Important announcement: I have decided that 2015 will be the year I embrace the selfie.
No, not the bathroom mirror “Does my new outfit make me look fat?”’ selfie, but more of the “Look at my fat ass in the bathroom mirror, do you think it would look better with corn chips?” kind of selfie.
To understand why I hate taking photos of myself, or photos of me in general, you need to understand that I am hilariously unphotogenic. No, you think I’m saying that, but it’s true. Even as a very cute child, I took very bad photos. Everyone says so. Every once in a great while someone would get a good picture of me and I’d tack it up on the fridge and my pathologically Midwestern parents would say “Ouffff, now we need to quit fanning her vanity!” and it would come down and get buried in a box. As a kid, I always thought it was weird to go over to someone’s house and see that they willingly displayed framed photos of themselves, and I’ll admit, part of me still does. But today, in 2015, at the dawn of the selfie stick (HAVE YOU SEEN THESE THINGS?), I realize that attitude toward portraiture says more about me than it does about them.
Just the same, for old times sake, and because it’s Throwback Thursday, let’s review just one of the many hundreds of horrific moments in the photograph history that is Peaches.
Well folks. There it is. Now, I know what you are thinking, WHAT IS THAT?
That, my friends, is the best that 1989 pre-teen dancewear could offer. Hot look, right? I know. The dance routine was set to Midnight Star’s “No Parking on the Dance Floor” and the outfit was supposed to be some sort of hyped-up traffic cop slash meter maid slash cocktail waitress.
Thing was, being an unusually healthy (read: enormous) child, the costume didn’t really fit. They ordered me the largest size but dance instructor still had to use her manicure scissors to cut darts in the back so I could squeeze into the sequined, hot pink spandex sausage casing as the rest of the dance class looked on in horror.
But wait, it gets better…
Of course, that day I came in wearing zero makeup so one of the other girl’s mom took it upon herself to introduce me to Mary Kay’s finest gift: frosted purple eyeshadow. I’ll tell you something, nothing sets off a mild case of pre-teen lazy eye like a good streak of wild orchid. My smile consisted of two very large front teeth as the rest were missing or half-way grown in, giving me the look of young, snaggletooth meth addict. I attempted a smile with my mouth closed but the photographer refused to take my picture until I showed him, “them pearly whites.”
Well then. I sure showed him.
Now, as you can imagine, my face in the image was so horrible, so embarrassing, that when the photos came back from the photographer I hid them so nobody would be tempted hang one up or send it off to relations. They sat there in that box for 20 years until one day a while back, I ruptured this photographic treasure from its sunken tomb. As I studied the photo more closely, I recalled the too tight costume, the awful song, and the frightening choreography meant to mimic the hand gestures of crossing guard on Soul Train. I did not, however, recall the words on the costume. Clearly, they were designed to conjure images of traffic signs but the repeating pattern of inappropriate sexual messages is hard to miss;
SLIPPERY WHEN WET
ENTER WITH CAUTION
…you get the picture.
So that was a fun. Also really gross, but it’s sorta fun to realize that all those years I spent feeling horrified and embarrassed of my appearance in those pictures was really nothing compared to the horror and embarrassment of the adult that ordered a baby stripper costume in the first place. But, I digress. I could use this opportunity to highlight the travesty of a culture that unknowlingly sexualizes children, or, I could use this as a chance to get mad at my dad for letting me walk around in public without noticing his kid was dressed like a hot pink hooker, or, I could use this as a reminder as to why I shouldn’t freak out over how my face looks in a picture today because 20 years later I might find something much worse.
…Or, I could just take it down to the store, get it enlarged, and let it dance.