You know those women who snap into a practiced pose the moment a camera appears? The perfect big-but-not-too-big smile, chin up, hips at three-quarter turn? Yeah, that’s … not me. I grow awkward under social scrutiny, and a camera lens gets me worst of all. I never know when to blink, how to smile (small looks forced, big and joyous leaves me with crazed, squinty eyes), where to stand, what to do with my arms.
But, even with that history, I have never loathed my appearance in photos as much as I do since becoming a mother. The baby weight hangs on me both physically and psychologically, my hair is thin and perpetually unwashed, and gray skin and eye bags signal my exhaustion. Occasionally I appear in the background of family photos, holding up the baby (which is to say, trying to hide behind her). But relatively few survive my heavy-handed access to the digital “delete” button.
Before last month’s BlogHer conference, I emailed a blogger I hoped to meet and scanned this blog for a photo I could link as a “look for me” aid. There were few! (And, of course, the ones that exist I deemed too awful to send….) Luckily, I took the realization as a wake-up of sorts. Life is too short to go around feeling apologetic for the face you show to the world.
So, hi. This is me. Good to see you.
Are you a natural model, or do photos make you nervous? Mothers, do you also struggle with post-baby self-image? Any solutions?