Ever heard of Glamour Shots? They were so big in the early Nineties. How I wished I would have gone back in the day. The experience sounded so magical.
They treated you like a model! You would go to their photography studio -- usually somewhere in the mall -- and get slapped with a hookerful of makeup before getting a hair blowout that would put an F5 tornado to shame. After that, you'd move on to accessories -- lamé scarves, satin gloves, foofy hats, etc. There was so much dazzle at your disposal. Some people didn't know when to stop.
Once done, you headed to a photographer that had strict orders to use a camera with a blurry lens. Then they would cue you to flirt with the camera. And women did.
Oh, how they did.
I'm not going to lie. Many photos that were taken turned out pretty well. But others? Well...just google 'funny glamour shots' and you're sure to get a chuckle. As for me, all I've got is one from a friend sent. Doesn't she look glamourous? And yes, they loaned her the bomber jacket. Me-ow!
Love that 'off the shoulder' look!
Not now. I look bloated.
So it starts like this...
My friend, Rita, changed her Facebook profile pic to a cute photo of her family. I wrote on her wall, “I love your profile pic. Everyone looks so good!” She replied, “Well you never pick a bad one, do you???”
Hmm. Excellent point.
Then our friend, Karen, chimed in saying she was tempted to change her profile pic to something hideous. Of course, knowing Karen, she did just that. Minutes later, a goofy photo of her appeared.
I laughed. "Game on," I posted on her wall. Then I dug into our computer archives. An awful photo of me had to be somewhere in there. Well, guess what? I couldn't find one.
That's right. After scrolling through thousands of photos, I couldn't find even one where I looked bad. Sound conceited? I'm not. It's much sadder. Truth is, I'm just vain.
Whenever I see a bad picture of myself I delete it, no questions asked. I think, "No big deal. A lot of people do it." And that's true, but here's the thing: in the 3000+ photos we have on our family computer, I’m only in about 60.
Yep. I'm in less than 2% of our photos. What a legacy.
Granted, I’m the cameraman. During trips and family gatherings it's usually me taking the photos. Still, that 2% statistic really stinks, and it's all because I have to look perfect. In my quest to look flawless for future generations, I quite literally cut myself out of the picture.
What spurred me to delete so many photos of myself? Could I have had that many bad hair days? Does my smile keep looking crooked or my eyes keep drooping or did the photos just look like the real me instead of the idealized one I had in my head?
Well, effective immediately, I'm going to stop discarding every bad photo of myself. Life isn’t perfect and neither am I. My friends and family still love me the way I am. Why can't I love myself, too?
Years from now, when I have a grandchild in my lap and we’re looking at old family photos, I may not look great but at least I’ll be there. Present.
In the picture.
photo number 61
Remember when I said beauty comes from within? Well, I lied. You’re no better than your looks. Personality, smarts and talent mean nothing if they're not packaged in a pretty shell.
But don't worry. I'm her to rescue you with some products that will make you smile -- but don’t. Please. Smiling wrinkles your skin, plus you really need to whiten your teeth.
First off, about that smile. Why not use Face Refrain, the expression inhibitor serum? Just apply this invisible liquid to 'retrain your brain, and therefore your body, to decrease or completely stop repetitive facial expressions that can result in creases and eventually, wrinkles.’ It’s form a tape to prevent you from ‘repetitive facial expressions’ like scowling or smiling. Living without expressing emotion is good for many reasons. Keeping it all inside makes your
insides boil, which burns more calories…or does it cause cardiac damage? I forget.
If you’re already
wrinkled, you might need to continue to plan B. Use Baba De Caracol Original Snail Slime facial cream. Remember ‘original.’ Don’t fall for imitations. All slimes are not the same!
Let’s move on to your nose. It better be one of those cute upturned ones. It’s not? Then you’re clearly second tier. No worries. Just use the Beauty Life High Nose. ‘The supports hold your nose in place the buzzing will help shape your nose into just that little bit firmer and higher.’Love the grammar. This product must be top notch!
Of course, we can’t forget lips. There are a ton of plumpers out there, but none more fun that the Luscious Lip Pumper. That's right. I said ‘pumper,’not ‘plumper.’ No silly creams or lipsticks here. Instead, just use the vacuum pump to get ‘full, pouty, more kissable lips in seconds!' Side note: bruising should not occur if the conditioning process is carefully followed. Plus what’s wrong with bruising, anyway? It’s like mottled lipstick that won’t easily come off!
Now boobs aren’t part of your face, but you can’t deny their importance.
Without big boobs, women must rely on their personalities to get dates. Such a horror! My favorite product? F-Cup Cookies. They’re FDA-unapproved! Plus you get to eat cookies. Double bonus. This product is (very definitely) too good to be true!
