Did you feel ashamed because you think it means people will see you have no self-control? ………
………Or because it showed? You probably mutter to yourself that if you had a secret drink or a sex addiction problem at least nobody in the street would notice as you went about your business, they wouldn’t whisper about you behind your back, etc.
Is it true to say that part of your self-loathing is that overweight is such a visible failure, a form of constant and relentless process of public humiliation?
So now tell me: how exactly does air-brushing yourself out of your own history - which is what you're doing by destroying your photographs - help resolve this process of self-torture?
Do you really think that in years to come when you’re long gone, your grandchildren will say to each other “we had a grandmother, apparently she was attractive but we’re not sure, because there are no photos of her and we have no idea what she looked like – but she must have been fat, or worse, so it’s just as well”.
Or how about….
“We have some photos of our grandmother – she was slim and pretty when she was young. For the rest of her life, all we’ve got to go on is what our mother tells us – she says Granny was plumper than in those pictures, but attractive. We have to take her word for it, but we wish we could see for ourselves what she looked like when we were little.”
And you’ll be up there sitting on a fluffy cloud, berating yourself – “why the hell didn’t someone stop me from being so selfish and vain? I want to live on through my family and there’s so little of me left…”
If you read bandit blogs and you find it useful therapy to interact with bloggers who are going through the same difficult process, I put it to you that it’s not only about managing to lose the weight and sharing the euphoria with the rest of us – though it’s part of it and we all rejoice or commiserate together – it’s also about addressing the hang-ups the overweight has caused us, and by examining them and turning them this way and that, see if we can beat them and fight our way back to a normal self-image.
We shouldn’t punish ourselves for being less attractive than we would like by not permitting images of us to be in circulation. I strongly believe that by doing so we are not taking responsibility for our bodies. And this means we do not love ourselves.
Lets throw off our burdens of guilt, punishment and self-consciousness, and say to the world “this is the way I am, and it is your loss if you cannot see beyond the shell of my body.”
The first step is to look people in the eye and stand by the bad photographs as well as the good.
In the next post I’ll put my money where my mouth is.
Photo Finish -
From Lonicera's non-digital archive
To make you smile... these pictures won't produce the famous "Laugh Out Loud" that bloggers are so fond of talking about - but they made me smile when I took them, and I hope they do you too.
The first two were taken at an open day somewhere during the era when robots were all the rage. This entertainer was superb, though clearly the child in the second photo wouldn't have agreed, to the embarrassment of his father...