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What I see in the mirror doesn't match what I see in pictures

30 replies

MrsScamander · 18/07/2019 22:18

Is anyone else like this? Just wanted to vent really.

I've lost 4 stone so far (with another 4-6stone to go) and have gone from size 22-24 to size 18-20.

I think I have some sort of reverse body dysmorphia or something--in my head I look OK and might even think I look passable.

And then I catch sight of my reflection in a shop window or see a full body photograph and I see such a huge, ugly mess still. What I see in pictures is what I imagined I looked like BEFORE losing 4 stone. So god knows what I ACTUALLY looked like (I don't think there is photographic evidence of this)

Last weekend I went to a wedding, bought a new dress, shoes, did my hair nicely. I never have an excuse to dress up for a special occasion so went all out. I actually thought I looked fairly pretty.

Then I saw a photo of myself and my partner someone had taken and I looked hideous. It just made me think what the point of it is if even after losing weight I'm still hideous?

Just wanted a rant really, there isn't much of a point to this thread other than hoping I'm not the only one who thinks this way?

OP posts:
Muddlingalongalone · 18/07/2019 22:23

This is me - except I haven't lost 4 stone.
Congratulations on the weight loss!

SmellbowSpaceBowl · 18/07/2019 22:23

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OhThoseSummerNights · 18/07/2019 22:24

Congratulations OP. What an achievement Flowers

I'm like this, I photograph SO badly. I bought a lovely broderie anglais top for my holidays- I look like a member of peasant folk band who specialise in ABBA covers in the photos.

I do think there are some things which help though- good posture and standing slightly to the side. Smiling and trying to project confidence. And the magical button which untags you on FB definitely helps.


Neolara · 18/07/2019 22:29

Bloody hell. You've lost four stone! That's amazing! Massive congratulations. Firstly, everyone looks terrible in photos sometimes. The chances are you looked absolutely fine and it was just an unfortunate shot. Secondly, even if you're right and you looked terrible (unlikely), the impact of losing all that weight on your health is going to be huge, so we'll worth doing. Keep strong!

FlutterShite · 18/07/2019 22:31

I feel this way too. I am shocked and dismayed every time I see a photo of myself. I think I must have just conditioned myself to look at the mirror in a certain way, to check I'm presentable - presumably I have a pose and expression ready and can adjust them while I'm looking. No such bleedin' luck with photographs though. I've just resigned myself to the idea that I look horrific but that it doesn't really matter because the people in my life obviously don't mind so much.

As for you, OP, I would bet that if I saw a picture of you then I'd think you look just fine. That seems to be how it goes...

miaCara · 18/07/2019 22:32

Rant away. Theres a horrible conspiracy between mirrors and cameras/shop windows .
So my way of coping with this is to believe the mirror over any other reflective surface. Phone cameras are the worst. I hate people whipping out their phone and declaring that 'we must have a photo' . I always seem to be at the front no matter where I have chosen to sit . So the one at the front looks like a monster while those further away look like dainty little fairies.
Its just not fair - but I have had to suck it up and pretend to enjoy it all the while smiling broadly . At least it makes me look vaguely human.

FlutterShite · 18/07/2019 22:33

And yeah, four stone. That takes commitment and will power.

poopypants · 18/07/2019 22:33

OP I have said exactly what you have said many times. Even down to the reverse body dysmorphia thing 🤣. I'm around a size 14 bit was a 16. But short. I honestly see photos of myself and think I look genuinely freakish. But I think I look ok in a mirror.

Havingarethink · 19/07/2019 04:54

I always think, "is this what people see?" The same happens when I hear my voice on recordings.

Misty999 · 19/07/2019 04:57

Yes same here I'm sure I'm not as bad as the photos.

Sparklfairy · 19/07/2019 05:34

Theres a meme somewhere about this:

Mirror: damn you look hot!
Camera: hahahahahahaha no.

Happens to us all. Congrats on your weight loss

ThatUsedToBeMyName · 19/07/2019 05:40

Oh this with bells on. I’m very overweight (size 16 but very short too!) but I look in the mirror and think I look ok today. Catch a glimpse of myself in a shop window or see a photo and think how revoltingly fat I look.

The thing is this, I still do my job well, I still have good friends, I can make people laugh, I still enjoy life, I have a wonderful husband and great kids INSPITE or being a big ol’ blob so it can’t be all bad and one day I will sort my weight out (for the millionth time - serial yoyo dieter Hmm) so keep the faith everyone, we may not like our weight but we musn’t let it define us.

ThatUsedToBeMyName · 19/07/2019 05:41

Oh and yy OP well done on the 4 stone, that is an AWESOME achievement Flowers

flumpybear · 19/07/2019 05:54

I'm pleased I clicked on this thread as this is me, albeit I don't even glance in mirrors unless I HAVE to

I'm swimming every morning at the moment, lost a bit but feel SSSSOOOOO much fitter and better in myself, so I'm concentrating on that, not hideous photographs!

