Sunday, January 16, 2011

Self Portrait, 2011

Or the crackling embers of the garbage can fire (bonfire was taken) of my vanity...

Confession. When I want an ego boost I post pictures of me when I am in high school or one of my more glamorous stages in my twenties on Facebook. Immediately after, I get pangs of guilt at the dishonesty of putting a picture up of me when when Reagan was president. That's not really me, is it?

To make amends, I go in with my Blackberry phone camera and take pictures, then with a combination of Photoscape and Photoshop, make those photos interesting. Nothing I do really alters the topography of my face or hair, it is all color, contrast, texture. I do nothing to get rid of the flaws. You see what the camera sees except through Sepia filters. Sometimes the things I do make it look even more flawed.

I have always wrestled with what photos are circulated of me. Back in the 1990s, I would get a call from media for pictures of myself. My work schedule hadn't allowed me an opportunity to have a picture taken of me. Then I would have to be nearly struck with a paralyzing dilemma -- do I send them an awesome picture or when I was younger, or do I somehow take a picture that would not be as flattering because it will be not by a good photographer like I had in the early days. A couple of times I would just send nothing in or have them send out a photographer. So many times, I have blushed at my shallow, shameful vanity.

Now, I am in my forties and I have crossed a threshhold where I am quite certain I am not going to look like I was when I was a teenager or a twenty year old. As I get older my German features I inherited from my birthfather emerge. There is nothing I can do about it. This is me. Forty means getting comfortable with new realities. When you are in your forties your face and body start to change. Being forty means loving yourself anyway. I do.

Favorite parts: lips, eyebrows, and eyes
Least favorite parts: nose and chin

This is me with my Vera Wang eyeglasses, half smile, and enlarged pores. No makeup except lipstick. This is not bad.

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