Long locks and shiny white dress. Formidable bangs and even white hose. What's not to emulate? Goodness. Sometimes a picture should not be worth a thousand words. And let's be candid, I assure you there was a time when I was proud of this picture, what with all of its close parallels to high fashion. Do you see me slouching? Oh no. I am head up, shoulders back. And that elbow so daintily laid on that banister. Very 80's chic. And do you know why I was proud? Because I was vain. I admit it. I probably loved this little photo for a brief time in history. Vanity, one of the seven deadly sins...
But I don't infer its over the top vanity like putting a mirror up at my desk so I can gaze into my own eyes ( I knew someone who did this...and no I am not lying) nor am I talking about the religious slant on vanity in which you believe you come before all others. Not a peacock, nor a narcissist; my vanity is mainly contained in one compartment: Le Photos.
Who has not wanted to look good in a photo? Who has not wanted to banish all unflattering photos to the deepest concaves of the closet? Who has not taken that one fabulous picture and used it for all personal publicity needs? I raise my hand to all three. Oh, come on, this is ringing a bell (or two).
While I admit to a speck or two of vanity in my time, who hasn't been afflicted? Back in the day, instant visibility to photos was not an option. You had to have that roll of film properly processed. With the dawn of the digital age came the instant fix.
Haven't you noticed the minute you snap that photo now on your digital camara, if there are actual bodies in that pic, you can't even say cheese before your comrades are huddled around wanting to review. And really, are they looking for group harmony? How the backdrop turned out? Fun embodied on a tiny screen? No. They are looking at themselves to determine whether or not it is a good picture. And deciding if you have their approval to keep it. I have a friend who must look at the photo taken immediately AND if said photo does not pass the litany of criteria, same friend will request (demand) the photo is deleted. Regardless if every other person looks like they just shot the cover of Vogue.
And I love all the Frowners who resist and buckle under the simple request to get in a photo. Don't think for a second they are free from the allure of reviewing the very same photo they put up such a fight about taking in the first place. We all know one. The particular Frowner I have in mind is also the first one to ask me for copies of my photos.
Don't think you are vain? Not even a touch? Bravo. You are the only one who isn't. Ever looked at yourself in the mirror? Multiple times a day? Checked that lip gloss, not just to ensure you remained inside the lines but also to see if your pucker is as glossy as it possibly can be? Ever looked at your caboose in those new Seven Jeans? Watched yourself workout? Put your little photo up on Facebook? Hid a picture you thought was ugly?
See my momentum?
And we shouldn't be vain. But we are. It doesn't hurt us to want to look our best, especially in photos that will be passed and shared. And can be billboarded at our showers, weddings, or suprise birthday parties. However, if you have a photo of yourself, alone, as your screensaver, you need to tone it down. (Seen it.) If you have a vanity plate (period) but especially one that reads "2Cute4U" , stop it. (Seen it.) And if you trip over free weights on the gym floor because you are busy looking at yourself in the mirror, you are a jack ass. (Seen it and I think he was making puckerlips at his reflection. Egads.)
And if you have a large painting of yourself over a fireplace in your home, wearing some kind of long flowing nightgown, circa Falcon Crest, like some throwback chanteuse, I thank you because you just made me feel 1000 times better about my shiny white dress and pumps picture.