Why we hate photos of ourselves

I’m guilty of it. I bet you are, too. You look at a photo of yourself and think, “God I look awkward in that photo.”

But… when you step back an think about it, it’s usually hard to figure out exactly what it is you don’t like. I mean, sure, we all have features that we’d like to change, but we’re stuck with those and have to accept them. So if we get beyond the “I want a smaller nose, more hair, better complexion” issues, why don’t we like photos of ourselves?

I¬†look at a lot of photos of people. When I look at photos of myself, I frequently can’t figure out what I don’t like. The exposure can be right; the focus can be dead on; the moment can be perfect – mid laugh, lost in thought, determined face of concentration, or just smiling at the camera. There are very few photos of me that I like.

A few weeks ago, I came across this brief TED talk by Duncan Davidson that may provide some insight into why we feel this way.

His basic advice? When it comes to photos of yourself, trust your friends’ opinions.

What do you think? If you flip a photo of yourself, or just hold it up to a mirror, do you like it more?