Inside Out Blog

Body Shopping & Our Own Image

Body Shopping & Our Own Image

RTE have started a new TV series fronted by Dr. Ciara Kelly called Body Shopping. The show follows men and women before, during and after cosmetic surgery procedures. The aim to explore the reasons why, and to find out if it truly makes them happier. 

The show begins with a Orla from Edenderry Co. Offaly who wants to travel to Lithuania for rhinoplasty (Nose Job). Orla became self conscious seeing her nose in photographs when she was socialising with friends. So much so, she covers her nose in photographs with her hands or drinks. She isn't alone. Her mother and sister both state they hate their noses too. 

In the same way children adopt phobias of spiders etc. from parents. It is easy to see from their mothers experience of bullying, where they have fostered this awareness of their own nose shapes.

We as humans have unique, individual relationships with our own appearance. How we feel about our image is something only we can decide. 
In the same way we respond to fear from dangerous situations. Our minds respond to uncomfortable situations in the same way. Case in point, having a photograph taken. 

See my post on why being photographed makes us feel so uncomfortable here.

Essentially when Orla sees herself in photographs, it doesn't look like the Orla she sees in the mirror. Her brain wants to know why and scans her face in the image. In every photograph we all go to one thing that explains it. The one thing we hate about ourselves in photos and makes us uncomfortable. The more we see it, the more it cements in our minds. 

During the show, we hear people a number of times telling Orla they don't see the problem. That she is perfect as she is. 

At the end of the show, Dr. Kelly recaps and says despite being initially happy with the nose job now isn't happy at all with it. What does that show. The issue isn't the nose. It is her own sense of self. The is caught in the gap between how she thinks she looks, and how she thinks the rest of the world sees her.

This basic fact is the same for everyone on the show. How they see themselves is tainted by how they believe the rest of the world sees them. 

You don't need to change your face or your physical appearance, you need to change your mind. My post on getting out of your own funk is here. 
Okay, so my face, my headshot. 

Image by Peter Hurley

Image by Peter Hurley

My headshot above, straight from the camera. So what do you see. Truth is you saw a face. Two eye a nose and a mouth. Looking fairy happy with myself being photographed by the worlds top headshot photographer. 
Now look again. Did you see my left eyelid is heavier than the right? How about the hair follicle causing a bump between my eyebrows? Ears are big enough you had to have noticed them? How about the missing chunk from my right ear? My nose is bent and has a bump on the side you saw that?
Truth be told, the only thing I see in photographs is that the left side of my mouth, is slightly lower than the right. You didn't see that either. 

How you walk in the skin you wear is your decision. Why not embrace it? What other choice do you have?