Friday, August 7, 2009

The good, the bad, and the ugly duckling...

If any man had to spend a day inside my head, he would without a doubt, come to the conclusion that I am clinically insane. Nevertheless, I don't like to think I am out of the norm. Most women have a growing list of insecurities stored inside their head. There are those rare lucky women, like my fictional role model Peggy Hill, who are blessed with either a lack of self awareness or extreme confidence. I would settle for either, but I am not that lucky. I am completely self aware of my flaws, and I have self confidence that fluctuates more than Jessica Simpson's weight. In order to make myself feel better I like to believe that like me, most women are functioning lunatics when it comes to self esteem. We all just hide it - until now.

Yes, that is me. That is my fourth grade class photo. Allergies and hairspray are a bad combination on photo day. It is probably the worst photo I have ever taken in my life. I still cringe when I see it, and I have to keep reminding myself that I am now a mature, confident women of 25. Bad photos happen, that is not what I really look like! ... right?

So what inspired this ability to share something that until now has been an embarrassing memory? Well, Jessica Simpson of all things.

You see, most of my insecurities have been rooted deep inside me from the time I was a kid. Sadly, most of these insecurities involve looks. Everyone wants to role their eyes at the gorgeous model who claims to have been the ugly duckling. Yet, for the most part, even when she becomes a swan, most women never totally shed that duckling mentality.

Kids are innocent. We don't know we are different or have flaws until they are pointed out. Unfortunately, I distinctly remember beginning to notice and having my differences pointed out to me at an early age. Being a tall awkward semi-Hispanic girl was difficult at times when all the boys seem to like the tiny blond girls. Speaking of which, back to Jessica Simpson. She was the epitome of what I had longed to be when I was a girl. Short, skinny, and blond. Seeing my poor 4th grade self makes it's hard for me to be sympathetic towards her. Even after reading this article it didn't give me much sympathy. She discusses her body image in a fairly eloquent way, but "boo-hoo" you're still Jessica Simpson. Then, just like the gossip sites want, I was baited by those links woven into the article. That's when the shift occurred.

I clicked on this link: See how Jessica Simpson's body has changed through the years

Sure there are a few, ok a lot, of bad outfits. Other than that, it is photo after photo of a totally in shape- hot Jessica Simpson. Then when I realized I had clicked on the last photo I felt really sad. Not because my celebrity gossip fix was cut short, but because of what the last photo represented. Unless you have been living on Mars you've seen it. The high waisted Jeans! (Oh the horror!) Let's all be honest, regardless of what her weight was at the time, it is a bad photo. Bad photos happen. Personally, I thought it was totally unfair to title a slide show "how Jessica Simpson has changed through the years" and end with her worst photo ever. That is not a good reflection of who she is anymore than that fourth grade photo is who I am.

I have hid from my photo for years, and today Jessica Simpson of all things, inspired me to take a stand. She isn't the kind of girl I aspire to be, or even normally defend. Yet, every women deserves to be comfortable with who they are. So, with my fourth grade photo, I am taking a stand for women everywhere. Let's all stop running towards these ideals of how we should look.

If you would like to join me in taking a stand, go ahead and email me your best and worst photo. I'd love to post it along with your story of what makes you feel confident and beautiful. It's actually quite liberating, like conquering a fear.

What's that you say? You don't have a best photo? Well, you're in luck. It is now my job to capture people at their very best. In fact, a free photo session goes to the person who sends me their best-worst photo! Email me at

...and go ahead, laugh at my class picture. I know it's bad.


  1. i admit i laughed, but i know you're pretty, it was the photographers fault for not telling you your eyes were closing and that you forgot to put on your big pretty smile. thank goodness you're a better photographer than that so you won't ruin little kids self confidence in years to come.

  2. So funny, Bryan just said you look drunk in this

  3. Lesson learned, never try any new product on your kid's hair day of pictures. Sorry!!!

  4. Hey, I'm in this class photo too and I'm not too proud of my picture either. It's all about being a kid. No worries=)

    The worst part is I STILL have to take pictures on Picture Day (being a teacher and all) and I dread it every year. I always hope I take a good one because it goes in the yearbook! But, the good thing is nowadays they take the pictures with digital cameras and they always check the picture before they send the kid off just in case.....

  5. So true, so true! The insecurities never stop! Loved your article. I'm going to have to dig out some REALLY bad school pics of my own from the sixties.