Off-Topic and On Candid Camera

Well, I had a plan for today’s blog post but the best laid plans and all that. At the precise moment that I clicked on ‘New Post’ my toddler son approached me wielding my old camera, his current obsession. It’s like living with a mini-paparrazzo – you never know when a flash is going to pop off in your face and momentarily blind you.

Being in concentrating writerly mode the press intrusion got to me so I went a little prima donna on his ass and grabbed the camera off him to check out his snap. God I wish I hadn’t. To quote the toddler as he looked over my shoulder – ‘you look ugly. And fat.’ In one way I should be quite pleased – I didn’t even know those two words were in his vocabulary and here he was deploying them accurately, with the merciless matter-of-factness of a 3 year old.

I would describe myself as being largely without vanity. Take from that what you will. If you’re feeling judgey you could take it to mean I’m a bit of a slob who takes no pride in her appearance. If you’re feeling generous of spirit you’ll take me at face value (ironic, that) and just think that I’m not overly-obsessed with appearance. The truth is probably lurking somewhere in between.

So anyway. The photo. (You didn’t think I was going to post it did you? I hit delete quicker than a stalker hits redial.) In summary there were two main issues with my appearance (well, three, if you factor in that in my head I am about 15 years younger than I actually am): posture and clothing. Let’s look at these individually.

1. Posture (or, why my son called me fat): it was only after seeing the photo that I realised that I was sunk in that sofa, laptop where it’s name decrees, belly stuck out, chin thrust forward in the manner of all the greatest mouth-breathers thinkers. Dear reader, I was not an edifying sight. A reason, if ever there was one, to work at a proper desk. Or at the very least to breathe deep, hold your head up high and pull your shoulders back.

2. Clothing (or the cautionary tale of the lady who chose to get dressed in the dark for too many years.) A few years back I moved to the country, where you’re more likely to find me digging potatoes and weed wrangling than quaffing cocktails or sipping lattes with trendy friends. Style is so far off my radar that there is not even a full length mirror in our house. I am now wondering if this may be a mistake.

I have always suffered from a little too much imagination when it comes to buying clothes. I see an outfit on a hanger and I immediately picture it on me, but the me in my minds eye is the me that only exists in the pages of magazines as a leggy, sylph-like model. But now, living a mirror-free existence my imagination has quite obviously been running riot and picturing all sorts of heinous combinations of ‘comfortable’ clothing as vaguely acceptable to be seen in the street. Or in the home. By my poor partner.

So yes, the paparrazzo gave me a heart attack pause for thought. I think I might need to shape up my act just a little. *Draws shoulders back and relegates thermal long johns to mountaineering-only use.

3 thoughts on “Off-Topic and On Candid Camera

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