Stop Deleting the Photo: Self Love & Body Image

I get a little snap happy when it comes to taking pictures. Especially pictures of or with my kids. But when it comes to photos of myself I can be pretty harsh. Usually when I see a photo of myself that was just taken the first thing I do is inspect how I look. And often times that inspection is followed by an “ugh, I look gross. Delete that one.”

I know I’m not the only one who does this. I’ve heard friends and family have similar reactions to seeing photos of themselves so I know I’m not alone.

Lately I’ve been trying really hard to change this mind set and my reaction to the way I look in photos. Because you know what? Years from now when my kids look at photos of us together, they aren’t going to be thinking “wow mom looks tired/puffy/fat” or “look at mom’s frizzy hair or bags under her eyes”. No. They are going to think “wow look at this picture of me and mom. We look so happy, this was such a fun day”.

It’s no secret that we are our own worst critics. What we see in a photo isn’t what everyone else sees. Especially not our family/friends/children. I also don’t want my children to develop the same poor self love and body image that I have. I don’t want them to hear me criticizing the way I look or talking down about myself. I want to set a good example for them. Besides, the way I look in photos isn’t the most important thing, the way THEY look is. Are they happy and loved in the photo? Because that’s what really matters.

We leave in a world where our photos are often shared. We are exposing our lives more to others, especially on social media. We’ve started to feel like what we share needs to be perfect, to reflect our best selves or at least the most picturesque version. But that isn’t real life. We have bad hair days, we have days where we look tired or when our clothes are a bit more snug. Just because we don’t always look flawless or put together doesn’t mean it’s a memory worth erasing.

So stop criticizing the way you look in pictures. Instead be thankful for the memory you’ve just created and tucked away for your kids and grandkids to see someday. Stop deleting the picture and cherish it instead.

I know this might be easier said than done, so in an effort to stay true to my words I’m sharing pictures throughout this post that I initially wanted to delete because I wasn’t happy with how I looked.

The next time you snap a picture of yourself I hope you look at it with love instead of judgement.

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