Adonis Diaries

Archive for May 18th, 2014


4 BIG REASONS YOU LOOK FAT IN PHOTOGRAPHS.4 Big Reasons You look FAT in Photographs(selected as one of the top posts)

Alea posted:

Update: You know how you read buzz feed or something like that and there is this really shocking title, but when you go to read it its nothing about what you thought it was going to be? and it ticks you off?

Well this article is not like that, but the title is like that for a reason. It’s what brought you to read this today. I had some unsavory comments about people not liking that I used the word fat, or upset that I would use this word in a negative context.

Just to be honest – a man responded to this article saying “or start working out and don’t be fat ” Ouch. I don’t think anyone wants to be called that, and nor have I been ever called fat as a compliment ( maybe P-H-A-T 😉 )

This article is about looking your most “flattering” in photos. Since I’ve been a photographer for many years – My clients have used this word over and over to describe what they don’t want to look like. Semantics or not, fat or skinny, not one person is trying to looking heavier or more unflattering than they are.

I’m not using those words as synonyms either. Bad pictures are the top reason my clients and other people that I know find reasons not to like themselves. So yes, I used the word FAT to describe how unflattering photos come about – mostly because most people describe themselves that way and I knew it was the best way to relate to the topic.

I’m also a pretty sarcastic person so my joking is in no way belittling anyone when I make fun of myself. Hope you enjoy the read!


So to give you a little background, I have been a professional photographer for 8 years. I’m very familiar with the old adage ” The camera adds ten pounds.”  (And how many pounds does TV adds?)

Through I was fluent in cameras, I couldn’t figure out what is going on that makes it give perfectly nice people a reason to think they are fat. Was there a little leprechaun in my camera altering settings to make everyone fatter? Likely not.

So being that I was always behind the camera, it made me never want to be in front of one. I just couldn’t stand having to look at one more picture that gave me the reality that I was fatter than I thought I was. ” OMG – I look that THAT?!?! ” was a constant jaw dropping realization, making me feel like Shrek anytime a photo was involved.

As many of you know, if you have been following this blog,  that this is my own journey to loving myself and finding a way to encourage other women to love their bodies through fashion.

Weird how that works. How clothes/fashion can make us feel a certain way about ourselves. It’s constantly around us. When we see something we really like and think ” well I can’t wear that” because of the image we hold about ourselves.

Body image is simply the story we are telling ourselves. Not what other people see when they look at us. But pictures have a BIG part in what story we are telling ourselves. It is the only reflection that we perceive as reality about what we look like.

It’s the reason we hide in the back of group photos, or when someone points a camera at us we act like its a gun and hide for cover. It’s the reason almost ALL my brides say  “I’m not photogenic

4 Big Reasons You look FAT in Photographs

The funny part about that is, anyone can look photogenic or un-photogenic depending on who is taking the photo of them.

This experiment with the blog has been an exciting revelation as to why I believed I couldn’t take good pictures ( in front of the camera.)

#1- Camera Distortion. Often cameras add ten pounds because of the structure of the lens.

Each lens has at least a little bit of distortion within. The lens on any camera is usually what? ROUND. So an object you see with your own eyes, in a picture is normally Barrel distorted. Yes, in fact it makes your perfect beautiful body look more like a barrel . Here is the technical look at it.


The bottom one is often what we are dealing with. So even the best photographers deal with this issue. Check out this recent shoot of me. I normally never photoshop my body, but instead go into Adobe Lightroom an fix the lens distortion to be more accurate.


Now the difference is extremely slight but I will take looking a little less barrel like any day! We can make an informercial and call it the Lightroom diet?

4 Big Reasons You look FAT in Photographs4 Big Reasons You look FAT in Photographs

Now most of you likely aren’t having professional photographers taking photos of you all the time, it’s usually your husband or friend, a waiter, sister etc. Someone amateur at best snapping a quick shot without fully looking at what you look like in that photo.

And why should they care? They aren’t thinking about how your shirt is hugging one of your rolls or that the way you are holding your face is letting your double chin get all the attention. They also don’t look at photos all day long like a professional would. So don’t leave your appearance up to them.

#2 – Angles of camera.

If someone taking the photo is shorter than you RUN! No just kidding. But ask them to hold the camera a little higher. If they are your height or lower or standing downhill from you – have them take the photo from eye level or above.

Why do you think 99% of selfles are from above? It’s a very slimming angle for most people. Since most point and shoot cameras (or phones) have a screen you can view from the back just ask them to raise it slightly above eye level and that will help you defeat the 10 lb gain.

This photo my photographer who is shorter than me is under eye level for the first shot and the second shot is slightly above.

4 Big Reasons You look FAT in Photographs

Looks like I lost about 20 lbs in this one. It feels good not to look like Shrek.

Here is another example. Same set up.

