I never used to hate my face.
It’s not the best but it’s not the worst and over many years I grew to accept it, despite every airbrushed face in the media reminding me how imperfect it was. That all changed when Snapchat and Facetune and Snow came along, and showed me just how different I could look.
Every photo I took I was always the Disney version of myself: all big eyes and smooth skin and slim jaw. Everything I didn’t like about myself I could change at the click of a button – fuller lips, sure! Smaller nose, no problem!
It reached a point where not only did I hate seeing photos of myself without filters, but that I also worried what people would think if they saw me in real life and realised I didn’t look like that. Social media fuels this, and it’s one of the things I dislike so much about Instagram. Even on Twitter there are girls with the most beautiful avatars with flawless skin and amazing make up. I can’t do make up – I never have been able to. Give me a lipstick and an eyeliner and that’s as far as my skills go. This means that I can’t ever really do anything to change my appearance in real life either. What you see is what you get.
Seeing so much around now from people like Jameela Jamil talking about how using these filters and editing apps makes us complicit in the problem was a big thinking point for me, and I’ve been mulling it over a lot. I don’t want to misrepresent myself and I don’t want other girls and women to look at photos of me and feel like they have to look a certain way, because in actual fact I don’t even look that way myself.
This week I changed my Twitter photo – this might not seem like a big deal but I think it’s the first time I’ve ever used an unfiltered and unedited photo as my avatar. I am also trying to be more transparent on Instagram when my self esteem allows me to, and I’ve definitely used a lot more photos of myself as they come over the last week.
Will I still take photos of myself with cat ears and stupid glasses? Obviously. But I wont be editing my face anymore. That’s not who I want to be and it’s not how I want others to perceive me. So here I am. Filter free, makeup free and edit free.
I hope maybe some of you gain the confidence to show your true selves if it’s something you’re struggling with.
You’re perfect just as you are.