I had my picture taken the other day. A friend of mine, who is a photographer, came over and we went outside and snap, snap, snap went the shutter. I smiled. I laughed. We talked about what an author picture should look like. Which means we took pictures of myself looking serious, and pictures of myself laughing, and pictures of myself gazing soberly at the street, trying to look like someone with important thoughts, which seemed very author-like, don’t you think? Later, of course, those pictures of me pondering looked ridiculous. Even my husband agrees I look angry.
Which is fine, I suppose, however I would not buy a book if the author of the book looked like such a bitchy person.
Getting my picture taken is one of my least favorite things. I always think it will go better, meaning somehow, in some way, the image of the person (who is me) will be different. I don’t like the way I look. So when I see pictures of myself it makes me testy. I don’t really have serious issues with my body shape anymore, meaning anorexia and all that, but I still have issues with my appearance.
I don’t know where you go to love yourself, specifically your face. Which I have never liked; all of my childhood and young womanhood whenever I found myself in front of a mirror I was like, disgusted. Now I go back and forth between disgust and a bunch of other nebulous feelings, like disappointment, astonishment, and confusion. This is what I look like? Really? All of this makes me sound vain, which I guess I am.
At the same time part of me is like, “Fuck this!” I am so sick of this appearance dilemma. Who cares how I look? Who cares? Why does it matter how we look? I think somewhere in the depths of my delusional mind I have imagined better looks might get me what?
I don’t know where you go to make peace with your appearance. I go to therapy. I read therapy books. I look in the mirror and say, “I love you.” The thought slips off the mirror. Getting back to the pictures, I had a hard time looking at them, of course. I thought my friend who took them a questionable photographer. I like the pictures she takes of other people. Then I had my husband take a few pictures of me the following day. Let me tell you this—the photos my photographer friend took suddenly looked VERY OKAY. Perhaps this is the best I can do this week.