Annoying Autobiographical Pause – On Why I Hate Having My Picture TakenMay 27, 2012 - Author: newscoma - Comments are closed
A few years ago a photographer asked if he could take my picture at a conference for the TPA. Now, I hate having my picture taken and it goes back for years and years of seeing some truly shitacular photographs that always made me look like something out of the basement that has rotted.
For the next 15 minutes, he told me why I don’t photograph well in horrifying and graphic detail in front of three other people who looked as embarrassed for me as I felt. My mouth curves downward, my hair looks frizzy due to the gray and fading blonde in the light and
that my nose was awkward. The only saving grace is that he didn’t talk about my big hiney.
I was mortified.
This goes back for years, as I said, because I am just not a very photogenic person and I’m never going to be on the cover of a fashion magazine. When you are heavier, short as hell, curly ass hair that makes me look like a troll doll and not classically beautiful, you are reminded of it constantly. I don’t know why people feel that they can be so blunt but they are.
Later when I asked him about the picture when I didn’t have an audience and wasn’t red as a beet from wanting to die on the spot, he point-blank told me it was terrible and he deleted it from his camera.
There is a reason you never see me in many photos. I occasionally notice on Facebook that there are a lot of people who take photos of themselves. I think that’s fine, I just don’t do it and when I do, I feel rather silly and stupid.
I always knew that I wasn’t going to be the girl-next-door type and that my uniqueness was my own, so I should just go with that. I have a very attractive family and when I was growing up, I always felt like I didn’t fit in family photos. Handsome dad, pretty petite mom, vivacious sister and yet I felt like Wile E. Coyote hovering in the background of these photos. I always wanted to hide.
Now, I do know certain things about myself so I’m not completely off the rails here. I have a healthy sense of humor and I’m actually pretty comfortable in my own skin. I’m never the smartest person in the room, but I also think because I’m open that I learn new things from other people every day, I’m also not the dumbest. I’m self-deprecating, can carry on a conversation with a stick and in some ways I’m fearless but cautious enough to know when to shut up.
Sure, I get weirded out at times, but I’m human. Who doesn’t get weirded out at moments? If you know me, you are aware that I’m very much a social creature but if you were to see me in a big crowd, I get a bit of stricken face. Big crowds overwhelm me.
Betcha didn’t know that.
And, although I fail at times, I try to be kind, avoid cynicism as best as I can (you are not working on the future if you are criticizing other people all the time, I assure you) and I hope I’m a good, although occasionally flawed, friend. And I do try to validate others because I know there have been times that I’ve been invalidated.
It’s important. Show kindness even when people have been unkind to you. I learned that growing up.
I need some head shots and I’ve been stressing over this for about six months right now. All that old stuff has literally just paralyzed me. Renard told me not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good which I think is excellent advice. Portland said he would help me get ready for the pictures as well. Everyone was very kind because I am, and was, petrified.
It’s easier to make a joke for me about looking like Ernest Borgnine’s daughter than being in front of a camera. Humor always is my go to. I’m the queen of creating distractions.
I’m still in paralysis mode over this but I’m working through it.
So, the only reason I’m writing this long scribe today is that these things mold us. They tear folks down when you look at the outside and are critical. It can wear a soul out and it doesn’t matter if you are 6 or 46.
Or maybe I just think cameras steal our souls. Yeah, that’s what I’m going to tell people.