Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Day one, Self Portrait

Because I am both a sheep, and in desperate need of something to keep me posting at present, that may not need me to think in terms of sentences longer than a word or two, I wanted to join in with this meme. I'm not the world's hugest "joiner" but I have a habit of joining things too late, and taking to them with a strange enthusiasm that scares off others with whom I want to jump in and discuss excitedly.

Day one of the photo challenge is a self portrait. Something that shouldn't be too difficult for me, as I take pictures of myself all the time. Now that sounds terribly vain, but the reality is, that if I did not take pictures of myself, very few would exist. Aside from the few times I drag a reluctant Bingley to take a picture of me (that I will usually hate) he is not the type to randomly pick up a camera and say "cheese". We don't have a bunch of those cute facebook pictures of the two of us grinning into a camera phone in spectacular locations. Our honeymoon almost predates digital and we kind of forgot to take any.

This complete absence of photographic proof of my existence from approximately age 13 to 27 did not cause me much consternation at the time. Believing in my dreadful glass shattering visage and having the self esteem of a well squished flea, I shied away from the camera on the few times it ventured an accidental glance in my direction. Of course, now, with my face starting to have tiny creases that don't go away with a good night sleep and a distinct shoulder slumping recognition that my legs will never grow longer, nor that I should never have cut my glorious hair, I wish that I had taken thousands.

And part of my coming to terms with the way that I look,( and no longer trying to bargain my way with the deities that if I drop 20 IQ points can I look 20% hotter? Please?) is that I have deliberately, almost as a Science Project of sorts, been taking photos of myself, almost daily. Often with my webcam, or with my phone. Sometimes with my gigantor DSLR (though this takes mammoth coordination and wrists of steel). And the end product is that I have hundreds of photos which swiftly make their way into the trash can in the upper left corner of my screen, but I have a handful that make me smile. That make me realise that while this face may never be on the cover of a magazine (nor would I wish it particularly), but that it has character and features that I quite like as well.

I see different colours and shades and warmths in my iris. I like the way my strong, inelegant neck meets my jaw and the little points on the tips of my ears. I like the way a good eyebrow wax changes the whole character of my face and have realised that such a high broad forehead desperately needs a fringe. I still have days where I wake up bleary eyed, stab my cornea with a mascara wand and grimace at the pallid smush of over large features in a too small face with just the wrong amount of puppy fat... and the pores that would send many a fashionista howling into their cream pots. But it's my face, and my dodgy pores, and I quite like them. Most of the time.


Melissa said...

I quite like them all of the time.

Know what I've noticed though, in the 3 and a half years or so I've been following your blog.

Your attitude towards yourself (physically) has softened so much, especially since you had the Possum. You are so much less critical, and more open to the beauty that other people can see.

I've been meaning to comment on it before, but I've really noticed it. I love it on FB when you've got a new outfit and you post pics, and you seem so happy in your skin.

And then of course, we all fight over you...(Maybe that's why Bingly doesn't want to take pics,lol).

Jenn said...

It's mostly coming to realise that I don't care what other people think, Liss. Now I only care about the opinions of those that matter. I feel like life is so short, why would I clog up these years with ongoing misery if I'm the only one who can make it better?

Thank you for your lovely words - I wish you'd join this challenge!

Nina said...

When you see yourself as beautiful, others do too :) I think its something we don't realise until later in life.

Nice post, Jenn :)


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