I have never had the courage to post a “selfie.” Which means that today, I’m going to face my fear and show the world just exactly why I have never had the courage to do this before.
Let’s face it: I am not a photogenic person. It doesn’t really matter who is taking the photo. I just don’t photograph well. My eyes look beady, my nose looks red, and my lips practically disappear. And we’re not even going to discuss the whole “camera adds ten pounds” nonsense, because pictures of me show a lot more than ten extra pounds, none of which are the fault of the camera.
I don’t look good in pictures.
I once read an article that gave all kinds of detailed explanations about why mothers so often use pictures of their children as profile pictures on Facebook. The author had theories about mothers losing our identities as we begin to see ourselves only as wives and mothers rather than as individuals worthy of using our own pictures.
Yeah, I don’t really think it’s all that complicated. I can’t speak for other mothers, but I use pictures of my kids because they look better than I do. Their pictures are much more pleasant to look at.
When they were babies, I was always sleep-deprived. I usually had puke, poop, or some other bodily fluid on some part of my body or clothing. Money went for things like diapers and formula for them rather than make-up and hair color for me. So really, I wasn’t much to look at, much less photograph.
Now that they’re older, I’m still sleep-deprived and penniless, although the whole bodily fluid thing has slowed down. (I say “slowed down” instead of “stopped” because my six year-old managed to spray vomit all the way across my queen-sized bed and even the walls of my bedroom last night. I think I may still have puke in my left eardrum.)
But I can’t blame my kids for everything. I wasn’t exactly photogenic when I was younger, either. Even before gravity, age, motherhood and maple trees had an impact on my appearance, I didn’t look good in pictures. I remember going on a school trip to Mackinac Island in my senior year of high school and posing for a group picture on the porch of the Grand Hotel. I felt beautiful that day, and I remember that I was smiling hugely for the camera.
I looked like a serial killer.
Now, my daughter is just the opposite. She’s one of those people that the camera just loves. She’s not a vain creature, but she has taken hundreds of selfies over the years, and she looks beautiful in all of them. I don’t know how she does it. Yes, she is beautiful; but how does she look good in every single selfie she takes? Just once, I want her to get a full-on shot of herself with one eye half closed, in mid-sneeze or something equally awful. Just to prove there’s justice in this world, you know. Just one bad picture of her, just to make the universe seem a little bit more fair.
I also have some certain . . . er, technical difficulties when it comes to taking selfies:
Need I say more?
This is my favorite selfie ever, although I think the technical term for it is “ussie” because it has two people in it. I look happy, if a bit demented and only slightly overwhelmed by a really bad hair day, but I like this one.
Of course, I didn’t take it, so I don’t think it counts as a selfie.
It was taken on the same day as this one.
I hesitated to share this with anyone because it makes me look “fat.” I tried to blame it on the wind blowing up inside my blouse and making me look bigger than I really am, but . . . well, I am what I am. And in this shot, what I am is happy. Strong. At home in the one place that can heal me and make me whole again, no matter how I look in pictures.
Me and Lake Michigan. Now that’s a great picture.
This post is part of Finish the Sentence Friday, in which writers and bloggers finish a sentence and “link up” their posts. This week’s sentence was “I have never had the courage to…”
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