I don’t like having my picture takenPublished 9:19am Monday, October 10, 2011
Column: Something About NothingHarvard
A picture is worth a thousand words. That phrase has been around a long time. It means that a picture can tell a story as descriptive as the words that you might use to describe that story.
Recently I looked at my driver’s license picture, and I must admit I was speechless. The study by me of my driver’s license photo came after presenting it to a store clerk for identification. The store clerk looked at my picture and looked at me and told me it didn’t look like me. She proceeded with the checkout anyway. Thank goodness.
I got a new driver’s license in May. In the time since, I became ill and lost 27 pounds. I cut my hair and I am wearing different glasses. The clerk was right; I barely recognized myself.
I have to admit when I got my new driver’s license I did not look at it closely. I do not like pictures of myself. I take terrible pictures or maybe the pictures actually represent what I do look like and I do not want to recognize reality.
How many people actually like their photos? Or do men like their photos better then women? Do we woman like our pictures better with makeup or au naturel?
Maybe I would like my pictures better, especially on my driver’s license ,if it was air brushed and body brushed to perfection like the people we admire in the magazines. We strive to be just like the photos on the covers of magazines. Even Oprah has showed us she doesn’t actually look like that. In fact, I probably would not recognize Oprah on the streets without her makeup because I think she looks very different.
Facebook also provides a dilemma for me. I don’t like my pictures so usually I post a picture in place of me. There are pictures of Sam, my former faithful pooch, my grandchildren or a nature picture. In my defense there are not many pictures of me in the family photo album. I am always the one taking the pictures.
The male part of my household could care less about pictures. His stance is: “I see these people. Why would I want a picture of them when I can see them in person?” He sees me all the time so maybe he wouldn’t like the thousand-word story if he had a picture of me.
Find a picture of you. Take a few moments to sit in a quiet space and ask yourself what story your picture is conveying about you. I took a few moments to look at some of the pictures of my grandchildren. It was amazing when I actually looked at the picture as a story. Those little faces told me many things about what was going on in their lives at the moment the picture was taken. Many times it was “Not another picture. I am tired of smiling. Stop!”
In my photo album I could see happiness, sadness, anger, love and amazement. I could see the joy of families together and the loneliness that we all experience at times in our lives.
The best part of looking at the photos of family that I did not know in their younger years as a story was the story they told. As I looked at pictures of my mom and dad and their brothers and sisters I learned so much of who they were when they were in the 20s and 30s.
I lived some of their lives with them through those photos. I learned about the good times, the bad times and the crazy times that I am not sure they would have shared with me. I felt I knew them better after looking at the pictures as stories.
What does my driver’s license picture say about me? I thought I looked good when I had that picture taken. I was wrong. I think the next time I need a picture that will be viewed by the public, I will take my hair stylist, my makeup artist, my smile coach and a double that looks like me so that maybe I will have a picture that I can actually post on Facebook. I can have a picture that I won’t slide across the counter upside down so anyone but the clerk will see. My driver’s license picture says, “I don’t like having my picture taken. You need new cameras.”
Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday.