Does the culture and society we live in affect our attitude towards being photographed?

Does the culture and society we live in affect our attitude towards being photographed? Here in the UK, we live in what is considered a modern civilised society. We are a developed country, as like Europe, Canada, North America, Australia, New Zealand. But the world is ever more multicultural, and effects of our society filter through to other countries and cultures. Made ever easier with the growth of the internet, mobile phones and social media connectivity. 

One thing that is certain, culture, fashion, image, beauty, styles, all evolve and change over the centuries. In my opinion one of the things that can drive change and evolution in a culture is money. Whether it’s a lack of it, or lots of it. Innovation is and can be great for the world population. Although as mankind has discovered that can come at a cost when misused. 

But what’s all this got to do with getting in front of a camera?

Well the culture we are born into and grow up in is going to have a profound effect on our learning and development. Yes it’s also got a lot to do with those closest to us. If they’ve grown up in the same environment, a lot of expectations and beliefs can be very similar.

Now we are getting closer to the point…

Part of our belief system that we learn and develop from when we are children, comes from the society we are born into. Our youngsters haven’t experienced a world where the internet and computers, including mobile devices didn’t exist.  

Each generation can be heard to say “when I was young, we didn’t have (this that or the other) … “. You’ve only got to search YouTube for Monty Python’s Yorkshireman sketch if you fancy a real giggle on this.

But somewhere in the world there are children who live without access to clean water. Have nothing more than the clothes they stand in, let alone a TV or a mobile phone.

This blog is not about the right and wrong of these things. It’s to highlight the beliefs we form, including that of ourselves, according to the world we are raised in.

Somewhere in the world all these things have been and are considered beautiful and attractive:

  • Large in size
  • Tooth sharpening
  • Lip and neck stretching
  • Flawless skin
  • Small feet
  • Pale skin
  • Dark skin

In our world, we can easily see ourselves. We have mirrors. We have phones and cameras with which we can capture pictures. As a two year old, you may have discovered yourself in a mirror, and kissed your reflection. When was the last time you were able to look in a mirror, and genuinely love what you see?

Nowadays, we have ‘trendsetters’ and ‘influencers’ on platforms like Instagram and TikTok.

Copying a style has become normal. The pressure to confirm and be like others in our peer groups is HUGE. Reality TV produce series in the name of ‘entertainment’ that further highlight current ‘trends’. It’s invisible in its normality as an accepted part of our daily life… until it causes us problems. The term ‘reality TV’ itself I find questionable. Does it really reflect real life and real people? Trendsetters and influencers can be an inspiration to many and be a positive thing in lots of ways. However, it’s the expectations we put on ourselves, to be like this that or the other that I find unsettling.

Some people lives their lives by others benchmarks.

I’ve always wanted to encourage people to be their own person and to learn to love who they are. 

For those who don’t like being photographed or seeing the results, it can have evolved from the belief system they developed in the society they grew up in. This would include how they see themselves – not something you would necessarily be aware of. There is another given in life. WE are responsible for ourselves and the person we become. This is made up of the choices we make and how we get there. Yes life has a habit of throwing us good things and big ‘ol curve balls. We can’t necessarily change what has happened, but we can change and be in control of how we react.

The pandemic has highlighted our need to take care of our mental health…

Perhaps there are some positive things to come out of the challenge of the past 3 years. If it causes us to be more aware of ourselves and what affects us, it’s never too late to make changes to feel happier and healthier… and love who we are and what we see.


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For those who find getting in front of the camera for Video, there will soon be a series of Video shorts on the Love Your Image You Tube channel – using a personal project for illustration, these will be video clips on creating videos 😎