Do you generally like or hate when people take photos of you? Do you feel anxious when friends post pictures of you online? Is your first inclination to link to them or hide them?
Most people who know me fairly well know about my aversion to having my picture taken. Here's why:
- I hate being pressured to "smile." I can't do it command like other people. When I try, I just look deranged. And even when I make an effort to wear a "neutral" expression, I still look disgruntled. So the only pictures where I'm smiling are candid ones. Some people will even get really angry with me because I can't smile the way they want me to, and they act like I'm ruining their pictures. Look, if you want a nice picture of people smiling happily, leave me out of it. Plus, I think it's silly to smile when it's not a genuine feeling.
- I'm very unphotogenic. I'll look in the mirror and think, "Well, you look almost ok, even though you're fat and have weird patches of spiky hair regrowth." Then I'll look at a picture of me and think, "Good God, you look like Jabba the Hut!"
- I hate group photos, because people want you to smoosh in together and try to look like you're happy being stuck with a bunch of people you may or may not like. They always put me in front, because I'm short, and they'll yell at me if I try to hide in back or avoid being in the picture altogether. Plus, in group shots, people try to touch you, to guide you where you're supposed to stand, or put on a hand on your shoulder or something, and it makes me terribly uncomfortable.
However, I'll allow you to take my picture if I can ham it up. I like making goofy faces at the camera. So if you want silly pictures of me, snap away.
As for people sharing pictures of me, it depends on the picture. Usually I don't mind the candids, even if I look like Jabba the Hut. Most people aren't photogenic anyway. Some pictures are even pretty funny, and there will occasionally be a candid or a goofy picture I really like.
But what really irritates me is when someone takes a candid where I'm actually smiling, and then they feel the need to rub it in my face. It's not that I have an aversion to smiling, I just have an aversion to being told to smile when I can't do it on command. Plus, half the time when I'm actually smiling, I still look goofy. So if you get a picture of me actually smiling, do me a favor and don't bring it up.