Since I’ve become a photographer, people have shared many of their physical insecurities with me. I used to tell people that they looked beautiful, but after a while I learned that wasn’t useful. What WAS useful was to tell people that they weren’t alone. That their insecurities were shared. That no matter how much they felt like they were the only one with that insecurity, that secret sadness, that many other people hold those same worries when they look in the mirror.
So here they are, laid out. The top ten insecurities people have told me about their bodies. Maybe there is something in here that you’ll recognize. I hope it makes you feel less alone.
10. Wrinkles: Forehead wrinkles, eye crinkles, thinning skin on the hands, lines around the mouth. Seeing these faint lines can make many people feel sad about their bodies.
9. Chin: Too small! Too big! Many people have Unfavorable Opinions about their chins are.
8. Skin and Hair Color: “My skin color and my hair color don’t match,” they’ll say. “I’m too dark/my hair is too red, too dark, too blond for my skin tone.”
7. Head Size/Shape: “I have an enormous head,” clients will whisper to me, from their very normal-sized head. I have learned not to argue with people on this count. Even taking measurements of the aforementioned head and yielding numbers will result in comparisons between head and body size.
6. Facial Expressions: “My smile is wrong,” they will say apologetically, or “Ugh, that’s my resting bitch-face,” they’ll comment, looking at a photo of themselves.
5. Teeth: “I can’t smile,” they say, “because of my teeth.” I won’t deny that some people have issues with their teeth – they might need cleanings or braces. I advise anyone who has the means to care for their teeth the best they can.
4. Body Shape: It is as if God issued one mold for humans, and you woke up one morning to find that you deviated from the mold, much to your embarrassment! Many people feel that thick ankles, square waists, shoulder shape, butt shape, and thigh shape are all causes for concern.
3. Gentleman Concern: I need to bulk up!
2. Ladies Concern: I need to diet!
1. Jawline: People are often concerned about their jawline, and what goes on underneath it. This is an incredibly common concern. So many beautiful people are out there stroking their necks thinking about what’s going on under there.
Personally, I think the number one beauty concern people should have is how we’ve been brainwashed by a consumer culture that is focused on placing worth in physical beauty. But that’s just me.