I am terrified of pictures and for a really stupid reason too. Vanity. I am afraid I’ll look ugly in them which is a somewhat justified fear as I do look pretty weird in pictures. When my eyes aren’t closed due to the flash, they usually look lopsided; and I was reliably informed by a best friend from long ago that my smile screws up my face and nose.
I tried to rectify the “stupid face” problem by not smiling at all, after all, the smile is what messed up my entire face in the first place. Instead, I tried to use my default expression in photos. Unfortunately, this was a bad idea because a lot of people, including my friends, wanted to know why I looked so sad in pictures. My default expression, as it turned out, is that of one whose parents have died. After being questioned about my psychological health for a while (“No, that’s just how my face is”), I finally decided that I was going to avoid pictures altogether. I realize now that this was a pretty stupid decision to make, because now I have almost no pictures of myself from when I was in secondary school and that just sucks. Because I don’t care any more about how ugly or pretty I was in secondary school. I do care however, about the good times I had. I remember the jokes and the pranks. I remember clutching my friends and laughing and wiping away the ensuing tears. I have these bits of memories in that precious part of my brain dedicated to my years as a carefree teenager. And I am grateful for the memories. But having something tangible to hold in your hand is so much better. It makes the memories so much more vivid and you feel so much more when you look at them. The familiar surroundings in the photos, the expressions on your friends’ faces, the position of the desks, the whiteboard and the windows make the memories so much clearer.
Now I have nothing to show future friends of my days in secondary school. And I will be forgotten so much easier by my former classmates. I was practically like a ghost in my old school.
Even now, I am terrified of pictures. I love taking pictures of people and nature but I don’t like having pictures taken of myself. My Facebook and messenger pictures are both blank, which is sad considering the number of years I’ve been on them. All of this because of vanity and my fear of looking ugly or silly.
But I’m going to change that this year. Pictures aren’t about looking pretty or hot or like a supermodel. Pictures are about memories and about us being happy with who we are regardless of how well we meet our society’s standards of beauty, or what anybody thinks of us. If I look weird in photos, so what? I shouldn’t be afraid to show the world that I love myself and that I am content with the way I look because I am so much more than my looks. I can be the most amazing, awe-inspiring person out there regardless of the way I look.
With that being said, I now present you with a picture of myself:
This is actually a very accurate representation of myself. I will however, most certainly put up a real photo of myself on Facebook and messenger.