“Stop, I’m so ugly”: why do we hate seeing ourselves in photos? (and how to change that)

Stop Im so ugly why do we hate seeing ourselves

At a time when selfies are king, you can’t stand seeing yourself in photos or videos? A psychologist reveals the reasons for this aversion.

“Oh no, stop, I’m too ugly!”, “I hate seeing myself in photos”, “Wait, that’s not my good profile”… While some people like to play models, others avoid the lens like the plague. They always find themselves fat, ugly, old, ridiculous… in short, never to their advantage. Photography actually questions the image we have of ourselves: what do I send to others? What do I look like? What is destabilizing is that the image we see on the screen is generally very different from the one we see in the mirror.

According to Pascal Anger, clinical psychologist, the photos and videos respond to a real narcissistic problem. “We never find ourselves beautiful or as we would like to be. It is rare that we find ourselves resembling ourselves, we have the impression that it is a distorted image of ourselves. The photo reveals our complexes in broad daylight, the shot is never perfect while what the photo demands is precisely the idea of ​​perfection” he analyzes. A person who has complexes will particularly hate seeing themselves in the image for this reason. This aversion to the lens also reflects the fear of losing control of one’s image. When we let ourselves be photographed, we surrender to the gaze of the other, without any means of acting. There is no other choice than to let ourselves go, to abandon ourselves. However, this awakens our fear of being depreciated and rejected. “Photography is a look at us and it is this look that will reveal something about ourselves. It could be something that we don’t want to see, generally a “defect” that we would like to get rid of.” deciphers the psychologist.

Social media doesn’t help! Some aesthetic standards are put forward even though the photos are retouched and do not reflect reality. It is very easy to smooth cellulite, refine your nose, slim your stomach or erase a double chin. As a result, this amplifies the fears and complexes of people who lack self-confidence. So what can be done?

To succeed in loving yourself in the image (or at least succeed in looking at yourself without grimacing), you have to work on your self-confidence. “Whether it’s a lack of psychological or physical self-confidence, it’s the same thing: the perception we have of ourselves is distorted” psychologist Dana Castro explained to us in a previous article. And photographs complicate this because depending on the other person’s gaze, we will sometimes find ourselves magnified or uglier, but never as we really are. “There is this in-between that we will have to juggle, accepting that the facet that we see in this frozen image is also us” continues Pascal Anger.

Three little tips to have more self-confidence on a physical level:

  1. Focus on the positive aspects of your life and your physical appearance.
  2. Putting other people’s views into perspective: “We have to get it into our heads that people don’t care, that we are the ones who project ideas into other people’s heads.” argues Dana Castro.
  3. Don’t hide: “You have to arm yourself to face situations so as not to isolate yourself and get caught in a spiral.”

Finally, if you really don’t like photos, why not decide to take them yourself, you will be better able to choose the shooting angle that suits you?