I am a really visual person, I love watching videos, drawing things out and looking at beautiful scenery. I really think pictures really capture the essence of a moment, as most would agree. Lately I have been really wanting to post my more photos and even videos of myself to start a YouTube channel, but I can’t get past the fear of taking photos.
My Fear of Taking Selfies
Yes, as hard as it is to say, I have a fear of taking photos which have come and go since as long as I can remember. I never really considered it as an issue until I got into a relationship and realized I have absolutely no memories to look back on. I have about 3-4 photos with him and we have been going out for over a year. We have a really beautiful and fun relationship, but nobody would even guess since I don’t post.
It doesn’t stop there, I have rarely any photos of the most exciting times in my life, from my solo travels to celebrations, and now it’s really getting to me that those memories only exist in my head.
While it may sound very weird, I know my fear for taking pictures goes way beyond the actual fear and more with my self-confidence and self-esteem. For the past two years, I would go out of my way to take a photo by making excuses someone is calling me, or hiding in a bathroom to not take the picture until it’s over, or simply saying I don’t feel well.
It’s become such a habit, that my close friends and family don’t ask me anymore because they know the answer is always no. I am constantly denying my mother, and now my boyfriend and It really is bothering me now because I really am not an insecure person when you meet me. I’m really confident, happy, and lively. I love the way I look about 90% of the time when I see a mirror, with or without makeup and almost always try to radiate good energy , but there is something when I stop to take a photo and then see the photo, it COMPLETELY SHATTERS MY DAY.
Dramatic to some, but this is a reality to me. I am not talking about picking a certain aspect of myself. I start picking on everything and then I really question If I looked like this the whole time, because the person I see in the photos does not reflect the person who I feel I look like or am.
It really affects me and I start thinking about the photo for the next couple of hours, letting it affect my mood and energy or I think about photos that I felt great that day in but the photo made scared my self-esteem. It’s a very strange feedback loop that has turned into this habit.
For that reason, I would rather not post a photo. My mind is either finding things that aren’t there or I struggle to accept the reality of things.
I certainly know people photoshop something they don’t like of themselves, but I really don’t want to get in that habit of photoshopping everything I don’t like. It really makes no sense to photoshop myself into something I’m not and give people this false perception when they actually meet me. I also don’t believe in going into the plastic
But regardless, I am not trying to be perfect, I am just trying to be more comfortable taking photos. I feel if I were to show myself more, It would be alot easier to brand this blog, or create my ebooks to help you guys, but in all sincerity the fear of photos is really hindering my work. I have also gotten the opportunity to partake in the Maxim Covergirl challenge, I signed up by complete randomness and submitted my instagram photos, and didn’t even expect to get approved, but I did and was given entry to be featured. It’s probably not something I will do because my fear of taking new professional photos will stop me.
Do I have Body Dysmorphia?
I feel if I am able to overcome this, my opportunities and brand will grow 10x, but for now I am stuck. It’s sometimes not as easy as taking a photo and accepting it. My perception in my head really is opposite of what I see in photos and I am not sure if I can start accepting what I see in photos. It’s very bizarre, maybe a form of body dysmorphia ? According to Mayoclinic.org , body dysmorphia includes:
- Being extremely preoccupied with a perceived flaw in appearance that to others can’t be seen or appears minor
- Strong belief that you have a defect in your appearance that makes you ugly or deformed
- Belief that others take special notice of your appearance in a negative way or mock you
- Engaging in behaviors aimed at fixing or hiding the perceived flaw that are difficult to resist or control, such as frequently checking the mirror, grooming or skin picking
- Attempting to hide perceived flaws with styling, makeup or clothes
- Constantly comparing your appearance with others
- Always seeking reassurance about your appearance from others
- Having perfectionist tendencies
- Seeking frequent cosmetic procedures with little satisfaction
- Avoiding social situations
- Being so preoccupied with appearance that it causes major distress or problems in your social life, work, school or other areas of functioningI have 3 of the 11 mentioned, and bolded those I believe apply to me, but it’s not happening all the time, they only pop up when I need to take photos as I mentioned.
While it may sound like a rare hinderance, do any of you experience this kind of fear or phobia? What have you done to get over the fear of taking photos. Is this a form of body dysmorphia or just a phobia? I really would love to hear some of your to help me push through and get over this fear. Just leave a comment below so I can get a chance to read your advice! Thank you in advance.