September 24, 2012 by Heather
I was once in a pageant, if you can believe such a hilarious statement. Along with all the regular pageantry (evening gown, talent, interview, etc.), my mom thought it would be a good idea to enter my most recent school picture in the pageant’s Most Photogenic competition. This was in 6th grade, which may or may not be the most awkward age ever in the whole wide world. I really, really wish I had a scanned image of the picture to share along with this riveting story, but I do not.
In the photograph, I am wearing a soft cauliflower blue sweater with a half-turtleneck. As in, the sweater couldn’t decide if it wanted to be a full-on turtleneck or not. I have this really proud look on my face, quite possibly because my mom let me put on some of her lipstick for picture day. Something about that brownish-pink lipstick made me feel like a real woman I suppose. And I had the same exact haircut then as I do on this very day. Not sure how I feel about that. I’m still mulling it over.
Needless to say, my 5×7 school picture did not reign supreme amongst all the glamour shots that portrayed ten-year-olds in cowgirl costumes, surrounded by soft feathers with their hair all fluffed up. My brownish-pink pout did nothing to win over the hearts of the judges, who I am sure were bribed. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy a half-turtleneck?
All of this was brought to the front of my mind this weekend as I, rather vainly, spent some time trying to figure out why I usually look pretty awful in pictures. Now, before you go and leave comments about how I always look amazing or whatever, stop. I’m not fishing for compliments and I’m not having a pity party. I am simply stating a fact – I am not naturally photogenic.
Case in point: Sunday after lunch with Andrew’s parents. Our little family of three was dressed in our Sunday best and my hair was actually fixed. Perfect time for a picture. I whipped out my iPhone and handed it to Andrew’s dad, simultaneously smoothing my hair and readjusting my blouse for the five millionth time that day.
You never really want to look like you are worried about how you look in a picture, am I right? You want it to be very spontaneous, very “Oh here, snap a quick picture, no big deal.”
Pictures of me with my son where I am fully clothed AND, gasp, have on makeup, are few and far between – let alone one of all three of us. I just wanted to take advantage of the situation. As soon as I started giving pointers to Andrew’s dad about how I wanted it to be from the waist up, Andrew goes, “Oh no. Watch out, she gets crazy about picture-taking.” Yes, honey. Yes, I do. Because more times than not I look like a huge doofus in pictures, and just this once I would like to look halfway decent.
Dan took a couple of pictures, handed me the phone, and then started to walk back to the car. I immediately looked at them, of course, and was so grossed out I almost threw up my lunch. Andrew and Parker both looked so very handsome. I, on the other hand, looked ridiculous. My billowy, belted top that I thought made me look oh-so-chic actually made me look a bit like a hospital patient. My full frontal stance, which worked perfectly fine in pictures before I had a baby, kind of made me look like a football player. Then there were my boobs, which were rather full of milk at the time, with the left one noticeably larger than the right one (as usual) and both of them slightly pointing in opposite directions (as usual).
I quickly told Dan to take another picture, mumbling something about how I looked like a pregnant porn star. This, of course, garnered exaggerated eye rolls from all parties involved. I changed my stance to a sideways one, hiding half of my body (and both of the girls) behind Andrew and tilting my head a wee bit downward so as to disguise the strange post-baby jaw fat that I am wondering how to get rid of.
Parker is ready to get the heck out of there, and Andrew is doing some hard core squinting, but at least my funky parts are kept to a minimum.
Because sometimes Mom just needs a picture where she looks pretty, am I right?