If you are from my generation there are likely lots of these awkward shots in your family photo albums, but for our kids, school photos are probably the only opportunity for an "awkward" photo. Since any photo that does not pass their critical self-evaluation, can't be edited and retouched to their satisfaction, simply gets deleted. It never existed and it won't resurface 40+ years later when your sister finds it and gives it to your niece to put online. My guess is that even an awkward photo of my kids would beat this beauty since they at least have straight teeth, good haircuts and decent clothes. Things I was clearly lacking judging from the photo.
So, let's break down the photo. Wow, look at those teeth. Imagine taking a "wait and see approach" today with your kids' teeth? There's too much to say about the teeth, so I'll reserve it for a future blog post entitled, At Least We Got Your Teeth Fixed.
Now, let's focus on the hair. School photos are taken in early September, so the hairdo I'm sporting in the photo is obviously the result of my grown out summer haircut, most likely styled by a barber so that only one trip was required for the kids' summer haircuts. I think my resourcefulness may have started in middle school. Do you see how I used that light blue barrette, at just the right angle to create a really great look! Not!
Today's kids have it easier than we did, at least when it comes to personal appearance. In addition to straight teeth and whitening toothpaste, there are no $5 haircuts, they go to salons not barbershops, they get haircuts more than once a season, and they have an assortment of hair products at their disposal. No AquaNet for these kids. (Is that even manufactured anymore? Probably not, I think it was banned as a flammable toxin.) And, those are just some of the personal appearance advantages for the boys, what about the girls? Highlighted hair, waxed eyebrows, manicures and pedicures, etc.
This post would be too long if I were to talk about the clothes I wore back in the day, but you can assume, correctly, they were bad too! Thankfully, I did not yet wear eyeglasses like my sisters did because you know they were crooked and there was probably tape someplace on them keeping them together.
Hmmm, I don't seem to be lacking confidence in that photo, do I? So, maybe the crooked teeth, bad haircuts and clothes were the things that made us who we are today. Who knows? But, what I do know is that we all need to learn to laugh at ourselves, imperfections and all.
So if you need a good laugh today, at your own expense, ask yourself Where Have All the Awkward Photos Gone?