I'm Insecure About Having My Picture Taken & Do Something Silly to Hide It

Mom Moment 10

tongue Wreck-It Ralph
Me, my tongue, and Wreck-It Ralph
Last week I went on a business trip, a press junket to the premiere of Oz the Great and Powerful, and I took a ton of photographs. Naturally, I jumped on Facebook when I got home to see what my friends had to say. And there it was, a criticism right beneath a photo of me with a statue of Ralph from the Oscar-nominated film Wreck-It Ralph. In it I was sticking my tongue out, my go-to pose in any photo, and the comment came from an aunt who called me out for being immature.

The barb hurt; I won't deny it. Because the truth is so much more complicated. I don't stick my tongue out in photos because I'm clinging to my youth so much as I'm clinging to the idea that people will be so focused on my tongue that they will miss my body.

Silly? Yes. And maybe immature too, although I tend to use another "i" word to explain the tongue poking out in photos from my graduation, my wedding, last Christmas: insecurity.

I am a recovering bulimic. I have spent years trying to hide my body away from the world, and when a camera lens is pointed my way, I freeze. The tongue flicks out, my defense mechanism.

When I tell people that I hate having my photo taken, I'm rarely taken seriously. They laugh. They roll their eyes. And they insist.

To the average person, a photo is an annoyance at worst. Most, I've found, are actually rather fond of being the subject of a photo. The same people who will protest a one-on-one shot just for the sake of protesting are more than happy to jump in on a group photo.

I'm trying hard to be one of those people. I am, after all, a photographer. I make a portion of my living looking through the lens of a camera, capturing images of other people. And as a mother, I've come to realize that one day I will be gone, and the photos of me will be a comfort to my daughter.

Still, I'm uncomfortable. You can see it in how I angle my body, leaning forward to hide the pooch of my stomach. You can see it in how I screw up my face and poke out my tongue, pre-empting "bad" photos by making a face. I'm purposely making it harder for someone to look at my picture and say "that's a bad shot" because with the tongue out, there's a signal that it was never meant to be "good" in the first place.

I would love to find a happy medium one day, a place where I will feel confident enough in how I look to just be myself. But I'm still at a point where I'd rather take "looks immature" over "what a fat slob."

Do you like having your photo taken? What do you do to avoid it?


Image by Sunny Chanel

confessional, diet


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Alicia Kirby

You look fabulous Jeanne!  Show off that smile, it's beautiful! 

Tangl... TangledBlue

I just read a great blog about this topic, as someone who hates having her picture taken it made me cry...and change my attitude! 


Amber Ortega

I used to really hate my photo being taken and it's only been in the past year that I have finally gotten comfortable in my own skin and love being in front of the camera.  

I <3 you Jeanne!  You are so honest and outgoing, keep on smiling and working on your body image....it will all align and next time I see you, we're taking some smiling pics together.  :)  

nonmember avatar kevobx

Remember, pictures are the highest form of vainity the graven images. Face book vs the book of life. Who art thou?

.LoVe... .LoVeMyBuG.

I feel your pain. I hate my photo being taken but since having kids I try to get photos with me in them, for them later and for myself. I don't want to look back and not have any photos/memories with us together as a family so I suck it up. One day I too hope I can "love myself". 

Truel... Truelove77

Wow I didnt get that from the photo @ all I thought you were being funny not insecure @all.Love this piece I dont like taking pictures of myself I have my lil muffin top and double chin which I hate....So I choose to take pictures rather than be in them But reading this makes me think I need to stop being so insecure and live life and not care that Im on the heavy side just live it up and not care what others think of my photo...nice read.

tuffy... tuffymama

It wasn't the tongue stuck out, but the posture, that made me think "insecure." I was AB, and that was one of my signature poses, too: turn to the side and twist, lean forward, try to minimize the body. I weighed 89 pounds at 25 and still did the same thing. I still haven't gotten over it fully, still don't like my picture taken, still act like a goofball or contort myself in an effort to "look smaller," but sometimes I face the camera and fling my arms out wide, embracing my fuller life. You should try it. Those are the best pics.

Coles... Coles_mom

I'm very overweight and can't lose it no matter what I try! I stay out of pictures. I would say I haven't been in a photograph in probably 3 or 4 years. I have zero pictures with my 2nd and 3rd kid. I look distrusting. Absolutely disgusting,

nonmember avatar iamnartgirl

I have been overweight for many years. I have not intentionally been in a picture for over 12 years. I don't usually move too quickly, but if a camera is pointed my direction, you WILL see me move out of the shot with some speed! I see disgust on the faces of people who see me in public. I don't want to have to relive that every time someone looks at a picture of me.

tuffy... tuffymama

^^ you guys are breaking my heart!

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