Friday, March 28, 2014



This is my year. It's my year to give back. Not just cash, but in sentiment, too.

I recently finished a project for my daughter's school. I volunteered to catch and photograph staff members who had not had their yearbook photo taken for whatever reason. No warning. Just show up at the school, catch them whenever and wherever I could, ask them to stand up against the wall, and start snapping.

They didn't like this. None of them.

Most of my list consisted of women. A couple of men, too. I knew the responses I would get before I even began. I have heard all of the excuses and reasoning at some point. I was prepared. I was prepared with my pep talk, my confidence-boosting attitude, and my camera. So, I thought.

After begging and pleading with nearly 20 staff members, I felt defeated. Discouraged. Very, very discouraged. It's a yearbook photo. Really? All of this turmoil over a yearbook photo?

I will now publicly repeat the top phrases I heard over the course of 2 days. Many of these were repeated several times:

"I've just been having them use the same photo for the last 3 years so that it looks like I don't have as many wrinkles as I really do."

"Can you please Photoshop some curls in my hair and some makeup on my face?"

"I'm going to break your camera."

"Will you thin my chin?"

"This is the skinny side of my face, so I need to turn a bit."

"Will you shoot it vertical so that my face looks taller?"

"WAIT! I really hate this. Do I have to do this?"

"Can you make me look glamorous, please?"

"I really hate this."

"I look terrible."

"No. I refuse. I will not have a picture taken of me. I don't want to be in the yearbook. Tell them that, and make sure they know. I won't be in there."

*  *  *
Uhhhh, REALLY? COME ON, Ladies (and gent who protested for a bit). What is happening here is atrocious. I find it ABSURD! We all know what you look like! You come to school with no makeup on every day. That's okay. You don't NEED make up. You come to school to teach my children. You come to school to help lift kids up to their full potential. You give EVERYTHING you have to OUR kids. And when my girls look through their yearbook at the end of the year, they want to see your face. Makeup or no makeup. Curls or no curls. Thin chin or not. They want to remember YOU for who YOU are. They will remember that you were the person who taught them to read. They will remember that you were the one who taught them to love math. They will remember that you were the one who boosted their self-confidence and gave them a hug when you knew they needed it the most.

It's not about the makeup or the wrinkles or the zit on your chin. It has nothing to do with your "skinny side". It's about the connection and the relationship you have with these children. It's about your role in their lives. It's about YOU being YOU. That's what they are going to remember. And instead of resisting with all of your being, and belittling yourself with the horrific self-talk, stand up against the wall and smile. Smile big and proud. Because YOU are amazing. And your students will be able to look back and see YOUR amazing face. Not a gray square with the words "Photo Unavailable".

This is ME being ME. I'm working today. No makeup. No contacts in. And it's okay.


1 comment:

  1. I still remember my second grade teacher and how much I loved her. It would have broken my heart if her picture wasn't in that yearbook. Kids love their teachers for who they are, not what they look like. Thanks doing all that you do!