This is a guest post from my bestie Jolene, who takes the best pictures!
With its endless potential for ex-boyfrend-stalking, unfriending and just plain time-wasting, it's hard to believe that anything about Facebook could make a girl LESS crazy. But I'm telling you, I've harnessed a way!
In “Be Less Crazy About Your Body,” Megan suggests, among other things, "Body Image Cringe Therapy." When she subjected herself to Cringe Therapy, she watched video footage of herself again and again until, over time, little truths revealed themselves. She finally started to notice qualities about her body --and more importantly, her personality-- that she genuinely liked.
My version was to take my lifelong shutterbug habit to Facebook. See, I love taking photos of my friends and our adventures. I also get tremendous joy from cropping my photos, editing them, printing them, framing them, displaying them, making ecards out of them and clicking lovingly through them when I’m having a bad day. I like reviewing them on their anniversaries. And I like posting Facebook albums, complete with captions, for my lovely friends to enjoy with me.
For me, it’s all about relishing the maximum amount of enjoyment in every moment: anticipating it, living it, and remembering it. My pictures are little celebrations of moments.
And the best side effect was that over time, I quit seeing photos of myself as things to be self-conscious about. I no longer saw my Dad’s bulbous nose square in the middle of my face. I quit seeing my crooked teeth. Instead, I saw a happy smile passing between myself and a pal as we went somewhere completely exciting. I saw the sweet, familiar way my friend touched her head to mine as we mugged for the camera right before we took off on a roller coaster. I saw how pretty all of our faces looked when we gazed in wonder at flowers at the conservatory.
How lucky are we that we get to enjoy such fun times?!
I quickly learned that some of my friends do NOT like when I post their photos on Facebook. This took me by complete surprise, as I never posted anything inappropriate or even unflattering. It broke my heart when I discovered that some of my friends saw my paparazzi habit as an act of malice, when I genuinely thought my friends looked happy and ADORABLE.
With all the love in my heart, I’m here to say that some of my (truly!!) beautiful friends need some Body Image Cringe Therapy and/or a Facebook Attitude Adjustment. And maybe you do too.
You will need:
1. A willingness to do fun things.
If you try to tell me that you never do anything fun, well dangit, you have to start! What’s stopping you? You really can make an adventure out of a normal day. Here are some ideas:
Gather a group of friends and go read books and magazines at a book store or library.
Host spa/game/movie/cooking/baking/or drinking nights at your house.
Seek amusement parks, mini golf courses, museums and/or hiking trails and actually visit them.
Take a vacation. Even if it’s just to the closest lake.
Go to shopping, at home or in public, and photograph a fashion shoot with clothes or shoes that you can’t actually afford to buy. (Also, don't buy them.)
Visit an animal shelter.
Go see a band. Or form a band!
The point is, I haven’t discovered some impossible secret when I tell you that you get to do cool stuff. You can and probably already do totally do cool stuff, duh! D0 more!
2. A friend or relative who thinks you are cute.
If you don’t have one of these, start looking for better friends. This is important. Volunteer somewhere, take a class, join an online discussion group about your favorite band/animal/author/whatever. Everyone deserves to have supportive, encouraging friends.
3. A camera.
Get your friend you thinks you are cute and ask them to take your picture. It’s amazing how forgiving the camera is when the photographer appreciates you and already sees your inner cuteness.
Some of the pictures will stink, of course, so have them take lots. Move around. Don't pose awkwardly. Be yourself. Laugh out loud. Capture moments.
I want to note that I’m not talking about those self-conscious, effects-laden webcam portraits that made MySpace so hard to look at. Although, sometimes playing with your webcam can help you learn how to relax in front a camera, which automatically makes you more photogenic.
But when you quit worrying about your face and start capturing moments of your amazing life, you can start to focus less on what you look like and more on what you do!
So go forth. Be great! Then look at yourself being great. Seeing is believing!