Friend Friday: Body Image.

We’re walking on eggshells this week, my dears, with a pertinent topic for bloggers and non-bloggers alike: Body Image.

Since you started blogging has your image of yourself changed?

Yes, but not necessarily for the better! I think I lived in a bubble, happily unaware of whether my hair needed a more thorough brush, or if I needed to tone up my arms. Photographing yourself is hard enough, photographing creative outfits harder still…but photographing yourself for the perusal and analysis of other people?! Terrifying. It’s certainly made me look at myself more critically. Add some ridiculously photogenic fellow bloggers into the equation, and it seems like a hopeless business!

Facing away is always a trusty tactic.

Are you self-conscious about any aspect of yourself? If so, do you go out of your way to avoid it or do you post it/talk about it anyway?

Yes, of course, but wouldn’t talk about it in a post for fear of drawing more attention. It’s similar to when someone gives you a compliment on your skirt, for example, and you respond with, “Thanks…shame about my cellulite though!” I think some people do it because they are generally happy with the way their bodies are; some do it to prevent other people pointing it out. Me, I just dodge the bullet altogether…

Based on how you are feeling now, what do you think the future holds in the evolution of your body image?

I had heard from various sources that you become more comfortable with yourself as you get older – one of the reasons I have been looking forward to being ‘a girl in her 30s’. Unfortunately, I suspect a sudden addiction to buttered crumpets levels that out – and that, my friends, is the position I’m in. Swings and roundabouts. Factor in the increase of comments on my appearance from friends and family, and I think I may be a few miles from Self Image-Nirvana. In other words, you’re not going to get much Bossa action til I develop a profound love of salads.

Do you photograph yourself for your blog? If so, how do you feel about the experience when you’re having your picture taken? If you choose not to post pictures of yourself, what prompted that decision?

I am often loathe to post pictures of myself. I get excited, get all styled up, eagerly upload them…and often end up practically sobbing into a large glass of Pinot Grigio. I have to admit that as soon as I step in front of the camera, I just don’t know what to do with myself, so amuse Mr B no end with my oddly contorted poses. I find that taking ridiculous amounts and cropping out my head works wonders…

‘Vanity’ – Le Jonghe.
Paint is kinder as a medium, I find…

I read art critic John Berger’s Ways of Seeing when I was 18, and it changed my whole view on self-image. According to Berger: 

To my mind, posting regular photos of myself compounds this situation and makes it concrete; it makes me far too conscious of what I look like. That said, I don’t believe I’m under any obligation to post photos of myself – each to their own!

What would you want every person who struggles with body image to take to heart?

That’s a hard question to answer, as I’m certainly not as comfortable as I hoped to be. I suspect – sadly in a way – that people are far less critical of others than they are of themselves and are more likely to comment on the positives of an outfit than find fault. That has certainly been my experience.
Laura, from For Those About to Shop wrote a fantastic article lately about body image, asserting the not-always-popular view that we should stop focusing on how our bodies look at all – Dove Campaigns and Gok Wan be damned. In fact, I’m going to back-pedal and say that’s why I cut off my own head – I’m not vain, I’m just forcing you to focus on the clothes, darlings. And most of the time, that’s what others will do.
The cunning Bossa head-crop…
 How has being a blog-reader or -writer affected your body image, if at all?
And what advice would you give self-conscious types?

For more information on Friend Friday, click here
To read all the other participants’ posts, click…yes, you guessed it: here.

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