back on. Ayayay. I can’t win. 😦

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