Camera | Teen Ink


April 28, 2022
By cnie_2005 SILVER, Shanghai, Other
cnie_2005 SILVER, Shanghai, Other
6 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
Alis Volat Propriis
(She flies With Her Own Wings)

As a young girl, I was never camera shy. In fact, I loved the sound of the “click” when the camera flashed. Whenever my mom pulled out a camera, I would rush in front of the lens and strike a pose. As a first child, my parents had pictures of me pinned to the walls, placed over countertops, and even made into little key chains. My mom, a lover of arts and crafts, also organized my pictures inside these thick photo albums. I was a chubby child. I had plump cheeks and when I wore T-shirts my stomach slightly stuck out, but none of that mattered to me. I didn’t care what I looked like; I just knew I liked being in the spotlight. However, those photo albums grew thinner as I progressed through middle school, and now, in high school, my mom has completely abandoned that "hobby."

Every time she pulls out the camera, it’s the start of an argument. It went something like this, "MOM I am telling you now for the 100th time, please do not take my picture without my permission." After making my statement, she started "lecturing" me about the importance of capturing memories and always ended her argument with, "You will regret this." I nodded, but what I murmured under my breath was, "Why can't you respect my personal opinion?" However, it was more than just a matter of “personal opinion.” I knew I did not like the attention of the spotlight because I was not confident in my appearance. Every time I look at a picture of myself, all I see are flaws, but at the same time, I can not put my finger on what exactly those "flaws" are. All I know is that I am not tall and slim, or have desirable curves. I do not have ahead of glossy hair or a chiseled face with high cheekbones. Most importantly, I do not fit into the societal standards of “beauty.” Because I did not fit into these societal molds, I felt unworthy and insecure.

It was not until my mom asked me one day how I would define the beauty that I was at a loss for words. I did not have an answer because I had never asked myself that question; it did not occur to me that my opinion mattered, too. We rarely think of beauty as something we define for ourselves; instead, it is always about how "others" see me and how "society" deems me. From a young age, I was never one to let others dictate how I feel, but why did I let myself fall into such a trap when it came to my appearance? It is my body and my face, but I let other voices shame me and tell me I am not good enough. My appearance was like an outer shell that hid me from the spotlight and crumbled at someone else’s touch. I look at pictures of my younger self and see the smile and confidence that I lost. I realized my mom’s words that I tried desperately to the battle were true. I lost moments in my life because I chose to hide behind the camera. I want to reclaim the power over my appearance. I may not fit into the societal standard of beauty, but I appreciate my body and all it's done for me. I do not need perfection because I am enough for me

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This article has 1 comment.

Afra DIAMOND said...
on Jun. 10 at 12:35 pm
Afra DIAMOND, Kandy, Other
81 articles 7 photos 1702 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You can’t ask other people to believe you and vote for you if you don’t back yourself."
-Jacinda Ardern-

"If I can make someone's day brighter, happier, better, that makes me happier."
-Ava Max-

"A writer must never be short of ideas."
-Gabriel Agreste- (Fictional character- Miraculous)

"A Bridge Has Two Sides."
-Elsa- (Fictional character- Frozen)

“I knew who I was as a girl but I had to find who I was as a woman.”
-Delta Goodrem-

The last line was just what I needed...🧡🧡🧡