Saturday, January 3, 2009

Adding a picture of me

When I started this blog I didn't choose an avatar. I am not one for those comic strip looks. I personally loathe comics, though I have children that adore them. Anyway, for unknown reasons I find them so banal that I figured a shadow in the box that was "me" was better than a goofy comic. Because I didn't have a "good" picture of me.

My mom inculcated in me at a very early age that I was the "smart" one and my sister was the "pretty" one. All my growing up years she had my sisters pictures prominently displayed. My senior year photo she chose the one long range shot from the proofs. "at least you are farther back in this one dear, " was her comment. So I grew up rather secure in my ability to think my way out of a paper bag, rather unsure about things like make up (should I bother if I was really ugly?) and whether or not I wanted to try to be more attractive or alluring than I was. Most young girls could talk to their mom about such questions. I couldn't.

As a young adult I learned that though I might be smart, I was also relatively attractive. Dogs didn't bark when I walked down the street and people of both sexes seemed comfortable in my presence. In many respects, I think I was much luckier in the labelling than my sister, who still struggles with the "pretty but dumb" label that my mom saddled her with.

The one scar it did leave me with is an absolute loathing of having my picture taken. And predictably, because it is something I don't feel comfortable doing, the vast majority of the pictures of me really aren't very good. Some catch me in mid word or mid bite, leaving my face distorted. (My eldest son kindly mentioned once that it looked like I had suffered a stroke!) The best pictures are usually ones where I am doing something and not thinking about the camera being present. Pictures of me hiking or at the beach are usually pretty decent. Yet this past week, the picture I added was taken and it is really a decent shot. Again, I didn't notice when it was being taken which is probably why. But the amazing part of it is that it was taken by KC. Yup, my 4 year old. He started messing with our digital camera at Robbie's baseball games this summer and really developed some skills. I made the mistake of getting him a kids camera for Christmas. He liked it for about 10 minutes. Then he said sissy could have this and could he use ours!


Yondalla said...

It's an excellent photo. Thanks for sharing.

My sister and I also had the same labels. She recently told me that the pretty label was difficult because she expected her supposed beauty to make things easier for her. As an adult she had to come to terms with the fact that she was attract in an ordinary sort of way.

The things our parents do to us.

Rambleman said...

Yowsers on your mother's comments and labeling. I think it's nice to *finally* see you after knowing you on-line for many years now. Pretty.

Rachel said...


You gotta re-program yourself. That's some serious bogus garbage.

I just posted about lies we believe. I've been editing a friend's writing and she's into affirmations.

It's made me think about what I believe about myself. I've come to realize that I can't be something or do something without believing first.