A BUB And Beyond: Why Am I So Unphotogenic?

Lil BUB Shares Her Advice

illustration by liz riccardi
When NYLON decided to get into the advice game, we were faced with a conundrum: Who could advise our readers and our friends with equal parts real-talk and positivity? 
Only one gal fits the bill: Lil Bub. Here we invite readers to reach out to Bub for some guidance and vibes. Fortunately, we've been able to translate her purrs and gurgles into real advice, getting some magic Bub-ness out there for all. The third Wednesday of every month will henceforth be known as A BUB AND BEYOND, a day where Lil Bub answers your most pressing questions.
But how, you say, will I be able to send the world's cutest cat all of my inquiries? Reach out to Bub directly at askbub@nylon.com. Boom.
Dear Lil Bub,

I hate the way I look in photographs. I think I look perfectly fine in the mirror, but whenever I see a picture of myself, I become really insecure and think, Is this how I really look? Do you have any advice for my situation?


Hello Unphotogenic. It’s me, BUB. Thank you for your question. As someone who has been photographed literally hundreds of thousands of times, and whose photos have been scrutinized by millions of people all over the world, I can certainly relate. In the beginning, my photos were only seen by close friends and family. I didn’t think much of it, as they all thought I was the most amazing creature on the planet (which I have confirmed is true). Then one day out of the blue, one of my photos was spread virally across the World Wide Web, and suddenly millions of people were looking at my amazing face. To my surprise, not everyone thought it was amazing. In fact, a lot people said I looked stupid, inbred, and ugly. And even though these people were painfully wrong, I was still flooded with foreign feelings of insecurity and self-doubt.

The first photo the world saw of me! 
How could this be? How could I go from feeling so loved and appreciated to feeling so unfathomably miserable? Luckily for me, my indestructibly positive outlook on life and unflinching self-esteem quickly got me through this confusing time. I realized that those feelings of insecurity were not mine. What I was feeling was an overwhelming projection of insecurity from other people. It was their own insecurities, their own self-doubt, and their own fears that caused them to react this way. I understood that just because my photo was suddenly being seen by all of these strangers that it didn’t change who I was. I was still the most amazing creature on the planet, the same one that was so loved and appreciated by my family and friends just the day before. I was exactly the same cat that I “saw in the mirror, ”and I LOVE THAT CAT.

I believe that your dissatisfaction with your photographed self is not an issue of being photogenic. When you look in the mirror, you feel good because you are the best judge of yourself. You are happy with who you are (congrats, that’s the hard part!). In your reflection, there is no one there to pass judgment, but with a photograph, there is that subconscious fear that someone else could see it, and you may not have control over who that might be and what they might think or say about you. But the reality is that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. What matters is that you are stoked about exactly who you are. I know I am stoked about who you are, and if you haven’t noticed, I’m certainly stoked about being me. Yeah, I know it sounds cheesy, but hey, I do love cheese.

You say that you think you look “perfectly fine in the mirror.” But I’m pretty sure that you meant to say you look “absolutely amazing.” Once you confirm this truth, I think you’ll find that you look pretty damn fine in a photograph. If this doesn’t work, you may also try different lighting, a new lens, or a more flattering angle.

If you have a question for BUB, don't hesitate to reach out to her at askbub@nylon.com.