Call me lame, but I love this photo. I think what I love about it is how surprisingly normal my thighs look. This was taken by Mr. W last Sunday. My jujitsu class all met up at Huntington Beach to take group dojo photos. We hung out and ate some food in street/beach clothes, and then changed to our gis for the photo shoot. I changed behind the open car door to shield me from the class, but apparently Mr. W had made his way to the other side of the parking lot for an unobstructed view. (And that’s a swimsuit, you pervies.)

I think a lot of us (mostly us women folk) have specific things we look for in a photo of ourselves, and we judge whether the photo is “good” based on these predefined points. Someone self-conscious about crooked teeth, for example, may examine a photo nervously to make sure no teeth show through the smile. For me on body shots, I dread the lower abdominal pooch, fat rolls, thick upper thighs, fat upper arms (that part behind your arm that flaps when you wave too rapidly, or looks extra big when you’re at a diagonal angle with your arm too close against your body). There are many specific things I look for on facial shots, too, which I won’t disclose because listing those flaws is just too embarrassing. Men, however, roll their eyes at these things. “What do you mean it’s a bad picture?! You look fine! It looks how you normally look!” And then I think, “I normally look like I have no jaw definition due to a double chin?!”

We see a photo of ourselves. We silently run through our personal checklist of flaws. We evaluate said photo against the list. A “good” photo is one in which the image is better than how we see ourselves in our heads. I think it’s a girl thing.