Life

Pictures

My sister, Susan’s, birthday is in less than a month. She will be 40. How can my little sister be 40?? Lucky for Susan, her sister writes a blog called 40 is the new 30, so she’s about to turn ten years younger instead of one year older. 😉

Susan and I were texting about her birthday this afternoon, and she said she wanted to get away and relax, do something different. Pete is going to a convention in Las Vegas over her birthday weekend, and she’s going with him. Last year, Pete went to Vegas (same convention), and my mom and I went to Seattle to help with Anna Jane and Luke and to celebrate Sue’s birthday. We had a great time, hanging out, shopping, and playing with the kids. I blogged about reorganizing Susan’s closet. (Check out the birthday cake we made – the next great bakers we are not!) It was fun being her personal stylist, and I’m really glad we had that time together.

Susan asked me if I had pictures from that weekend, so I scrolled through the photos on my computer, looking for ones with Mom in them. Most of the photos from Susan’s birthday are of the closet (before and after.) I have one of Susan at the surprise birthday dinner Mom and I planned for her, and a couple of Mom with Luke, but I didn’t have any with all three of us. The majority of the pictures on my computer are of places (Napa and San Francisco,) things (closets, Christmas trees, jewelry,) kids (AJ and Luke,) or pets (I ♥ Coco!) I have very few pictures of me.

I stumbled across this blog post through a link on Facebook. The title, So you’re feeling too fat to be photographed? struck a chord, so I read it.

So here is the harsh truth y’all. Listen good. Our vanity is no longer enough of a reason to avoid the camera. Life doesn’t wait until you “get thin” enough to capture it. Life is happening . . . it is happening right now and the only moment we are guaranteed is the one we are living. I shudder at the thought of leaving behind no pictures of my life with ME in it. ~ Teresa Porter

Oh, boy. Teresa really hit home in this piece. I hate being photographed. Even when I fix myself up, look in the mirror, and think I look great, I don’t want anyone to take a picture of me. Some anorexics think they are overweight when, really, they’re very thin. I have the opposite problem – I look in the mirror and (sometimes) see a person who looks thinner than she actually is. I’m not deluding myself into thinking my size 18 body will fit into a size 8 dress, but what I see in the mirror is (occasionally) someone who looks good, despite her size.

A few things work in my favor: I have good skin, great hair, and a nice smile. I watch What Not to Wear and try to dress in a way that flatters my shape. And I’m always wearing gorgeous accessories that draw the eye to my best features (small wrists!) Depending on what I’m wearing and how I’m feeling about my body, I even walk thin!

I got some taupey-brown boots in December (thanks, Ros Hommerson, for making wide calf boots!), and when I put them on with a tunic and leggings, I feel thinner and chic. I love the sound the boots make when I walk. I envision myself strolling down 5th Avenue in brown boots, skinny jeans, and a stylish coat. In my mind, I look like this (minus the blond hair and the bodyguard):

Cameron Diaz
Cameron Diaz

But if I saw a picture of myself wearing something similar, the reality of my appearance would be so disappointing.

{Disclaimer: I do not think I look like Cameron Diaz! I just feel slimmer sometimes. Like, you know how after you shave, your legs feel skinnier? No? Carry on!}

What is it about not having my picture taken? Am I afraid people will find out what I really look like? People already know what I really look like!!! And they don’t seem to mind! Like Porter says, when I see a picture of myself, I immediately focus on my flaws – big stomach, large hips and thighs, flabby arms. Small eyes, chubby cheeks. And don’t even get me started on my well-endowed chest I know I’m not a number on a scale or the sum of these (fleshy) parts, but when I see a picture of myself, I cringe. I don’t think about the fun I had or the people I was with. I just wish I didn’t look so fat.

My aversion to pictures almost cost me the last picture of my mother and me together. In August, I had a Stella & Dot customer appreciation trunk show and asked a photographer, Kristy, to take pictures. I wanted the show to feel more like a party and less like a sale. I served bellinis and bundtinis dressed up with cute printables by my friend, Rachela, a graphics designer. Coincidentally, there were several mother-daughter pairs at the party. Kristy took photos of all of them, including this one:

Mom and me
Mom and me, August 5, 2012

My mother looks beautiful, radiant even, two and a half months before she died. Me? Double chins and neck rolls – UGH! I allowed the picture because I was having a “thin” day – my hair looked good (I had just had it highlighted and cut) and I liked what I was wearing. The party was fun, and I felt confident, even pretty. If I had been more self-conscious and not open to having my picture taken, I wouldn’t have this precious memento of my mom and me.

Here are some more pictures of me. The way I really look. Some I like, others I’m just tolerating for the sake of this post; all evoke good memories.

Headshot, Images by Kristy
Headshot, Images by Kristy
On a boat in Lake Union
On a boat in Lake Union
Sam and me at a Stella & Dot training
Sam and me at a Stella & Dot training
Wearing my favorite necklace from the Fall 2012 Collection
Wearing my favorite necklace from the Fall 2012 Collection
Ready for dancing at Hoopla!
Ready for dancing at Hoopla!

I’ll try to take more pictures of myself with friends and family, capturing the fun I’m having instead of worrying about what I look like. I’ll still take pictures of Coco and Christmas trees. But next time, I’ll be in the pictures. 🙂

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