Remembering how to smile pretty

alpaca

It has been gently mentioned to me that perhaps a photo with an alpaca is not quite appropriate for a professional writer. So, I’m getting my headshot taken this week.

Photo shoots used to be a common part of my life when I was an actor. It was never something I thought twice about. It was simply an aspect of my job and I did it as readily as someone else might attend the Wednesday morning staff meeting.

But now that I’m retired from that line of work and it’s been a solid decade since I’ve been in front of a camera that wasn’t also a cell phone – I’m nervous.

When I left L.A, I stopped thinking about if my body was camera-ready. I wonder if I’ve lost my photo shoot skills. Now, I smile too big, making deep wrinkles around my eyes and showing too much of my teeth. I can’t remember which is my “good” side. I stand funny and allow my severely duck-footed feet to point at their absurd angles. I forget to pluck my eyebrows and can never shave my knees properly.

I loved those “unflattering” photos of Beyoncé at the Super Bowl. Since we have all untagged ourselves and our double chins on Facebook, doesn’t it make us all feel better that even Beyoncé can take a bad photo?

I don’t want a perfectly idealized photo of myself. I don’t want to be airbrushed to look 10 years younger than my real age. I’m a 34-year-old writer. I have really dry skin and my hair is unruly. And all that is okay.

I guess I just want a photo that looks like me. And that doesn’t have an alpaca in it.

Let’s see if I remember how to do this.

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