One of my jobs is cleaning houses. The one I am doing this week is so beautiful, with old dark wooden floors and ancient door knobs. I couldn’t help but tell my photographer friend about it, how she just had to come take pictures of it. And it turned into a photo shoot that included me.
I was excited, of course. I have seen the pictures she’s done, and she makes everyone look so beautiful. She can make a rusted nail look beautiful. And I couldn’t wait to see what I looked like in high resolution. I’ve been overly proud of several selfies, I couldn’t wait to see the real thing.
While it happened, I just fell into it. The theme was loneliness and depression. That was absolutely no problem to pretend to feel. We had all these great ideas and she was so excited with me. It was a blast.
And then she sent the pictures. This one:
I hated it. I hated my elbows, my knees, my face. I knew we were going for an awkward limb pose, but I felt like I looked so stupid.
And then she sent me more and as I scrolled through them I got this embarrassing anxiety. This is what I look like in high resolution? Am I worse off than a rusted nail?
I confronted friends about it. Telling them how disappointed I was. The pictures were beautiful, the angles were perfect, but the model was all wrong. And then I was told “put your thumb over your face and look at them.”
Of course I thought wow because that will make it not me anymore. What stupid advice. But I do it anyway because I just do what I’m told, and I loved them. Every single one.
When the model wasn’t me anymore, she was beautiful. Her skin was a soft ivory, her jagged lovely bones in the right places, it was beautiful.
I was beautiful. And for the first time in a while, I felt it.