JERRY: Elaine, what percentage of people would you say are good-looking?
ELAINE: Twenty-five percent.
JERRY: Twenty-five percent, you say? No way! It’s like 4 to 6 percent. It’s a twenty to one shot.
ELAINE: You’re way off.
JERRY: Way off? Have you been to the motor vehicle bureau? It’s like a leper colony down there.
ELAINE: So what you are saying is that 90 to 95 percent of the population is undateable?
ELAINE: Then how are all these people getting together?
I hate having my picture taken. I never look good in them. (Not that I look all that great in real life either.) But even more than that, I hate posting pictures of myself online. Yes, I have a profile photo that I use for social media, but that’s it. The one photo to rule them all.
A week or so ago, I was playing around with the Retrica camera app at work and took some “selfie” pics. I stiched a few together (two of which are above) and posted them on Instragram. I deleted them about 20 minutes later. I couldn’t stand having them up there. Not that I looked bad in the pictures necessarily but because I secretly felt everyone in the world judging me. Either judging me for how I look or for being vain. (I later posted them on Google+ but deleted them shortly thereafter for the same reason.)
I know, I know. I’m pretty screwed up in the head.
I’ve always been overly self-conscious about how I look in photos, and of course growing up overweight doesn’t help. Needless to say, I got picked on a lot for my weight (among other things), but I don’t think that had anything to do with my fear of cameras. I think I’ve just always had a very low self-esteem. And when you look even fatter on film than you do in real life, you quickly decide to avoid being on the wrong side of the viewfinder. That’s why I have hundreds of photos of other things and other people on my hard drive but only a handful that include me.
I know I’m not the only one who feels that way. Everybody hates something about how the way they look. But this irrational fear and paranoia is especially difficult when social media selfies are so common they even made a sitcom about them. (And yes, even typing the word “selfie” makes my skin crawl. Can we please find a different term for this?)
So why, then, would I not only post these pictures online but write a blog post about them? I’m not entirely sure. To be honest, I started out on a completely different topic but with the same image, and in the process I realized just how terrified I was to post it. So maybe this me facing that fear. Sorta like going to the top of the Empire State Building to face your fear of heights or swalling swords to face your fear of… swallowing swords, or something (I don’t know if that’s a real phobia, but you get the idea).
This is me being “exposed” to the world, vulnerable, in all my grainy, fat-faced glory.
Maybe Jerry Seinfeld is right, though. How many people are truly good-looking? Not that many. But then again, maybe we’re all being way too hard on ourselves. Maybe we’ve set our standards too high.
Or maybe we just haven’t had enough alcohol.