Gotta stop self-bullying!

Side note: the following is my own experience and opinion. You are NOT obliged to embrace it!

Thankfully, I am very comfortable with the way my natural face looks like. I don’t feel ashamed when I go out bare face, or when I take pictures of myself. It hasn’t been this way though!

When I was first introduced to SnapChat filters, especially the one you see in the photo above, that one “correcting” the face; it unites the color of the face. It thins the nose making it longer. It enlarges the eyes and rids you off panda eyes. It sharpens the jaws, and it gives the eyes some glare. It also whitens the teeth when smiling. Yes it does all those fixes, slightly!

If you choose to apply it, you’d notice a change but you wouldn’t notice it that much either at the same time! I don’t know how to explain it! I loved taking selfies. I loved my face without makeup. My mirror became SnapChat’s camera. I didn’t realize for too long that I became resentful of my reflection in the mirror!

I was puzzled of why I like my photos but not my face in the mirror. It was always the opposite! I even began to believe that I was ugly in the mirror! I bullied my own self! I was terrorized of my own thoughts. I became so depressed, and always asked David – my husband – “how can you love someone looking like this” and pointed to my face! The whole hating my face phase puzzled him as well.

It took me too long until one day, I realized the reason why I hate my face is THAT SnapChat filter in particular. I was lying in bed next to David in a hotel room taking selfies. He photo bombed my selfie. And after, I looked at it and saw the changes in his face. The filter made him look too skinny with a longer nose and eyes wide open that didn’t match his face. It was an epiphany; the change the filter does to the face is so subtle yet so very powerful! It deceived me into thinking that was my actual face.

So I promised myself I will no longer use that filter, or any other face “enhancing” filter. I will no longer get sucked into standardized beauty concepts. It took courage to discard the selfie after taking it, just because I applied the filter. It finally felt that I am lying to myself. I relearned to love my face and other people’s faces. Gradually, I built up my confidence. I started talking about this experience to my SnapChat followers. I even started to hashtag my photos #TeamNoFilter.

Until this day, I keep reminding myself that beauty is everywhere, and comes in so many shapes, and it is not standard. People with discoloration are beautiful. Narrow eyes are beautiful. Big noses, double chins, etc are all beautiful. I will not allow anyone to set a category for me so high I can’t reach, then tell me to either be or not! I will fit into my own category and BE!

P.S. I don’t blame snapchat for my lack of confidence. I realize that it’s multiple factors coming together.

Linah Sofi

🇺🇸 i teach | i paint | i blog - أُعَلِّم | أَرسم | أُدَوُّن 🇸🇦

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