Well done on weight loss!

CigarsofthePharoahs · 19/07/2019 07:47

Congratulations on your weight loss op.
I don't photograph well. Never have. I have slightly puffy cheeks which do help me look young, but in pictures I have an air of chipmunk about me.
The most terrifying thing of all? Lying in bed watching a movie on my phone. Catch a glance of my reflection on the screen. Good grief where did that double chin come from?
And as for passport photo machines. They have two settings.
Would you like to look like a) a serial killer or b) one of their victims?

MrsScamander · 19/07/2019 08:19

So glad it's not just me 😁

I am not photogenic at all, I have to try really hard to get a picture I'm happy with so spontaneous pictures are the enemy.

I'm trying to find some summer clothes because I can't keep wearing my skinny jeans or black trousers with cardigans, I want floaty skirts/dresses, or nice cool trousers. But I'm an hourglass shape--baggy floaty tops hide my rolls but make me look bigger. When I try stuff on that I think looks OK, i then put it back because I remember the mirror lies!

To the PP who said they remembered they had family and friends and lovely children, I need to remember that. I do have a fantastic partner and 2 of the best girls in the world 😊 And they love me whatever I might look like.

To slightly change the topic, what is everyone wearing in this heat?! I need fitted trousers that are cool and would like something other than black! And if anyone can tell me how to get over the fear of showing my bare arms (they are disproportionately big in comparison to the rest of me!) I'd be grateful 👍

OP posts:
amusedbush · 19/07/2019 09:10

I'm the same. My weight has yo-yoed massively over the years (+/- 5 stone at a time) and even at my fattest I think I look okay. It's difficult though because I think I look a lot better than I do and that makes finding the motivation to lose weight even harder.

Last time it actually took DH sitting me down and saying that he was worried about me and, frankly, I was so big that he didn't fancy me anymore BlushSad I genuinely thought I looked "a bit chunky but alright" in my head, then I saw some full-length photos and was horrified. A very, very uncomfortable plane journey then cemented how big I actually was in my head. I've lost 2 stone since then, I have another 4 to go and I have to keep it off this time. It's too bloody tiring to be stuck in this loop.

Congratulations on your weight loss!

Oldraver · 19/07/2019 09:16

Yes I ma like this almost al the time. Happy with what I see in the mirror then if I see a photo I am shocked.

It doesn't help that I dont like my photo being done so aometime photos are done surreptiously

Moveit123 · 19/07/2019 09:20

I lost 7 stone. It takes awhile for your head to catch up with your new body.

Soola · 19/07/2019 09:28

I know plenty of very beautiful women who look awful in photos and plainer looking women who look stunning.

You might get down to a size 8 and still not be photogenic so don’t let it get to you and just carry on being happy at who you are and be proud of the weight you lost and your continuing to get healthy.

MrsSB99 · 19/07/2019 09:29

I don’t have the answer but I feel the same. I’ve lost just over 6 stone. I’ve gone from a 24/26 to a 14 and if I’m lucky a 12. I run a lot and cycle. Unfortunately I don’t know why i still look awful. My brain just doesn’t see it. I look in the mirror and think hell yeah. Look at the photo and recoil in horror. I will never be happy, had 2 emergency c sections so have been torn to shreds, my belly is disgusting my boobs have shrunk. Everyone says oh you’re so thin now, would been helpful if everyone had told me I looked fat though.

Keep going, I’m sure you looked fabulous we never ever look how we think I’m sure. Just our brains our crap I should listen to myself but then I’d have nothing to moan about lol xxx

ACatNamedDoris · 19/07/2019 10:22

God, this is me. I photograph dreadfully. My eyes point in different directions and everything, and my face goes all squished and wrinkly, also my arms and shoulders look enormously out of proportion. It's dreadful.

CountFosco · 19/07/2019 10:35

We had professional photos taken at work. Some people looked like themselves, some people looked better in the photos than real life (if you think about it, this is actually worse!), and some people looked awful, far far worse than they did in real life, even quite pretty people. Most bizarre thing.

You have done amazingly well to lose 4 stone but presumably you still have a bit to go to get to a healthy weight. I find once my BMI is below 25 I get much happier with photos, my bust goes down in size and I look much less matronly.

OstrichRunning · 19/07/2019 10:44

You honestly didn't look hideous - I bet you looked just as you looked in the mirror! Pretty. Not just saying this. Photos are more likely to lie than the mirror, because a mirror captures movement and is therefore more true to life whereas a photo is static. Also people can sort of stiffen/feel awkward as someone is about to take a photo, especially if they think they are unphotogenic. And that seriously affects your appearance. I once went to a professional photographer, he was really good but it took him AGES to get a good photo of me because I was so uncomfortable with the whole thing, and felt so unconscious. All the first few photos I look terrible but then finally he got me relaxed and smiling and it was a good old confidence boost! So please believe the mirror and not camera.

OstrichRunning · 19/07/2019 10:44

self-conscious, not unconscious

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