When was the last time you deleted or untagged a photo you didn't like? Or turned away from the camera, because you were afraid of how the photo was going to turn out? You’re not alone.
A recent global study by Dove suggests that up to 77 percent of women are camera shy, and that this number is on the rise. As it turns out, Dove’s investigations found that just 12 percent of women are happy with the first photo taken of them. But what is it that makes women camera shy?
Camera shyness, for starters, refers to the fear or anxiety we experience when faced with a camera. It could stem from a lack of confidence, shyness or worry of being judged by others.
"Most women cite issues that boil down to beauty anxieties," says Life Coach and Personal Development blogger Celestine Chua, who conducted the Dove workshop in November. "They're worried about what people will think, and they're comparing themselves to an ideal that the media portrays. In fact, only 2 percent of women in Singapore would use the word 'beautiful' to describe themselves."
This staggeringly low number galvanised Dove to go on a mission to inspire women in Singapore to love themselves, nurture their self-confidence and celebrate their beauty and full potential in front of the camera.
Together with a team of experts in personal development, Dove organised a one-day workshop where ten camera shy women were invited. The ten women came from various walks and stages of life, from a 32-year-old account executive to a grandmother in her
Led by Life Coach and Personal Development blogger Celestine Chua and professional lifestyle and portrait photographer Suasti Lye, the ten women spent hours sharing and identifying the reasons behind their camera shyness, as well as the personal journeys and encounters that brought them to the workshop. The workshop was followed by a photography session, where Suasti shared tips on putting their best face forward in front of the camera.
The women confided in each other about some of their biggest fears. Among some of the confessions included one from Connie Chan, who is 52 this year and a grandmother of two. Connie said her self-consciousness over her freckles and pigmentation caused her to avoid taking any photos at her daughter’s wedding, a decision that she now regrets.
Unfortunately, Connie's experience isn't a one-off occurrence. According to Dove, up to 14 percent of women do not have a wedding photo of themselves.
As each woman came face to face with their fears and overcame them, there was jubilation, excitement and tears of joy.
Find out more about Dove's Camera Confidence campaign on Facebook, and discover beautiful, transformational stories from women just like you and me. If you're inspired, we'll also like you to share your own stories on camera shyness, and boost your camera confidence with tips from the Dove experts.
Pictures, after all, are priceless mementos of yourself at a particular period of time. This festive season, smile and say "cheese" when your loved ones ask you for a photo!