Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Never Gonna Be a Supermodel

Welcome to the first Round Robin Photo Challenge of the new year! This week's topic was chosen by Becky of Where Life Takes You. The topic: "Super Model." Becky knows a little something about this, having been a model herself when she was younger.

To be honest, I was nervous about this topic. It's no secret that I'm fat. I have a double chin, and gray streaks in my hair. It would be ludicrous for me to pretend that I was a supermodel. Heck, I think twice before posting any pictures of myself at all. Nor do I know anyone who fits the bill, someone young and thin and confident. Well, okay, Barbie doll and her friends, but no actual living humans.

So the heck with it. I'm going to post pictures of myself anyway, "modeling" a couple of outfits I tried on the day of the Vivi Awards presentation. The first is all me, as I am - or was, a couple of months ago. For the other shots, I played around with PhotoStudio 2000 to make myself look thinner. Why? Because I can. It made for an interesting exercise, if you'll pardon the expression! ;)

Sadly, it looked terrible on me.

This is probably the most unflattering picture of me I will ever dare to post. John will be aghast if he sees it, that I would put myself on display like this, looking my very worst. It's kind of an interesting photo, though, this horrendous self portrait, taken at Dillard's a few hours before the Vivi Awards. I like the fact that it accurately reflects how I felt at that moment: old, fat, frumpy, disappointed, desolate and ashamed.

I don't feel that way today.

It's also proof, if any be needed, that I will never, ever, ever be a model again. My only modeling experience, I just now remembered, was when I was five or six years old. I was in some kind of fashion show, just once, when I was in kindergarten at Pebble Hill School. Never again. Even if I were to lose 100 pounds and color my hair, I would never even aspire to do this sort of thing. The closest I will ever come is occasionally humiliating myself in this blog.

Since this is a blog, though, an online, digital medium, I can do things to make myself look better - not in just real life, but the easy way, through photo editing software.

fix me digitally #2

This one has been distorted and narrowed. My head's the wrong shape, but the body is a definite improvement.

the dress I wanted to try on looked so good on the hanger. digitally improved Karen #3

Here's the dress from the first shot, as it looked on the hanger. It was so pretty until I got into it! On the right is my own dress, the one I wore during the Vivi Awards that night. For this edit, I've narrowed everything but my head, and added some extra, non-gray hair.

And no, I didn't buy either the dress or the skirt set.

Now, you may think that this entry is a catalog of shame, a confession of a poor body image, maybe even unjustifiably so. But that's not quite it. It's true that I'm well aware of my faults and shortcomings. But that's just a rational "know thyself" kind of thing, not an inferiority complex. Because I also know that I don't always look horrible. I've even been close to my ideal weight, once or twice in my life. Even if I never get there again, I can live with that. I have other qualities.

Showing my imperfection and my insecurity like this is also strangely liberating. This is my statement to the world: I'm fat and 48 years old, almost 49. So what? Obesity is a medical condition, not a sin. It is very difficult to control, as millions of people know from bitter experience. And age should never be a source of shame. If you look down on me for this, it's your problem, not mine.

And I don't wanna be a supermodel.


Now go see what the other Robins have come up with!

Round Robin Linking List

Becky...Where Life Takes You Posted
Karen...Outpost Mavarin Posted
Carly...Ellipsis...Suddenly Carly Posted
Derek...Through My Eyes Posted 2nd Site/Entry
Kimberleigh...I Shaved My Legs For This? Posted
Betty...My Day, My Interests PhotoBlog Posted
Tess...First Digital Photos Posted
Gem...Journally Yours Posted
Nancy...Nancy Luvs Pix Posted
T.J. ...Photo Inclusions: Every Picture Tells A Story Posted
Julie...Julie's Web Journal Posted
Steven...(sometimes) photoblog Posted
Sassy...Sassy's Eye Posted
Dorn...Through the Eyes of the Beholder Posted
DesLily...Here, There and Everywhere 2nd Edition Posted Mirror Entry
rRose...Wait Not Yet Posted


TJ said...

I love the dresses and hey it is the lightening in those dressing rooms that make us look bad! I am not much for posting my photos either, I am not one of those lucky people who photograph well.
I think you post is VERY brave and a super models....well you look red carpet if you loaded on the make-up , pulled your hair up, smiled and gave that little wave they all do!
( Which dress did you buy)

tess said...

Brave, much braver than I LOL!

Becky said...

I love the second dress! Honestly tho, your body is in much better proportion than mine. You should see some of the photo editing tricks I use on pictures of ME that I decide to post. LOL!! I should do an entry on photo-retouching one of these days with some before and after animated gifs. ;-)

Sassy said...

Karen~It looks like you had fun playing with this one. You are strong and beautiful in your unmasking! I am stumped on this topic, but now thinking of alnernatives....Sincerely, Sassy

julie said...

You look MUCH better in any of those dresses than I would! I'm going to have to go to the tentmaker for my next frock.

BTW, are there any special tags we should use on these Round Robin posts?

Kimberleigh said...

I missed the vivi awards, I hope you chose the first dress to wear, it's gorgeous and the color looked very nice on you!

Jod{i} said...

I must stand and applaud you. This is, from my personal view, a very courageous moment.
I really find such empowerment from reading this...I do.
Your self confidence and acceptance of you and who you are is incredibly inspiring to me! It truly is.
Your honesty ...well your honesty is just admirable. I hope to reach that point..someday.

I felt every word, every image as if it were laid out right here before me.


Anonymous said...

You go, girl!!