Ok, let’s have a show of hands: who out there loathes pictures of themselves? I bet I’m not the only one. When someone says, “PICTURE TIME!” Who cringes and runs away? If you, in a moment of daring say to yourself, “I’ll look that camera in the eye and I won’t give a crap,” do you later, upon seeing the picture, say “What was I thinking?” My friends, we are not alone.
Am I “afraid” of the camera, as my mother told me when I was about eight years old (which certainly didn’t help my fear of photos)? There must be something to taking a good photo, as I’ve deduced from watching countless episodes of America’s Next Top Model. Some of those girls are just average everyday girls, but inexplicably, they take a great photo every time. I’m the polar opposite of that – inexplicably, I take a horrible photo every time, even when I think I’m having a good face day. It’s not just that I have a distorted view of myself. I have a reputation for this in my family. I seriously make bizarre faces in the presences of a camera. My eyes are half closed (a CLASSIC for me), my eyes are completely closed, I have a “stoned” look on my face, my mouth is in a weird “O” shape, one eye is more closed than the other… I could go on and on.
My sister, who is a great photographer, looks great in EVERY photo AND is the Photoshop QUEEN, patiently took multitudes of photographs of me one holiday, and then emailed me a really nice one. I mean, really nice. I was amazed. It was like seeing a unicorn.
“You Photoshopped me.” I said. “Did you Photoshop me?” (That’s how good of a job she did.)
“Only a little” she replied.
I wanted to carry it around with me, to show people that I can, with great effort and resources, once every leap year, good in photos, but before I printed a million copies and left them everywhere, the computer crashed and I lost the photo.
Yesterday I got my hair cut and colored, and my friends told me to take a picture of myself and post it on Facebook. Sounded like a good idea, until I took 10 pictures of myself in a row and in every one my hair looked good, but I looked like a mummy. Imagine: pale face, staring at the camera, but with eyes half closed and mouth in an O shape. Tyra Banks would tear me up.
I want to hear from other people who hate photos of themselves. I know you’re out there…You’re the Facebook friends who ALWAYS have pictures of something other than yourself as your profile picture… Is it even possible for us to overcome this shortcoming? Here’s what I find most amusing about this photo curse, though, and maybe you’ve noticed it, too. Although there are not too many photos of me around, I noticed that when I spot one that I hated twenty years ago, suddenly, it doesn’t look THAT bad. Hummmm, so, in another twenty years, these photos that I hate today won’t look so bad either, I’m guessing… ? But for now, ugh.