Cameras hate fat

I understand why models have to be so skinny. It’s because of cameras. Cameras hate fat. They hate anything that stands out in any way, actually. But especially fat. I look in the mirror and observe that my arms are really not that incredibly gigantic. They don’t even look disproportionate, really. When I’m being absolutely honest with myself. But in photos, they appear to each weigh about seventy pounds. Maybe sixty-five, if one is being kind about the situation.

(I bet even this little guy could do some serious damage. Source)

Looking at photos of me that include my arms (which is most photos of me, since I have both of them and haven’t found a way to hide the fact) makes me want to stop eating pasta for the rest of my life. And then it makes me think about my arms when I’m eating pasta (which I usually am, within an hour or so of deciding never to eat it again). Every bite is like a generous donation to the arm fat fund.

And what about people who are heavy for real? Not in the obnoxious, “my arms look super fat!” way that I am. How do they look in photos? Heavier, I’m sure. And until we get around to figuring out that f-a-t doesn’t spell “ugly,” that means that just about everyone who isn’t composed of a bunch of perfectly flat planes is going to feel a lot worse every time they see a picture of themselves.

So we can do one of two things.

We can throw all of the cameras in the world into a giant bonfire and dance around it, liberated and slightly drunk.

Or we can remind ourselves that we are actually, factually, literally better looking than that image can ever represent. Because we actually, factually, literally are.

*  *  *  *  *

Un-roast: Today I love the way my hair curls even more when I’m cooking. I like that warm, flushed, sweaty, curly, cooking feeling.

P.S. Angela, please forgive me for this title (Angela is a plus size model who has been told to gain weight for her modeling career).

P.P.S. Dana from Body and Brood sent me this link to an awesome video of a slam poet spittin’ some sweet lines about the word “pretty.” Check it out. Seriously. Thanks, Dana!

P.P.P.S. A moment of pure, unadulterated bragging: So my little brother is a freshman in college now, and he called me the other day (hooray! I’m so popular and cool!) to tell me that his TA approached him to ask if he was related to the Kate who wrote a blog about eating some damn cake. How cool is that? Totally made my day. Week. Possibly month. TA girl– if you’re reading this, thanks for making me feel famous. And thanks to the several high school teachers who recommended this blog to their students for various projects. This is especially great for me because I didn’t go to high school myself. I’ll try to say some smart things soon. I promise.


Kate on October 27th 2010 in beauty, body, food, weight

22 Responses to “Cameras hate fat”

  1. Lucy responded on 27 Oct 2010 at 9:02 pm #

    Lovely post, Kate – there are many, many days when I am tempted to hold a camera burning bonfire, but it’s nice to have a reminder that we often look much more gorgeous in real life than in freeze frame. And pasta? Wouldn’t be without it!

  2. San D responded on 27 Oct 2010 at 9:13 pm #

    I have taken to taking self portraits with my point and shoot camera. Yeah, I’m round, but yeah, I can create my portrait in a way that roundness isn’t all that I am. If I am caught off guard and someone takes my picture, and then I look at it, well, then, I AM round and short, and look at the image wondering who the heck that woman is. Human perception is a big part of how we process what we see. The camera doesn’t have that ability to process through emotions, but just to show images as they appear to be, straight up.

  3. Wei-Wei responded on 27 Oct 2010 at 9:36 pm #

    I love cameras! But I don’t like the way they make me look, yes. I am NOT photogenic at all – seriously, I look nothing but awkward. A lot of my peers love having their picture taken because they know how to pose and look good in pictures. I don’t. I have yet to find a good picture of me… and I don’t, usually, because I’m always behind the camera!

  4. Anna responded on 27 Oct 2010 at 9:40 pm #

    I’m allowing myself to take partial credit for your moment of fame because I’m the one who turned said TA girl onto your blog! She’s my BFF. Spreading the cake love, I am.

  5. Crystal responded on 27 Oct 2010 at 11:35 pm #

    hahaha, I love your honesty, so true about cameras, I think I’m going great, then I see a pic someone posted on facebook of me and yikes I am onto the carrot stick diet again!! (My resolve doesn’t last long either, soon I am back onto the pasta and french fries and candy!)

  6. Kate responded on 27 Oct 2010 at 11:50 pm #

    Nice!!! Thanks!

  7. Erin responded on 28 Oct 2010 at 12:07 am #


    I’m the TA girl in question. I’m happy to hear I made you feel famous, and now I feel famous for having been mentioned here. Anna sent me a link to your blog a few months ago, and it’s now comfortably lodged in my repertoire of online procrastination. Congratulations on getting married!

