To take a picture. Look at the result. Remove it immediately. This is a sequence that is repeated relatively frequently in most people at the time of the photograph.
The main reason they often claim to repeat it more than once is also known – we don’t look good. Why is this happening? Why do we look ugly in the photos?
- Related article: “Satisfaction with Own Body Closely Linked to Happiness, Study Finds”
Physical appearance and appearance
We live in a world in which the image has great value in many aspects of life. Connecting with others, finding a job, finding a partner … the image of a person can say a lot about them, be judged socially. It is socially encouraged that everyone tries to show the best they can be in all aspects.
It also happens at the intrapsychic level, trying to create a positive image and self-concept for the person and acting behind their identity closer to their ideal. Physical attractiveness is one of the most visible elements from the outside, so a lot of people grow it to feel better about themselves.
However, no matter what, it is common for a greater or lesser dislike to appear in the image it reflects when taking a photo and seeing the result. Sometimes we look attractive and we can feel more or less identified, but other times we think the image does not do us justice; we look weird, different and even “ugly”. This feeling has different causes, such as having high self-esteem, high self-esteem, or being used to seeing differently.
ask too much
As we said, we live in a competitive society that it forces us to demonstrate the best of ourselves consistently. Most people continue to set goals, objectives and requirements that are more or less realistic and achievable according to their abilities. However, in many cases the individual may need to do their best, striving for perfection and setting goals that they cannot achieve.
The same can happen when considering self-image: The person may want to have an exceedingly good image, regardless of their abilities and means to achieve it. This can cause the reflected image to not be considered good enough when seen in a photo, which can look ugly in comparison to the ideal you want to achieve.
It’s the camera’s fault!
The excuse we usually use when we take the wrong photos is not entirely false. And part of the reason we can see aliens in (and sometimes unappealing) photographs has to do with the instrument through which we are portrayed. And this is it camera lenses do not have the same shape as the human eye, What makes that the final product is different according to what is observed.
As is the case when we look at ourselves in a concave or convex mirror, the lens used will make the image slightly different from what we perceive through the human eye. Some lenses will make distant elements appear much smaller than they actually are while others flatten the photographed elements, Varying in size or apparent volume.
Brightness, sharpness, and perspective also influence this fact, being able to exaggerate or hide aspects that don’t seem so appealing to us.
A question of perspective
One of the things that can make us look ugly in photos is the perspective. Usually people we cannot observe our own faceSo the only reference we have of him is the image that comes to us through mirrors and reflective surfaces.
The point from which we look at the image tends to be always the same: a slightly elevated position that coincides with our eye height and also relatively close. However, we generally do not see ourselves from a distance, from below, or from a height higher than our eyes. The image that sends us back to the camera and the vision that others can have of us can also be different, see us from a point of view that we are not used to.
The habit and effect of simple exposure
Besides not matching the image we’re used to, another aspect involved that we look weird or ugly in photos has to do with being used to seeing ourselves a certain way.
At the psychological level, it has been observed that humans show a tendency to prefer things he knows, Increasing the positive evaluation of what surrounds us, the more frequent the contact with him. This effect is called the simple exposure effect and is often applied in social psychology to talk about the change in attitude towards stimuli, people or groups due to frequent contact, but it can also explain intrapsychic phenomena like this one. -this.
Our reflected image is not our actual image but its reflection or specular image, which is a mirror image of reality, and this is what we are usually used to. In this way, the image returned to us by the camera, which is also closer to our real image and to the perspective of those observing us, would be something different from what we are used to seeing. While this is something seemingly insignificant, it can help that we sometimes perceive ourselves as a little odd in photos.
Bias derived from self-esteem
Another of the main aspects to explain why we look ugly in the photos it has to do with our self-esteem. Specifically, several studies and experiments have shown that the higher an individual’s level of self-esteem, the more it is reflected in the photograph.
This is because the human being unconsciously tries to maintain a state of internal well-being, causing us to try to identify with a positive image of ourselves to the point that this image is slightly higher than the real one. By observing the image of ourselves that the photograph sends back to us, this unconsciously improved self-image is partially denied, leading us to consider that we made a mistake in the capture. In other words, as a general rule, people tend to consider themselves more physically attractive than they are.
This effect also applies to people, objects or stimuli to which we are attached out of affection. Maintaining contact with something or someone you like he subjectively embellishes the image we have of him. However, in this case, sometimes the affect makes the image itself perceived better than it would be objective (since we see that person or object in a very similar way to that reflected by the camera).
Likewise, people with low self-esteem tend to consider themselves less attractive than they actually are, so in photos where they really go wrong for different reasons, they can be more easily identified.
- Epley, N. and Whitchurch, E. (2008). Mirror, mirror on the wall: improve personal recognition. Pers Soc Psychol Bull, 34 (9): 1159-70.