What to Remember When an Unflattering Photo of Yourself is Shared on Social Media

Since becoming a blogger and someone who shares their daily outfits on Instagram and Facebook, I know a few tips on how to make myself look good in front of the camera.

I never stand side on, I sweep my fringe over my eyebrow and not behind my ear and early to mid-morning is the best time to get a photo as I look fresher and my eyes look brighter.

Whenever I share my everydaystyle photos on Facebook or Instagram, there are no filters. I don’t edit my images. The only editing you see is if I’ve applied BB cream, mascara and concealer for under my eyes and on the pimples that I have seemed to acquired in my 30’s. (I thought my pimple days were behind me!)

I can control what images I share on social media, but when I go to events and photos are taken, I have little control on what gets captured and how I will be seen.

On Wednesday, I had the privilege of attending a breakfast at Parliament House for female plumbers and apprentices. If you’ve only started reading this blog now, I best mention that I am a plumber, but I write for various other online websites, including my plumbing blog, The Plumbette.

Anyway, The Master Plumbers Association of QLD shared photos that were taken at the breakfast on Facebook. And the most unflattering photo of myself was shared where I was talking to the Minister of Housing and Public Works, Mick de Brenni, and John Salmon of Salmon Plumbing (who is also the treasurer for the MPAQ and a great guy to chat to about plumbing).

my unflattering photo

I cringed when I saw the photo.

This was what I looked like earlier that morning – face on.

flattering image face on

But the photo that was shared online showed a side on view of my body that was a little confronting. My hair looked bent from where I didn’t put the hair straightener through. And my double love handles can’t be unseen.

My first thought was ‘ohhh… eww’. And then I thought, ‘I may need to stop my kid-free Tuesday bakery and mocha treats’.

But like most unflattering photos I’ve seen of myself on the internet, I scrolled on and didn’t allow it to make me feel negative about myself.

what to remember when you see unflattering photos of yourself on the internet

I reasoned in my head, how lucky I was to have a bit of extra weight after losing a bit this year because of two bouts of gastro. I much prefer to fill my face with delicious food and add some extra curves to my body, than be throwing up from gastro or even worse – hungry because I don’t have any food.

The negative thoughts were replaced with positive ones. But it also prompted me to think about my current lifestyle. I have been making a bit of an extra effort to eat less processed and sugary food. But I will not give up my Tuesday child-free day treats. Or chocolate.

Body image is something I think all women deal with at some point in their lives. If we don’t control how we think about our body, it gives the devil an open door to get inside our head and tell us terrible things about ourselves because of our weight or appearance.

No one should be defined by their weight or their body.

I have a healthy outlook on food and my body. It puts weight on and I can lose it gradually with good eating and exercise. But I’m in no rush to lose my curves.

I’ve seen plenty of unflattering photos of myself on the internet. But I’ve also seen some really flattering photos too.

I’m more than just my body – and love handles.

I look at this picture and think – how amazing is it that I had the attention of two influential men in the trades industry?

So if you see an unflattering picture of yourself online, don’t let it define you. We need more ‘honest and real’ photos on the internet, than edited and filtered shots.

*And just to reiterate – if you find an unflattering photo that has been used WITHOUT your permission, this is not OK. Report and make contact with the company or person who has shared the photo. And if you upload unflattering pictures of friends and family on social media, think before you post.

How do you react to unflattering images of yourself on the internet? Has the photo ever prompted you to think negatively about yourself?

  • I think you look fine in both pics. I wouldn’t have even noticed the things you cringed at if you hadn’t pointed them out – you just look like a real woman to me, and my mate Bec! But I do understand. Like you, sometimes seeing pics by others can be a little confronting!