    - Erin

  8. Kate responded on 28 Oct 2010 at 12:43 am #

    Hey! This is amazing. Now you can spy on my brother for me. Little did he know he’d bring so many people together :)

    I’m going to send you a private email now so I can creepily find out what exactly you teach. Thanks for reading!

  9. JStolk responded on 28 Oct 2010 at 1:48 am #

    I love cameras but hate what they do to me. Last year I went to a rehersal bonfire for my cousin’s wedding, I wore something beach appropriate, but cute as hell… or so I thought. Weeks later I looked at pictures taken of the night and even though I felt thin (fat girl thin, like a size 14 thin as opposed to a size 18) and hot but in the pictures I was round and frumpy. I put the outfit back on and replicated the poses infront of my mirror and damn it (!) I looked thin and hot. Me + cameras = love/hate.

  10. poet responded on 28 Oct 2010 at 2:14 am #

    Yay, congratulations on being famous :)

    It’s probably true – cameras look through lenses, and that distorts reality, and that makes things look bulkier… still, can we keep them for taking pictures of beautiful landscapes, pleeeease?


  11. anna and the ring responded on 28 Oct 2010 at 4:56 am #

    If a picture of me tells a thousand words, 999 of those when related to me would be fat but now there is one that is better, fake! And that makes me feel good.

  12. Cindy responded on 28 Oct 2010 at 7:46 am #

    I really like your blog!

    Why do we have to hypothetically throw out all the cameras in the world because they ‘make us look fat’?
    How about just re defining the way we look at ourselves, and see that in fact, we don’t look fat, we look great, and maybe we should re evaluate what we consider ‘fat’

  13. Kerry responded on 28 Oct 2010 at 8:56 am #

    Hey, you forgot the obvious third option, in which we all cut off our arms. Or at least cut off the fat part and reattach the elbow to the shoulder.

    Yeah…the reminder option is probably still the best.

  14. Ellie Di responded on 28 Oct 2010 at 9:49 am #

    Even when just taking pictures of my face, I’m consistently surprised by how much the resulting image doesn’t look like me. I’m still stuck in that quandary between “I must look like that because cameras can’t lie” and “This camera is shitty”.

  15. Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday responded on 28 Oct 2010 at 9:54 am #

    My arms actually are quite big. I don’t mind it too much until I’m in a picture standing beside a girl (or guy!) who has smaller arms than me. I often try to contort my body in ways that would hide the ‘guns’

    The other day when I was at the gym and wearing a tanktop and some guy was literally staring at my arms as I was doing bicep curls.I really loved my arms in that moment. I’ll have to remind myself of that when I pose for pictures.

  16. Cindy responded on 28 Oct 2010 at 10:56 am #

    gosh it’s so true. and than again, when I see someone who LOOKS THIN on film or camera…I have started thinking..GOSH wonder how they must look in REAL life. TOO THIN???

    and we idolize them in movies??

    yay for being famous now! that is so stinking cool. and curly hair/flushed face from cooking????

    LOVE IT.

    ps…if there really is a lego camera, can I get one? that is so cute!


  17. adria responded on 28 Oct 2010 at 11:25 am #

    my arms are fat in real life and on film…and this is reason #1 why i fear getting married in a strapless dress next year. i seriously worry that every.single.picture will show my disgusting arms and i will hate them all.

    if i could get married in a sweater, i would.

  18. Kate responded on 28 Oct 2010 at 12:10 pm #

    You’re right. We should reserve them for landscapes. And tiny children, whose chubbiness we can all approve of. And flowers. And animals.

  19. Kate responded on 28 Oct 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    Believe me, I understand.

  20. Jillian responded on 28 Oct 2010 at 3:59 pm #

    @adria You CAN get married in a sweater, if you want to! I’m a photographer and just last weekend I shot a vintage styled autumn wedding that featured a bride wearing a light, open cardigan over her gorgeous dress. When she originally told me her idea, it left me scratching my head, I’ll admit– but it was so beautiful in person and the photos of her turned out divine. Don’t be afraid to break tradition to get what you want! (But also, don’t be afraid of baring your arms! They’re amazing devices that let you manipulate the world in front of you. Be proud of them. :)

  21. Noel responded on 28 Oct 2010 at 7:39 pm #

    This is eactly why I love Jezebel and all the photo-shopping exposes they do (Like this:

    Every time I see ANOTHER photo of myself with a double chin, I remember all the help celebrities get after their photos are taken from the photoshop fairies.

  22. maike responded on 29 Oct 2010 at 5:04 am #

    Well… now do we understand the pressure of models to beeing thin? it is just true, on a reflected image it looks more appealing, at least in this time frame and beauty parameter…