[backpost] thoughts on self-image

Posted by jeremyclarke on November 21, 2003 · General

Found on an older blog and posted here for historical purposes.

Looking at pictures of yourself is such a strange thing to do. i mean, who the fuck is that person? is that me? does my nose really stick out that much? are all those curves actually part of my face?

usually i try to stay behind the camera, but i know i’ll regret if later if i have no images of myself so i let people steal the fire when they ask. but it really does kind of phase me to look at the results. i find it hard to believe that my girlfriend can have sex with me without laughing for example. also, i tend to feel fat, which i don’t believe i am, or at least not really…

it’s a usefull philosophical tool though, like we tend to just look through the window of our vision out at world that we process instantly. the things we can do without having a single thought are amazing. but when you look at a picture of yourself you’re confronted with the fact that you’re really out there. not just your eyeballs and brain, but all of you. When you see a picture of yourself, especially one that really doesn’t represent your “residual-self-image” you’re confronted with that part of you that you really can’t control, maybe it’s the auto-pilot that gets caught in the photo (which would repudiate the traditional cultures that claim that photo’s steal your soul, maybe they just steal everything else?), and, being forced to look at it is what makes viewing the photo uncomfortable. i dont’ think we like to be reminded of our mortality-limitations-just humanness, at least not in such a dynamic visual way (it’s easier to brush of the existential unease of a question like “why are we here” than it is to look at yourself making a face in normal conversation that you would grimace at if anyone you were talking to made it).

maybe it’s just me that thinks that though, maybe everyone else just looks at photos and says “yup, i’m ugly” or “yup that’s just me”. i’ve always had a weird relationship with my body, and rarely do i look in a mirror without having to re-confront the stranger i see there.

Posted by jeremyclarke on November 21, 2003 · General

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