DUB Speak

Being Camera Shy in the Age of Instagram

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Do you feel the pressure of getting good pictures clicked for your social media accounts? Read on to find out how many of us do.

Cameras play an essential role in our lives. Students document beautiful moments of their day, share pictures with their friends, send them back home to their parents, and upload them on Instagram and make Vlogs. They also share the details of their bad days through pictures, videos, and stories.

However, many of us undergo a slight pressure to conform to the aforementioned millennial practice because a section of the student body is camera shy. A student from Jesus and Mary College said, “My friends get pictures clicked almost every day and it is always fun. But, I don’t get myself clicked because I feel this pressure to look pristine in pictures that are shared on social media.” She added that the compulsion to look great in pictures gives her unnecessary stress.

Being camera shy becomes a liability at times. One feels excluded from their friend’s shenanigans and feel insecure about their body image. It becomes an activity which they don’t want to be a part of. Another student commented, “There is envy attached to pictures. A feeling of the other person looking better and more put together than you do. Shying away from camera becomes second nature to avoid the scrutiny of looking too tall, too short, too fat, etc.”

On the other hand, many students embrace their camera shyness by clicking pictures of other things, people, and animals. Gaurvi Rustogi, a student of Shaheed Sukhdev College of Commerce shared that she clicks the pictures for her friends always, while another student added that he loves clicking pictures of the sky, dogs, squirrels, tall trees, and anything aesthetic that comes in his way randomly. According to them, “Memory documentation doesn’t always involve you clicking pictures with you in it. Clicking pictures of things around you will make you remember that day, and bring peace.”

Recently, filters on social media applications have become another new trend for the students. A teacher in class once condemned these filters and said that “They have ruined the sanctity of photography.” But the students call them light and easy fun. Applications like Huji Camera and filters on Snapchat have become very popular among the youth.

Another aspect added by the editing apps that they remove blemishes off your face or makes your skin tone lighter. This also helps to uphold the unrealistic and unhealthy beauty standards already prevalent in society. While, a few argue in their favour by saying that they make one ‘feel good about themselves’ the counter opinion supported by many, including me, is that no one should need to remove a pimple off their pictures to feel good about themselves.

Even a daily millennial practice like clicking pictures comes with its stereotypical politics. People think that the girls who post more selfies want to grab attention while those who don’t are boring, those who use make-up are faking their beauty and those who don’t are just too simple. These gimmicky stereotypical narratives also push students to get out of their comfort zone- to get dressed and pose for a photograph.

Camera shyness isn’t easy to handle. It comes with its own problems but that is just the way some of us are. And, the real victory over it is to accept it rather than making efforts to look better or pose better, and conform to millennial norms of the era we live in.

Feature Image Credits: Chahat Singh for DU Beat

Sakshi Arora

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