Thursday, March 16, 2006 4:39 PM

Not beating myself up anymore, part one.

A post from Penelope (3/10) recently echoed something I've been thinking lately - it's time to be nice to myself and stop being so super-critical. Among other things this past weekend, I needed a new photo for my work's new website. I'm not photogenic, and I've written before about how disappointed I've been when I get pictures back from an event I thought I looked pretty nice at only to see how goofy I look in the pictures. So. To start out with a proper attitude of self-forgiveness, I gave myself permission to take lots of pictures, and to retouch the photos if I wanted to. HA! Let the airbrushing begin!

When I finally had all the new photos up on the screen, I could barely look at them - it felt so odd to me to be staring at myself. When I get ready to go out somewhere, I usually only have 5 minutes, I put on a little makeup, and it usually ends with me sighing at my reflection and saying, "It'll have to do" and running out to the car because we're late. So scrutinizing my features was very, very uncomfortable to me, and I tried to work through it because, sheesh, you should feel comfortable looking at a picture of yourself. And maybe even liking the person you see there.

So I tweaked levels and airbrushed out some molding from the wall... and realized that I didn't actually have a whole heck of a lot to do to the actual picture. So here's what I changed - and what struck me most was that these are all such TINY things, all things I can do something about regardless.

Recognize the necklace?

1. Got rid of the dark circles under my eyes from no sleep. I thought, HELLO, there's actually makeup for that! I should get some! Also added in a little eyeliner, because what I had on was from the dollar bin at Drug Fair (God forbid I should spend money on anything for myself) and wasn't showing up in the photo at all.

2. I realized that most of the time we take pics with a flash. A bright light shining in my face is not my friend, and thankfully, most of my life I am viewed in natural light. There's a reason they call it that. Natural. Natural is good. So here's to more pics sans flash.

3. Brightened my teeth - also fixable in real life. I was completely tempted to go get someone else's smile and stick it on there - someone with perfectly straight teeth and not so much gum, but I bravely resisted. And actually, "perfectly straight teeth" is possible, once I win the lottery. So, not beating myself up over that one.

All in all, not such a horrible experience. Now, if I could just learn what to do with my hair and actually have time to do it, we'd be in business.


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