Me-Made Lessons: Photos vs. Mirrors and Body Image

Participating in Me-Made-May has made me realise this: I could never do an outfit blog. Having to take your photo each day, edit and write something witty each day, nah not for me. However, there are benefits in taking your photo each day.

In our bathroom we have a full length mirror. So, whenever I shower I see myself naked in front of the mirror. It’s inevitable. So in my mind I have an image of how I look. This also applies to every time I look myself in the mirror after getting dressed in the morning. The mirror shows me my view of myself. For my me-made pictures I use the self-timer or remote control to let the camera show me its view. An outside’s perspective, even if I’m the one doing the actual photography.

Me-Made-May day 15

As I see myself in the mirror

Seeing myself in my clothes, dressed for work, gatherings, parties I realise that well-fitting clothes makes me look good. My clothes are not trendy but the suit me, fit-wise and personality-wise. My clothes displays who I am. The bad things I see (my eyes only?) when I look in the mirror are not so obvious when I’m dressed in clothes I like and that fit me. Seeing many photos of yourself kind of breaks down the barrier. For the first ones you focus on the bad, but after 20 days (and counting) of looking at your own picture you start seeing what you didn’t see at first, what looks good instead of just going for the bad. You get used to seeing the outside perspective of yourself and I’ve realised that the outside perspective is not so bad. I need to look at myself with the same eyes as I look on everyone else.

Midnight Sun Shirt (14)

As the camera sees me

Generally I must say that the body image in the online sewing community is great. Mainly because I don’t see much body issues. Women of all sizes display what they’ve made and all are encouraged. We work with fit to flatter our bodies, we work with styles we feel comfortable in, we choose fabric and prints to match our complexion and we are all very encouraging towards each other. There’s a place for everyone and we are empowering each other.

It’s great fun to see everyone’s outfits, it’s inspiring. It is also empowering and liberating. So many women, so many body shapes, so much beauty and encouragement.

Do you ever photograph yourself, or have someone photograph you regularly? Do you find yourself looking different in the mirror and photos? If you sew, have sewing change your view on body image and how?



6 thoughts on “Me-Made Lessons: Photos vs. Mirrors and Body Image

  1. I had a bit of a melt down to my poor husband before MMM started this year – I’d gained a bit of weight, and I wasn’t particularly excited about my me-made wardrobe. Thank goodness he told me to join in anyway, because as soon as MMM started I remembered why I’ve loved it so much in the past! All kind of figures in a whole range of styles from trendy to basic. Its so lovely to see everyone celebrate their talent and pride with absolutely no body snarking at all!

    • Exactly! It’s such a supportive community and I think many people can appreciate the talent and pride, even if the garments aren’t in a style they themselves like. And I love that body issues are non-apparent.

  2. You know, it’s funny, but I have noticed that I see myself way more unflatteringly in the mirror than I do in photos. I never edit my blog photos, and I always look at them and see someone I’m happy with. But why don’t I see that person in the mirror always? Of course I always take blog pictures when my makeup is fresh and I’ve just brushed my hair, but I don’t know that that makes the difference. Maybe it’s just that I focus more on my flaws and the camera, focusing on the whole of me, doesn’t pick up the pimple on my forehead or the strange eyebrow hair I didn’t pluck.

    I will say, though, that sewing has totally changed my body image. I used to get so so upset shopping for pants and skirts because I’m very pear-shaped and they rarely fit correctly. So sewing eliminates a lot of that. Fitting is an interesting challenge rather than an opportunity to cry over a misshapen body, you know?

    • Watching Trinny and Susannah (What not wear UK) back in the days, they said the best way of looking good was to wear clothes your size, too small and you’d look big trying too hard, too big and you’d get lost. Sewists are good at making clothes that fit, I find myself improving my posture in clothes that fit me well.

      It’s weird how we can see ourselves so differently in the mirror and in photos. I don’t know why. I do photograph muslins too see them from the outside perspective just for this reason.

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