4 Big Reasons You look FAT in Photographs

Another example – can you tell that this tip is really important?

Angles can be your best friend or worst enemy. Note that in this one below in the first photo you catch the chin at an upward angle which is unflattering on anyone as well as my legs that treetop which make thunder thighs an understatement.

The next one is from above where my chin looks svelte and legs much better.

4 Big Reasons You look FAT in Photographs

But it isn’t all about having a camera hang above your head. You need to know what angles your body and face look best at.

#3 – Your pose.

For instance I have a oval face but I have a very pointed chin, which when pointed up the angle gets lost, making my face look super round as you can see above. I have to place my head slightly to the side to catch my angles in the most complimentary way.

You have to look in a mirror or play the selfie game to find your best angle towards the camera. It’s about your pose. Everyone knows to put your hand on your hip to make those arms look toned and it helps the waist look a little smaller. To show you a real example check out the difference in the first picture where I wasn’t ready, and the posed one.

4 Big Reasons You look FAT in Photographs

See the difference? Also crossing your feet is a biggie. Just google celebrity red carpet. These ladies are coached on how to post of photos. They usually have their hands on their hips and their feet crossed – no matter how skinny they are. Crossing your feet allows for the hips to look curvier and legs slimmed down for a nice mermaid effect.

#4 – What you are wearing.

I wore a shirt that wasn’t the most flattering. For those of us with wide midsections and generous arms its not the best to wear light solid colors on top (they don’t call it an apple shape for no reason).

I didn’t find this out until I saw the photos and realized this was a no no, for me personally. So how did we fix it? In the pose.

This one is self explanatory. Crossing my arms over my uncomfortable region made it go away. Therefore making a picture I was much happier with. Also look at my chin in the second picture, it’s more extended to make my face look more angular. My photographer gave me an AWESOME tip for double chins – push your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Works like magic – no photoshop needed.

4 Big Reasons You look FAT in Photographs

Also if you have a purse use that to your advantage. In this shot I used it to break up the solid space in my outfit. No, I’m not saying hide behind your purse but if you find yourself self-conscious of a certain area and are about to avert taking the photo all together you can certainly play up the accessory.

But try to wear darker colors on the areas you are trying to slim OR get creative with the cuts of clothing and color blocking to accent areas you like and minimize areas you don’t.

4 Big Reasons You look FAT in Photographs

My husband pointed out that a photo is merely a snapshot of a moving, breathing object.

Angles that most people never see because we are constantly in motion and when you freeze frame that action in the wrong moment or bad angle, it’s not a reflection of what you may actually look like to anyone eyes. Angles are that important.

Ultimately anyone can be photogenic. This thing people always say ” I can’t take good photos” is a myth.

You can take great photos with just a little bit of awareness around these four things. If you know your strong assets you can practice to make sure when you see a photo of yourself you feel like ” Oh thats my new profile pic!” and not like  “Delete that one or I’ll kill you .”

And sometimes the most attractive people feel like they aren’t photogenic but sometimes it has nothing to do with the photo and everything to do with their inner image of themselves.

Make sure the reason you hate “That” photo of yourself is because it’s a bad photo, and not because you hate yourself. Remember that a bad photo isn’t a true reflection always of what you look like, that at the end of the day what is on the inside is more beautiful that a photo could ever capture!

I really hope this helps!  I wouldn’t post really unflattering photos of myself otherwise.

Much love!



I don’t want to hire any more women.

Blogger Clarissa posted this May 14, 2014 (selected as one of the top posts).

You cringed when you read it and I cringed when I wrote it, and even more so when the thought first occurred to me.

I am a woman, a feminist, a mother, and a passionate entrepreneur. I don’t just stand for equality – I have crashed the glass ceiling in every aspect of my life.

I get extremely angry when I come across articles that insist there are gender differences that extend beyond physiology. I am fortunate to have had female role models who taught me through their own examples that I can accomplish absolutely anything I desire.

Over the years, I have hired outstanding women – educated, intelligent and highly articulate. Yet, I am exhausted. I have become profoundly tired of being a therapist and a babysitter, of being drawn into passive-aggressive mental games and into constantly questioning my own worth as a manager.

I have had several women who quit to stay home to “figure out what to do next”. No, not to stay home and care for children, but to mooch of a husband or a boyfriend while soul searching (aka: taking a language class or learning a new inapplicable skill that could be acquired after work).

Incidentally, I have not had a single male employee quit with no plan in mind.

I have had women cry in team meetings, come to my office to ask me if I still like them and create melodrama over the side of the office their desk was being placed.

I am simply incapable of verbalizing enough appreciation to female employees to satiate their need for it for at least a week’s worth of work. Here is one example to explain.

