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.