Why Designer, Roland Mouret, Thinks Women Should Stop Obsessing About Their Bodies.
“Women would like to have a concave tummy. They don’t really like their upper arms, oh, and they don’t like their thighs. In fact, most women don’t like a lot about their bodies. We have such a problem with body dysmorphia in our society and women as young as 30 have the impression that they’ve started to lose it. I think it’s weird…They have to stop not liking themselves.” Roland Mouret, Fashion Designer.
As a photographer, I find that women regularly tell me what they hate about themselves and most remain convinced that they can never look good in a photograph; apart from the things that Roland Mouret mentions, I’ve spoken to tall women who tell me how much they hate their height, women in their 50’s who are convinced they’ve lost their looks, women who don’t like their smiles, their noses, their curves, their hair, their hands etc. You name it, I’ve heard them all!
This is the main reason why I love to help them step confidently in front of the camera. Whilst men can be self-conscious too, when it comes to that almost visceral reaction to being photographed, it’s invariably the women I encounter who embody this – I honestly believe that I am capable of emptying a roomful of women simply by entering it with a camera around my neck!
And yet I know that the main reason why they hate the way they look in photos is just down to how they’ve been photographed before (you’ve only to think of the dreaded passport photo!) We’ve all been snapped unawares or from an unflattering angle, when we weren’t prepared; but this doesn’t mean that we look awful – it just means that for whatever reason (lighting, posing etc), the photo might not have been a particularly good one – because let’s face it, the purpose of a quick snap is to record a moment, not to create a work of art.
The Secret to Looking Great in Photos
It all comes down to a mixture of psychology and artistry. I work with professional hair and makeup artists who know how to enhance a woman’s best features without going overboard; digital cameras have a way of washing out colour, and so makeup really helps to emphasise and define eyes, hair, lip colour and bone structure. I also have access to two amazing stylists who are experts at choosing the perfect outfits for women of all ages, shapes and sizes. Knowing that they look great means that my clients immediately start to feel more confident, and this shows in the photos. My aim is not to alter or airbrush them to within an inch of their lives; it’s to show them the best version of themselves possible and to get them to accept that they are perfect just the way they are right now.
So if you’re convinced that you don’t look good in photos or you’re constantly worrying over what you think of as your “imperfections”, remember that you are your own worst critic, and that sometimes it takes another person to show you how beautiful you really are. And take heart from a man who’s an expert when it comes to women’s bodies!