"You weren't expected to look like an airbrushed supermodel."

Health.com
January 16, 2018

We've all experienced that cringe-worthy moment: You log on to Facebook and come upon a post that features a not-so-flattering photo someone took of you. If your immediate reaction is to untag yourself so no one will see you looking so god-awful, you're not alone.

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But body-positive blogger Megan Jayne Crabbe is making the case that we should all get out of this untagging habit. On Monday, Crabbe posted a before-and-after shot of herself. The first image was a selfie with good lighting shot at a flattering angle, the kind of attractive photo Crabbe would post on her own social pages. The second image, also of Crabbe, was taken from an unflattering angle; it was an example of the type of snap she might find herself tagged in on Facebook.

Let's talk tagged photos. How many times has seeing a picture of yourself that someone else took thrown you down the body hate rabbit hole? I remember a time when seeing 'your friend has tagged you in a new photo' would make my stomach hit the floor. I would drop everything and rush to untag it. The only version of myself I wanted people to see was the carefully selected, highly edited, what I believed to be the most 'flattering' (read: thin) version. I was so convinced THAT was the only version of my reflection worth seeing, and what other people thought of it, was everything. These pictures are both me. On the same day. In the same clothes. Neither one represents me more or less than the other. Neither one is better or worse. But I know that's hard to believe about yourself. I know that when you see a photo of yourself the first thing you do is zoom in on all the parts you believe aren't good enough. That's why we struggle with pictures taken of us while we're just living - we weren't able to minimize those parts in advance. But the next time, before you zoom in, I want you to try something. Zoom out. To the whole picture. I want you to remember what that photo was for. It wasn't for the cover of a magazine. You weren't expected to look like an airbrushed supermodel. It was taken to capture a moment. That's it. How your hair looked or the size of your body doesn't matter. Remember how you felt. Remember that sight, that smell, that feeling, that joy. Remember the living. Zoom out (swipe...) and you'll see that the whole picture tells a much more important story than how you looked. And that every version of you is worthy of being seen. 💜💙💚🌈🌞

A post shared by Megan Jayne Crabbe 🐼 (@bodyposipanda) on

"I remember a time when seeing 'your friend has tagged you in a new photo' would make my stomach hit the floor," Crabbe wrote in her post. "I would drop everything and rush to untag it. The only version of myself I wanted people to see was the carefully selected, highly edited, what I believed to be the most 'flattering' (read: thin) version."

Crabbe now realizes that both images are perfectly fine representations of who she is, and that it's more important to value what the picture was supposed to capture, like a celebration with loved ones or a fun vacation.

"I want you to remember what that photo was for," Crabbe wrote. "It wasn't for the cover of a magazine. You weren't expected to look like an airbrushed supermodel. It was taken to capture a moment."

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So next time you see yourself in a post and reflexively go to untag yourself because you're not happy with how you look, keep Crabbe's message in mind. Not only do those photos represent great memories, they demonstrate to others that social media isn't real life—and no one is expected to look picture perfect.

Plus, how many times have you gone back to look at a photo you used to hate and realized you were being too hard on yourself, and that you actually look not half-bad, or even pretty good? Thought so. Make that another reason to resist untagging.