Last updated on July 17th, 2023 at 02:13 pm
When you are passionately pursuing your dream and striving to make it a reality, it is common for your judgment of your progress to be influenced by past traumatic events, clouding your perception of how well or poorly you are doing.
Distinguishing between perception and reality is crucial.
Your daily thoughts and self-critiques often become deeply ingrained within you. You must pause and reflect on whether you are actively changing your thoughts for the better rather than operating on autopilot.
Human beings tend to hold on tightly to self-critical thoughts.
As I pursue my dream of using photography to heal women and their body shaming, I consistently work to counteract the negative beliefs that my clients hold about themselves. I employ techniques such as posing and lighting to minimize their concerns and bring out their true beauty.
I have attempted to explain how lighting can completely transform a person’s appearance. For example, Alfred Hitchcock masterfully used horror lighting to create eerie and menacing faces. Similarly, teenagers hold flashlights below their faces to tell ghost stories around a campfire, casting deep shadows in their eye sockets, which can look almost corpse-like.
However, all my efforts to describe this subject pale compared to the video below. In this video, a woman is illuminated from different angles, demonstrating various lighting techniques. Throughout the footage, you will observe the effects of butterfly lighting, where the light comes from above, creating a lovely butterfly-shaped shadow below her nose, and horror lighting, where the light comes from below, giving her eye sockets a haunting depth.
I want you to be aware of these lighting techniques the next time you reach for your phone to take a selfie or a group shot, you won’t be too hard on yourself and how you look. Instead, seek out better lighting and embrace the opportunity to capture your true beauty.
Remember, your negative thoughts about yourself are often distorted perceptions rather than an accurate reflection of reality.
The human mind can amplify and magnify your insecurities, flaws, and past failures, leading you to perceive yourself in a much harsher light than others. One of the main reasons for this distortion is the impact of past experiences and traumas. Negative events or hurtful words from the past can deeply influence your self-perception, causing you to internalize criticism, doubt your abilities, and develop a negative self-image.
Your past negative experiences create a lens through which you view yourself, distorting your perception of who you truly are and what you are capable of.
And social media tends to exacerbate this.
Moreover, societal standards and expectations often contribute to distorting your self-perception. You are bombarded with images of flawless beauty, success stories, and achievements, which can create unrealistic comparisons and fuel feelings of inadequacy. You may feel that you don’t measure up to these ideals, leading to a skewed perception of yourself and your worth.
Recognizing that your perception of yourself is not an objective truth is so important.
Your emotions, past experiences, societal influences, and self-critical tendencies color your perceptions. How you see yourself is often a distorted reflection that fails to encompass your strengths, achievements, and inherent worth as an individual.
To make your big dream a reality, you must actively challenge your negative self-perceptions and embrace a more accurate and compassionate view of yourself. You must break free from the shackles of distorted thinking. You can foster a healthier self-image and cultivate the confidence and resilience needed to pursue your dreams and aspirations with belief in your abilities.
Remember, you are more than your negative thoughts; your true value and potential extend far beyond the limitations of distorted perception.
So search for better lighting until you illuminate your entire world and share that light with others.
Iman Woods is an American artist who specializes in pin-up photography. Through a unique and therapeutic process, she’s spent over a decade in perfecting, Iman helps women undo the damage from a negative self-image and unrealistic beauty industry expectations. She helps women embrace their own style of beauty and see themselves in a new light. You can find her on her website, ImanWoods[dot]com.
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