My receptionist was resigning and, while in tears, she told me that although she was passionate about our brand and loved the job, she could not overcome the fact that I did not thank her for her work. It really made me stop in my tracks and so I asked for an example. “Remember when I bought the pictures with butterflies to hang in the front? And you just came and said ‘thank you’? That is a perfect example!” – “Wait”, I said, “So, I did thank you then?” – “Yes! But you did not elaborate on what exactly you liked about them! Why didn’t you?”

She had bought them with the company credit card and I actually did not like them at all, but I digress.

I have developed a different approach for offering constructive criticism to male and female employees. When I have something to say to one of the men, I just say it! I don’t think it through – I simply spit it out, we have a brief discussion and we move on. They even frequently thank me for the feedback!

Not so fast with my female staff. I plan, I prepare, I think, I run it through my business partner and then I think again. I start with a lot of positive feedback before I feel that I have cushioned my one small negative comment sufficiently, yet it is rarely enough.

We talk forever, dissect every little piece of it, and then come back to the topic time and time again in the future. And I also have to confirm that I still like them – again and again, and again.

I am also yet to have a single male employee come to my office to give me dirt on a co-worker or share an awkward gossip-like story. My female employees though? Every. single. one.

When I opened my company, I was excited for many reasons. One of them was wanting to make it an amazing place for women to build their careers.

After all, we were two women, both mothers with very small children, opening a company in a very competitive industry. I was going to celebrate the achievements of my female hires, encourage them to find their voices, celebrate their pregnancies and year-long maternity leaves, be understanding and accommodating when they would have to juggle work/daycare/school schedules.

Yet, I had no idea that the problems women faced in their workplace were often far removed from the typical inequalities feminism continues to address. It is not men who sabotage women and stump their career growth – it is women themselves!

What is at the root of the problem? Lack of confidence? Wrong upbringing? What am I not seeing? Is there something else I should be doing as a manager?

I welcome your comments, as I secretly continue placing the resumes of female applicants into the “call later” folder.

The post was written by a guest blogger but the veracity of every aspect of the story has been verified by Blogger Clarissa.

WARNING: People in the past 2 hours I have had to Spam 63 comments from losers who tried to inform me that “men and women are psychologically / emotionally, etc. different.”

Once again, anybody who embarrasses him or herself by chirping idiotically “yes, men and women are different” will be banned outright.

This will be my small investment into sparing these losers further public embarrassment. Stop wasting your time, such comments are not going through on my blog.

Note: The main cause is the upbringing: the female environment, at home and among themselves.

From my experience, women in managerial levels are the most discriminating for both genders, and the reasons are never convincing or based on facts related to the job.

For example, I was “fired” because I was surprised that her husband looked younger than what I expected. The reaction was: “Are you saying that I look old?

Why the Lebanese Maronite Patriarch feels this urge to visit Jerusalem?

Treaty of 1946: Between Jewish Agency for Palestine and the Maronite Church

The Maronite Patriarch of Lebanon Bshara Al Rai (Ra3i) has decided to join the Pope in his visit to Jerusalem, on the ground of his responsibility to pay visits to the Maronites living in Palestine and Israel.

Many political parties and organizations in Lebanon have been contacting the Patriarch and counseling him from going ahead with his decision.

Mind you that the Jews in Israel have started a wave of widespread defamation of churches and removing crosses from Christian cemeteries.

The same behavior as practiced by the Islamic Wahhabi extremist fundamentalists anywhere they occupy a region and cities in the Moslem World.

And no one of these Jews have been apprehended or detained.

What are the implications of the creation of a minority Jewish state on identity politics in Lebanon?

Check article 4 for one of the reasons of this visit

Treaty between the Jewish Agency for Palestine (a political agency) and the Maronite Church

May 30th 1946

(Two years before the creation of the State of Israel when Lebanon was already recognized as a State by the UN)

“We, the undersigned:

1. His Beatitude Antoine Arida, the Maronite Patriarch of Lebanon, acting on behalf of the Church and the Maronite community, the largest community in the Lebanese Republic with citizens residing in other countries, represented by Cheikh Toufic Aoud, ex-minister by virtue of authorization addressed to the President of the Jewish Agency, Professor Weizmann on May 24th 1946,which hereinafter shall be in this treaty addressed as “first party”.

2. Dr. Bernard Joseph, acting on behalf of the Jewish Agency for Palestine which is known in International Law as the representative of Jewish people around the world aimed at creating the Jewish National Home in Palestine,which hereinafter shall be in this treaty addressed as “first party”.

ART.1: The first party expressly and fully recognizes the historical link uniting the Jewish people to Palestine, the Jewish people’s aspirations in Palestine, and the Jewish people right to a free immigration and independence in Palestine. It also declares its approval on the Jewish agency’s declared current political program including the establishment of a Jewish state.

