I take photos of myself for a living.

As the Contributing Beauty Editor of xoVain, I take photos of myself, or get my photos taken at least once a week. And by once, I mean one session, which could easily mean I’d have to look through 400 photos of myself taken every single week.

Here’s a confession - I wasn’t always confident in front of the camera. I was teased about the colour of skin, my height, my weight and various other things when I was growing up, and the product of the constant name-calling was a self-esteem so low that I cannot find photos of myself I’ve willingly taken between the ages 11 to possibly, about 20. 


A rare photo of me at 19.

A rare photo of me at 19.

If you go through photo albums in my parents’ home, it’s as though many years of my life have been erased entirely from existence. There are a few images of myself floating around of course, from school yearbooks, and other photos I’ve somehow stored in my Flickr account, but they weren’t aplenty. Which is surprising because my father first bought me my own automatic film camera at 9, and then I saved enough of my own money to get a digital camera at 16. 

It’s not like I would happily be photographed when I was 20 either. Because of my job, I was often at events with beautiful, lithe models and that doesn’t help a girl’s confidence either. I mean, if I were in the unfortunate circumstance of being stuck in between models in a candid shot, I can be 100 percent certain that both of them would look flawless, while I look like I’ve managed to dislodge my jaw from my face, on top of looking like I’ve been stung by a swarm of bees. 

Not pretty.

Like me, Dove has found that women are their own worst critic, and through a global research in 2010, only four percent of women would describe themselves as beautiful. In addition to that, a global research done this year by Dove reported that:

* 77 percent of women are “camera shy”

* 65 percent of women say having their photo taken/uploaded makes them more anxious about their looks 

Dove is committed to creating a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety. They’ve reached out to me to fill you in on their Dove Camera Confidence campaign, which sets out to inspire all women to encourage all women to celebrate their beauty, and in so doing overcome this camera shyness.


Part of this campaign was a Dove Camera Confidence Workshop that was organised in November this year. It was aimed at empowering women to look and feel more confident in front of the camera, because Dove, and myself believe that every woman is beautiful in her own unique way. 10 women were invited to be a part of this campaign and you can get to know them, find out their stories and perhaps, even relate to their camera-shyness and learn how they have overcome these problems.

On top of that, you can send Dove a private message at if you’d like to get pointers, or get in touch with the experts Dove has engaged to help the women in the Camera Confidence Workshop tackle their insecurities.

Camera confidence is not something that will happen overnight, but acknowledging how beautiful you truly are, instead of putting yourself down all the time is a good first step. Try it!

This post is sponsored by Dove.