Still, if you’re on a diet and can't eat cookies -- which you should be unless you're a size 0 -- increase your size party-style with the wine rack bra. Just fill it with your favorite beverage and slosh your way to high stylin’.
I'm sure there are more horrible -- I mean awesome -- products out there to make you more beautiful. If you've got one, please share. We all need a little help, don't we?
Did that title get your attention? Thought it might. Truth is, I wasn't that bad looking.
If only I’d realized it at the time.
Back then, it seemed like there was always something about me that needed fixing. My face, my hair, my body -- I had problems in every department. And I knew if I could change them, I would be perfect and my life would be totally different: I’d be more popular. I’d get the attention of that cute guy in study hall. I’d meet the girl who played Blair from ‘Facts of Life’ and she’d let me raid her closet.
Life would be AWESOME.
My features are dark, so back in the day I idolized similarly featured teen super model Phoebe Cates. She graced the pages of Seventeen magazine on a frequent basis -- that is, until her role in the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High where she played a VERY sexually active teen who took her bikini top off in a rather hilarious dream sequence. She didn’t appear in the magazine after that. Go figure.
Transition from teen girl idolization to teen boy idolization in 3...2...1.
Anyway, before the movie she was my inspiration. I can still visualize my favorite photo of her. She wore these purple wide-whale corduroy pants with a cinched draw-string waist that were totally rad. Such the style icon. With her image squarely in my mind, I would sit cross-legged on the bathroom counter and analyze my face. I’d think if my eyes were a little bigger, my forehead a little higher, my nose a little smaller, and my chin a little softer I would look just like her. And life would be perfect.
Well, a little while ago I chanced upon one of my old high school year books. Biting my nail, I flipped to my picture. Yep, it was me, Eighties hair and all, and you know what? I didn’t look bad. In fact, I looked pretty dang good. What had I been so uptight about? Skimming through the photos I noticed everyone looked good. And to think of how many lunchroom conversations we wasted talking about what we’d change about ourselves. Stupid.
I wish I would have spent far less time worried about perfection and a lot more time enjoying who I was. Life would have been so much more fun. Even now I have to catch myself. I’m not getting any younger, you know. But I bet when I’m sixty years-old looking at photos of me today, I’ll be thinking I didn’t look half bad.
So do yourself a favor: Next time you look in the mirror, focus on what’s right instead of what’s wrong. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And who do you think is the most important beholder?
That’s right, baby.
Insert 'Like a Virgin' joke here.
Ugh. Sometimes a news story just makes me wanna hurl. Take Kerry Campbell from San Francisco, CA. Her eight year-old daughter, Britney, complained about ‘wrinkles’ on her face so she did the obvious: She gave her daughter Botox treatments. After all, nothing says maternal love like injecting your child’s face with toxins, right?
Kerry got the idea from her fellow pageant show moms. That’s right. Britney participates in those kiddie beauty pageants I just love to bits. Doesn’t your heart just warm when you watch a youngster strut her stuff in metallic gold cone bra? Mine, too.
Still, I couldn’t believe the whole Botox thing. What kind of mom would put her kid through that? I mean, come on! Why didn't she act sooner? That way her daughter would never have had to deal with the self-esteem issues she’s experiencing now.
Case in point, the baby below:
Dang! My fingers look like sausages!
She's adorable, right? Still, those chubby cheeks should really go, especially if she wants to attract that cute eighteen month-old boy who plays on the other side of the sandbox. Sure, she could dangle a bright red shovel his way in the hopes of getting him to toddle over, but that would look too forward. I say cheek bone implants and lip fillers to start, followed by false eyelashes and hair extensions. With looks on her side, her life will be easy. Screw personality development!
Everyone knows that if you’re not perfect, you’re not worthy of attention. That whole ‘beauty comes from the inside’ bit? Just a load of crap to make ugly people feel better. It’s a mom’s job to make sure kids don’t have to deal with that kind of angst. Best to nip it in the bud.
Okay, okay. I’ll cut the sarcasm. This whole Botox story is both ridiculous and sad. Those awful ‘lines’ on Britney’s face? They look like dimples to me. Cute, little girl dimples.
When I was young I wanted to be perfect. I would sit in front of the mirror and examine my face, thinking, ‘if only my eyes were a little bigger,’ ‘if only my forehead were a little higher,’ etc., etc., etc. Finally, I wised up. I decided to stop defining myself by my flaws and focus on assets. It was a life-affirming moment for me. Very empowering, too.
For anyone who wishes they were more beautiful than they are right now, I’ve got an easy solution: SMILE. The best smiles always come from within. They come from knowing and (still) loving yourself.
Embrace what’s good. Celebrate what’s great. Others will see it, too. Beauty really does come from within. You just have to let it show.