Yesterday I watched a video of an event I went to with some friends. I was shocked to watch the video because I looked a lot bigger than I think I am. When I saw myself on the video I had a complete WOAH moment. I looked and sounded different from what I think I look and sound like.
After the initial shock subsided I started thinking about why this happened. Video doesn’t lie about how you look, but apparently I lie to myself. I know I have pretty healthy self-esteem, which is why I think I look good every day. But in this video was clear proof that I don’t always. I didn’t necessarily look bad, but I didn’t look as good as I thought. I think it was because my super duper self-esteem has taught me selective self-observation.
Selective self-observation means I only observe and analyze the good parts. In photos I take and videos I have made I always look cute (or at least not obese and sloppy). I have the control over these things so I delete all bad pictures and video immediately. Then I forget it existed. Honestly I do. I forget that in a frame or two I looked bad because it no longer exists. When I look in the mirror I see a girl much prettier and thinner than I am. I have learned what angles make me look best and I only look at myself in the mirror that way. (Honestly I do. I just realized this.) I am constantly tricking myself into seeing only the good things. I must have started doing this years ago to help failing self-esteem. It did the job and worked wonders on how I feel and think about myself, but it definitely didn’t do anything for my sense of reality.
Unfortunately other people don’t have the same selective observation and editing when it comes to me. My friends editing video of me don’t cut out the bad parts. They don’t throw away pictures where I think I look less than perfect. Those are sides of me they see every day no matter how much I pretend they don’t exist. But that is why I love my friends. They see what I would call imperfections and like me anyway.
(But for the record, I totally think I should get final say on all videos/photos of myself. My selective self-observation and editing is excellent.)