Laura Abad studio

Barcelona — Madrid — London
self portrait

The Mental Self-Portrait: A Journey of Perception and Identity

Have you ever stood in front of a mirror, gazing at your reflection, only to feel like the person staring back at you is not quite the one you envisioned in your mind? You’re not alone.

And it doesn’t necessarily mean something is wrong. Our mental representation of our face and body significantly influences how we perceive ourselves and impacts our self-esteem. Research suggests that individuals with a positive mental self-portrait often radiate higher levels of confidence and well-being. On the flip side, those with a negative self-perception might grapple with feelings of insecurity and dissatisfaction within themselves. The important thing to remember is that our self-perspective can vary, and exploring these facts can lead to a deeper understanding of ourselves without judgement.

😱 Escape the Mirror Maze

As a photographer, my artistic journey has taken me on a diverse path, interacting with models, artists, and entrepreneurs from all walks of life. Through these experiences, I’ve come to realize the profound impact of how we picture ourselves in our minds. The transformative power of post-produced portraits astounds me, as subjects often identify more with the retouched image than the original photograph. This intriguing phenomenon sheds light on the aspirational nature of human beings, sometimes blinding us to the unique beauty that lies within.

In the fascinating world of reflections, mirrors may sometimes play tricks, while photography has the potential to offer a glimpse of what appears to be a more genuine and precise portrayal of our identity. However, it’s worth considering that even this “real” image may not fully resonate with us. Our self-identity is multifaceted, continuously evolving, and diverse, and it’s entirely okay not to be confined to a single representation. The idea of embarking on a profound journey of self-discovery, unshackled from any preconceived notions, holds a captivating allure. It reminds us of the vital role human creativity plays in this endeavor. Embracing our creativity enables us to delve into the depths of our identity, uncovering the hidden treasures that make us truly unique and extraordinary.

💎 Seeking Your True Identity

In our quest for self-awareness, we often encounter moments when we don’t fully identify with the “real” image of ourselves. However, let’s steer clear of judgement and embrace this as part of our creative human nature. Some individuals resort to body modifications like surgery, aesthetic medicine, tattoos, or weightlifting to craft their desired self-image. In the digital age, avatars are rapidly gaining prominence.

The term “avatar” originates from the Sanskrit word “avatāra,” meaning “descent.” In Hinduism, it refers to a deity’s manifestation in physical form on Earth, serving as a divine teacher.

In the digital realm, avatars act as visual representations of ourselves, used in virtual environments, social media, and gaming. Carefully crafted, these avatars embody desired personas, influencing how we present ourselves to others and shaping our self-perception.

Interestingly, portraits as PFPs (profile pictures) can also serve as avatars, especially when the subject deeply resonates with the captured image. A well-executed portrait has the power to encapsulate a person’s essence, their dreams, and aspirations. It becomes an extension of their identity, reflecting their innermost thoughts and emotions. This avatar-like quality of portraiture allows us to step into an idealized version of ourselves, aligning with our aspirational self-image.

❤️ Above All, Embrace Self-Love

In a world where image-consciousness prevails, the importance of our mental self-portrait cannot be overstated. Our perception of ourselves shapes our interactions with the world and significantly impacts our overall well-being. As a portrait photographer and digital artist, my journey has opened my eyes to the transformative potential of aspirational self-portraits.

While aspiring to be the best version of ourselves is commendable, we must also embrace our flaws and imperfections. These are the facets that make us authentically human and unique. The next time you find yourself lost in the reflection of a mirror or contemplating a photograph, take a moment to reflect on the mental self-portrait you hold. Consider how this representation affects your emotions and actions. You may recognize your family in your nose and smile, your history in your scars and wrinkles, and even some body health feedback in those so-called ‘flaws’.

Each of us is a pioneer in crafting our own self-perception. Together, let’s embrace the journey of self-discovery—one portrait at a time.

Author: Laura Abad
Photographer and AI Artist

Laura Abad

Author: Laura Abad
Photographer and AI artist

Do you have any questions, or is there a specific topic you’d like me to comment further? Feel free to leave me your message below.

Do you have any questions, or is there a specific topic you’d like me to comment further? Feel free to leave me your message below.

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