Angles and Lighting

There’s a meme I saw once that said something to the effect of “Are you better looking in person or in pictures? Look, I’m funny.” That’s me.

Don’t let this picture, or any picture I post on the internet fool you. I do not look like this in person. Or in a lot of my unposted pictures, actually. This is the result of lots and lots of selfie practice. I’ve learned how to utilize lighting and angles to make the most of my corporeal form.

Take this picture as an example. I was feeling very ’80s that day and decided to capture it.

I rarely use filters. Instead I prefer natural lighting. Sunlight at the right angle is so kind to me. It gives my ghastly paleness a glow that’s almost healthy. This is why most of the selfies I post on Instagram are in that one spot. The lighting tends to be perfect there.

Notice the angle. That saying, “Get my best side,” has truth to it. My left side is my best side. My face isn’t nearly as symmetrical as society requires it to be. Mostly my nose is a little crooked and it veers towards the right side of my face, leaving the left side a little more open. Also, my cheekbones are pretty fab in general, but my left one is a little more pronounced. And that head tilt? Hides any sign of double chin I sometimes seem to have. Also, for whatever reason, my smirk is left-handed. And that is my go-to facial expression. So, that’s why a majority of my selfies are of my left side with a touch of smirk.

Also, notice the slight twist in my body. Gives the illusion that I’m a bit thinner than I really am. It hides my fat arms and smooths some visible rolls. I like this better than the ultra-above angles that a lot of people do in order to make themselves look thinner.

I don’t have a full-length mirror, so I rarely post full body pictures. Not because I’m ashamed, but because I simply don’t have the tools. When I do post those, they’re usually taken at work (where the lighting is soft and mostly kind), and I still do that twist to help make my fat look the best it can.

I made this picture my Facebook profile pic and got loads of lovely comments about how pretty I am. One even said “Beautiful inside and out”, which we all know is a damn lie. But it goes to show how deceptive the smoke and mirror tricks can be.

Get me out in the real world, when I’m moving around and existing and outside a perfectly captured moment. I am not so pretty. God, get me under the fluorescents. Talk about unkind lighting. After sitting in front of the mirror for an hour while my stylist does my hair I wonder how I’m not chased by the villagers with torches and pitchforks. Laziness on their parts, I suppose.

But see, that goes to show that sometimes even I buy into my own illusion.

I’m actually pretty confident in my appearance for the most part. Most of the time I like what I see when I look in the mirror. Of course, I also know what I see in the mirror isn’t what most people see. I am rather enamored with myself.

Even when I’m not pretty like my picture.

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