I don’t do selfies. They’re just not my thing. This really isn’t surprising, especially in light of some photographs I found recently.

Mom and I were scrapbooking and I had finished the book that I had been working on for about four years. While fishing around for another idea for my next book, Mom suggested I do my time at Baylor. So I decided that was exactly what I was going to do. She then told me that she had some pictures from when I moved into my dorm on her computer. Off I trundled, flash drive in hand, to snag the pictures for my own.

While I was waiting for all 200 something of them to finish copying onto the drive, I got nosy and started poking around her other picture folders. I managed to find one full of pictures of my early childhood.
The first thing that popped into my mind was #tbt, or throw back Thursday for you non-instagram types. Every Thursday, social media users post old photos of themselves or their family. It’s a fun way to strike some nostalgia and cause everyone you know to laugh at you in one fell swoop. So I copied those onto the drive too and began posting one every Thursday.

One of the things I discovered was a treasure trove of professional photographs of my mom, my sister, and myself from the early 90’s. They were hysterical. After posting a picture of myself after catching a chicken on an Indian Princess camping trip (I was the only one in the tribe able to succesfully capture one), I started in on the professionals.

I noticed something about those photos. In every photo, even the ones where Kara is a baby, she was perfectly posed. I mean, that girl is seriously cheesing in every single photo. It’s like she was born to be in front of a camera.

And then there was me.

Generally I was in the background. Generally I was awkward as hell.

It wasn’t confined to an awkward phase. It wasn’t confined to an awkward haircut or unfortunate glasses choice.

It was absolutely across the board. It was like as soon as the camera was picked up, my brain broke and I had absolutely no earthly idea what to do with myself.

The candid shots were great—they showed a normal child, smiling normally. The ones where I knew I was being photographed showed a child with a bucktoothed half grin doing something weird with her hands or other body part, looking generally like she’d really rahter be anywhere but where she was right now.

Over the years that hasn’t really changed. Train a camera on me and I freak the heck out, at least internally. Tyra Banks herself could teach me how to model and I would still look super awkward and not in a high fashion way. I just don’t know what to do with myself. Well I do. I know I should suck in my belly and smile. But somewhere between my brain picturing how I want to look and the part where my body does what I tell it to, something goes very very wrong.

Conversations like the following have actually happened in my lifetime:

Mom: “What are you doing in that picture?”
Me: “I thought I was smiling!”
Mom: “That can’t possibly be a smile.”
Me: “You’re right. It’s not. But I thought it was at the time.”

While I have managed to get my entire mouth to smile, the half smile has been replaced by another disturbing bodily malfunction: my tongue sticks out between my teeth. I think it’s behind them. I really do. But then I see the photo and there it is, a little pink tip of tongue poking between my top and bottom teeth. Lately I’ve been screaming at myself to keep my tongue BEHIND my teeth. Unfortunately this often results in my eyes being closed or my whole head being sucked backwards so I look like Honey BooBoo’s mom.

It’s not for lack of trying on my part. I desperately tried to be a fashion blogger. I took a spare tripod from the house and bought a remote for my camera and everything. The only decent shots I could get were of my shoes or my hands or something else that only involved an extremely limited portion of my body. So I suppose I could do it if I took 10 pictures, one of each ear, wrist, foot, butt cheek, etc. But who really wants to see that?

I don’t know why my brain and my body refuse to work together like they do. I just know that for that reason, I will never really jump on the selfie train.

No comments:

Post a Comment