ART.2: The second party expressly and fully recognizes the independence of Lebanon and the right of its inhabitants to choose the regime they deem as appropriate. The second party also declares that its extending and widening program does not include Lebanon. On the contrary, it respects the state of Lebanon in its current form and borders. The Jewish immigration does not include Lebanon. 

ART.3: The two parties commit themselves reciprocally to abstain from undermining their respective aspirations and status; the so-called commitment has a binding obligation restraining the representatives of both parties – officials and non officials – in the country, abroad, in international conferences whether occidental or oriental, from expressing any kind of support to decisions or actions that may harm the other party. Also do their utmost to avoid taking such decisions or undertaking such actions. 

ART.4: The two parties commit themselves to provide mutual help at the following levels: political, commercial, security and social in order to promote the position of the first party and realize the aspirations of the second one. This engagement includes:

a) Raise the awareness of public opinion in the Orient and the Occident on the cause of each party, according to the spirit of the treaty hereby.

b) Concert their efforts to open the doors of each country with view to deepen cultural and social rights and promote commercial trades and the exchange of liaison officers to forge good neighboring relationships between one another.

c) The first party recognizes the right of every Jewish to immigrate to Palestine commits itself to help as much as possible in the realization of this immigration in the event that it shall pass through Lebanon.

d) The second party commits itself, after the creation of the Jewish state, to respect the sacred character of the holy sites in Palestine and commits itself as well after retaining the command of power to consider the treaty hereby as an integral part of the government program.

e) The two parties commit themselves to provide help, if requested, to one another in order to maintain security in their respective countries. This engagement has the binding obligation to take all necessary measures to block the entrance or exit of hostile elements capable of sowing public disorder and the obligation to refrain from providing any kind of help for such elements.

f) The two parties commit themselves to exchange information on all issues such as the politics of their countries, their economy, security, and relations with third parties.

g) At the industry, agriculture and scientific research levels, the two parties commit themselves to exchange information and advice in order to synchronize the Lebanese and Jewish efforts with a view to ensure the best development of their respective industries (including the tourism sector), agriculture and research on the basis of mutual cooperation.

h) After creating the Jewish state, the second party commits itself to reserve a friendly treatment to the representatives of the Maronite Patriarch, to facilitate the buying of a land and the construction of a Patriarchate worthy of the Maronite community.

i) The second party commits itself to require from its offices all over the world to support the cause of the first party and back its representatives in Washington, London, and Paris and in international conferences.

ART.5: In order to achieve the afore-mentioned obligations, and additional practical means of collaboration and mutual aid, the two parties will hold direct or indirect (through representatives) talks depending on the relevant advancement and circumstances. The first party has already chosen Cheikh Toufic Aouad to be its authorized representative till further notice.

ART.6: The treaty hereby takes effect upon signature. Each party has the right to terminate it within six months notice. 
In witness whereof the two parties have signed this treaty.”

Double original copy, Jerusalem, May 30th 1946.        

On behalf of His Beatitude His Grace Antoine Pierre Arida, Toufic Aouad    

On behalf of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, Bernard Joseph

Source: Central Zionist Archives 525/3269

Note 1: The treaty was between the Patriarch of a church and a Zionist political entity. That the current Patriarch expect this treaty to still be valid and respected by the State of Israel is tantamount to committing a big political mistake.

In any case, Israel never respected any treaty that stopped serving the Zionist apartheid system and its annexation policies.

Note 2:

Laura Zittrain Eisenberg published a book that reports:

1. When General Ariel Sharon‘s troops slammed into Lebanon in the summer of 1982, their purpose was not only to drive out the PLO, but also to bring to power a friendly Maronite government led by Bashir Gemayel.

2. The idea of an “alliance of minorities,” based on the “enemy of my enemy” notion, had deep roots in Zionist thinking.

3. Before Israeli statehood the relations between Zionists and some Maronite leaders were far-reaching.

4. In 1946, a treaty of sorts was even signed with the Maronite religious establishment, but the peace proved as ephemeral as the 1983 agreement between Lebanon and Israel. (that was not ratified)

Eisenberg sympathetically explains the motives and misperceptions that led to the belief that Christian Lebanon could be detached from the surrounding Arab region as an ally of Zionism, but she also shows the project had no realistic chance, and she implicitly warns against ignoring the lessons of history.

Note 3: I cannot recollect that any Lebanese Patriarch ever visited Jerusalem after 1948, even when Jerusalem was administered by Jordan Kingdom.

Note 4: The visit has political connotation, regardless of the religious reasons and excuses. The Patriarch has to make a public declaration relevant to the treaty and to clarify the Lebanese political positions regarding the Israeli enemy.

Note 5: The Patriarch must avoid to land in Tel Aviv or cross any Israeli checkpoints. A helicopter from Jordan and landing straight in Jerusalem should be considered.





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