You wouldn't know that ten minutes earlier, I'd felt really good about the outfit I'd put together for our night at the opera (Madama Butterfly -- a superb production). I've worn this All Saints dress before with nude tights and ankle boots, but this time I layered it atop a pair of slim black jersey pants I've had for a few years. The France Mode patent heels I bought two years ago have only been out three or four times, and I love the way the ankle straps worked with the pants.
But by the time we tried one backdrop and then another in our small apartment, I was starting to question the proportions. Was it all too popsicle-on-a-stick-legs? Or was that a factor of him always taking the shot from slightly above? And what about the lovely swish and flow that softened the blockened volume of the silk top with its lovely feathered print...
Ugh! And would he not perhaps figure out how to snap the f**ing picture faster? He keeps saying to smile, but there's only so long a woman can pose with a smile on her face and look credible (this woman at least). I feel ridiculous because the whole proposition is ridiculous and who do I think I am. The gap between my vision of the overall outfit -- and, let's be honest, how I hoped I looked in it -- and what the camera shows me (and we all know it doesn't lie, but we might admit it tells a very selective truth). The reductive power of the (imagined) Gaze of the Other. . .
Meanwhile, and putting all visual theory to the side (as if one could after reading it for decades, living it for more), one loving set of eyes is working very hard to make the damn cameraphone (not even his, the dear, yet he's stubbornly sticking with the project, telling me what he sees, wishing that could be as important to me as what the camera shows. . . and it is, of course, but . . .
There are glimpses, at least. They will suffice. Almost 63, after all, with a PhD, four brilliant adult children, five delightful grandchildren, a marathon under my belt . . . a traveller, a gardener, a reader. I wanted "pretty" too?!
Well, perhaps, just a childish little part of me did. Hard to escape an entire ideology, y'know? an acculturation from birth. . . But let's make do with "scrubs up well" and a sense of humour. And remember that the camera's not all that. Nor is the eye, for that matter.
So here you go. And mad props to my sister bloggers of a certain age who get in front of that camera regularly, with great aplomb (or who fake it spectacularly, at least). it's tough under those lights!