We all know that one person. You know, the one who holds up a pillow, ducks out of group pictures and basically hates it when anyone whips out a camera. If that person is you, you are not alone.
With the growing popularity of camera phones these days, it seems like everyone has turned into the paparazzi. From Snapchat to Instagram posts and stories, posing and pouting has become almost a global epidemic. So much so, that every family function or wedding now turns into some sort of a giant photo-op for everyone involved. Even grandma is jumping into group selfies these days (and looking super cute in all of them, might we add). What does it mean then if your are one of those people who hates being in photos? Does being camera shy equal to being anti-social or having low self esteem, or is there more to it? We took a peep into the psychology of what it means when people don’t like posing for pics, and this is what we discovered.
1.They say the camera adds 5 pounds:
If you are already conscious of your weight or are feeling the pressure to have a perfect body, then taking pictures can only lead to feeling it more. Certain camera angles can be less than flattering for anyone, even if you are Angelina Jolie. Having seen unflattering pictures of themselves in the past makes people shy away from cameras in general.
2 The mere-exposure effect:
This is something that happens when people tend to develop a preference to things just because they are familiar with them. The effect has been demonstrated with many kinds of things, including words, paintings, pictures of faces, and sounds. In studies of interpersonal attraction, the more often someone sees a person, the more pleasing and likeable they find that person. So, how does this make you dislike your pictures? Quite simply put, you look the opposite of the way you look in the mirror, making you feel odd or ill at ease when you see yourself.
3. We tend to think we are more attractive than we actually are:
According to Psychology today, when we think about ourselves, we are prone to a bias called self-enhancement, which is the tendency to evaluate our 'own traits and abilities more favourably than is objectively warranted'. In the case of physical appearance, this bias leads us to believe that we are more attractive than we actually are, and thus we tend to hate our pictures when we see them, feeling that they have let us down.
4. There is a perceived social pressure to look good:
Given the clever angles, filters and amount of competition there is to look good on social media these days, no matter how fabulous your picture is, you always end up feeling it's not as good as someone else's. As there is no end to such comparisons, we can start to feel we will never be good enough, and thus shy away from even trying in the first place.
5. You can't control it once it's out there:
Sometimes, if you are posing in a group, the person with the camera only looks at his or her picture and posts it without giving a d*mn about how everyone else looks. If you are caught at an unflattering angle, there is nothing you can do to change the picture (forever!) which makes people uneasy to pose for one in the first place.
Bottom line? A photograph really lives longer then you. While it may feel awkward and strange to you in to moment, the memories that pictures help create will be worth it when you look back many years later, or even show them to your friends, families and kids. So, strike a pose the next time you see a camera, trust us, you rock at this. :)