As you can probably tell from the title of this post, I wanted to talk a little bit about body image today, which will include some weight discussions and eating disorder discussions. If this is going to be a trigger for you, or will make you feel bad about yourself, please close out of this post. I don’t want you to be hurt or upset by this post and my ramblings. It’s totally okay, and my feelings won’t be hurt by you protecting yourself.
Once upon a time, I was a short, scrawny teenager with dyed red hair, and way more black eyeliner than was healthy. From my tween years until I got to college, I weighed maybe 100 pounds, despite constantly eating huge amounts of food. I was not particularly healthy, and probably should have been on different anxiety medication. A lot of that is fixed now, but looking at photos of myself produces a really weird feeling.
Since my freshman year of college in 2011, I can count on both hands the number of times I’ve had my photo taken by anyone other than myself. There’s a reason for that – I’m more or less always behind the camera. I enjoy taking pictures, but it usually means that no one gets any pictures of me without a camera and/or a notebook in my hand. It also means that I haven’t had full body pictures taken of me in a long time – probably since prom.
What I’ve noticed is when I see pictures of my full body, they don’t fully register as “me” until I take in the background, or see my face. I don’t recognize my own body in photos because it’s so rare for me to see my full body.
I noticed this particularly when my sister took pictures of me trying on wedding dresses. The pictures didn’t feel like I was in them. And I realized it was because in my head, I’m still the 14 year old kid with dyed red hair and more makeup than I needed.
I don’t dislike my body the way it looks now, at all. I think gaining weight has done great things for me physically and in a body image way. I’ve been trying to take more selfies recently, and trying to have people take more photos of me while we’re doing fun things. It’s helping a little bit, and hopefully over time I will trick my brain into realizing that yeah, that’s really what we look like now.
Has anyone else had this problem, or something similar? I’d love to talk to you about it if so.