Social Anxiety Forum - View Single Post - How can people stand to look at themselves
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post #19 of (permalink) Old 10-20-2020, 06:56 PM
You tell me
Rains's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 2,072
I'm not sure. A lot of people actually enjoy taking photos and videos of themselves, and they usually seem to me to be people who aren't very self-conscious, which I'm the opposite of that basically. I had a lot of anxiety about my appearance starting from when I was a teenager and was very fixated on certain features which I felt were flawed. And it's not like anything's really improved, but I guess over the years I've at least come to understand it, and in my case acknowledged most people don't really care about how you look beyond a passing observation.

Reading about body dysmorphia (not saying it's this but still relevant) has helped me understand my aversion somewhat since there seems to be stuff I relate to, as essentially it's a bias where you process things visually in a piecemeal fashion rather than gestalt, which leads to getting fixated on features and difficulty seeing how everything can sort of work together even if an individual feature looks odd in isolation. There also tends to be heightened aesthetic sensitivity, which is good to apply to the arts, but not necessarily to your own face. I mean human bodies aren't always aesthetic (especially depending on cultural context, since what's conventionally attractive, or marketable attractiveness can vary) and they weren't designed just for that anyway. There's also a lot of self-consciousness and obvious predisposition to anxiety and obsessive compulsive traits which I definitely have. And then the question that I kept seeing in BDD forums of 'am I really ugly or do I have BDD?' And the answer is you can have one or the other, or both at the same time. BDD isn't so much about what you look like but how fixated and distressed you are. It's also possible to be just really, really unphotogenic.

I have managed to desensitise taking photos and videos of myself in private, but it's still difficult to show others. And if i take a break from it for a while it's still hard to start up again. Mirrors are a little easier I guess because I grew up with a lot of mirrors at home, and now I like them as a decoration thing. In fact even my phone case has a mirror on it so I can check myself, but it's not like I do it that much. I'm very aware of things like angles / lighting / focal length as well, and so I'm not that surprised by how different some people can look from one setting to another.

Fwiw I think you'd be great on a youtube channel.
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