Studies Reveal Why We Don't Enjoy Photos of Ourselves

Alissa Lyons

Have you ever looked at a picture of yourself and thought, "That doesn't look like me at all," despite the fact that your friends and family loved the picture and thought it was a terrific reflection of you, even though the picture was taken of you?

Why does anything like this keep occurring? The answer: Mirrors.

What do the scientists say?

There are differences between looking at yourself in the mirror and looking at yourself in pictures. When someone talks to you face-to-face, they see something very different than what you see when you look in the mirror.

When you look at yourself, you see the opposite of what other people see. But when you look in a regular mirror, you are the only one who knows how you look. Your friends know how you look when you're not in front of a mirror.

So, one reason we don't like looking at pictures of ourselves is that they show our features in a way we're not used to. Researchers have found that some people like to look at themselves in the mirror, while others prefer to look at pictures of themselves in their "real" forms (Mita et al., 1977). This is probably because of the "mere exposure effect," which says that things we see more often make us feel more comfortable and make us more likely to like them (Zajonc, 1968).

If looking at photos of yourself makes you feel weird, getting to know how you look without the mirror can help.

Do you like how you look in photos?

Comments / 0

Published by

Brit who spends 60% of her time in New York City for work. Food, Shopping, and Events Guides + Occasional Opinion Piece.


More from Alissa Lyons

Comments / 0