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In the Picture

Mr.ncot took this photo of me at the end of our recent holiday. We stopped at a service station near a lake and the benches outside were in this lovely autumn wooded area. I took some photos of the boys and then asked mr.ncot to take a picture of all of us. The other two photos were okay, but I love this one. I look relaxed and when I saw the photo my immediate thought was - "I look lovely", rather than my normal "I look overweight and need to do something about it" thought. I was so grateful that Alan got this shot of the boys and meIMG_5406

And then I read this post, which really struck a chord with me. Allison Tate wrote about how she is missing from the photos of her kids and why this might be. This started me thinking. I also do not have many photos of me and the boys.

There are a few reasons for this. Mostly, I take all the photos and want to take them. Taking photos is not so important to Alan, so he doesn't do it unless I specifically ask him to. I get lots of snaps of him and the boys, since I enjoy watching them play together and taking photos. The other reason, as the original blogger pointed out, is that I don't want a photographic record of how I look now in the moment. When I am with the boys, I am always slobby mummy - dressed for comfort and speed, not style. No makeup. Hair is never straight and blow-dryed. No make up. And I have nearly 3 stone to lose. I look at photos and use them as evidence of how big I now am. My face is rounder. And let's not even talk about my lack of waist. Or my widened hips.

And yet, and yet. Many women responded to the original post, and there was a follow up post, which summarised many of the women's voices and stories. And the original editor added her story as well. It is reassuring to know that it is not just me. I will make more of an effort to hand the camera to Alan and get more photos with me in, that aren't staged!

And as a final postscript, this photo of me was taken by my friend Jill when we were walking in the mountains, I think in 2008. I like that photo of me, I look so happy, but look at the comments I wrote about it! I will learn to like myself in photos, just as I am in that moment in time.
helen in mountains

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Oct. 13th, 2012 03:50 pm (UTC)
Hi Helen, Cheryl here. I sympathize so much about photos. I have ideally 5 stone to lose though really I'd take any weight loss as great! Recently I was out with a group of friends to celebrate my 50th birthday and one took out her camera phone. I haven't got the heart to tell her I deleted them when she sent them to me. Not only do I look like a beached whale, owing to hot flush I look like a beetroot beached whale! At least there is no point in collecting photos of me as no one to come after me. While on a quilting website recently I saw a portrait quilt of a woman older than me but body like mine and it moved me because how often do I see pictures of women who like me? Ought to go and check the links you've thoughtfully added.
xxx
kittiwake
Oct. 14th, 2012 06:55 am (UTC)
I don't have any children to refuse to be photographed with, but I have been showing my holiday snaps to people before, only to have them ask whether I actually went on that holiday as there are pictures of scenery and buildings but none of me. The only picture of me that I have ever liked is of me playing in the back garden aged 2 or 3,and come to think of it there are hardly any photos of me with either of my parents. Even before I was fat I always hated having my photo taken and every time I see my graduation photo on display at my mother's house I want to 'accidentally' break it. I have always had the feeling that being photographed is for the pretty ones : (

PS: I couldn't see what you thought of your 2008 pic as we aren't Facebook friends, so I have sent you a friends request - Catherine Isabel Hood.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )