Monday, May 13, 2002

Beauty is in the Eye...

So here's my it possible to be nonphotogenic? Or do ugly people just tell themselves that so they can disbelieve the photographic evidence? I've pondered this question before, and at that time I came to the conclusion that I simply do not photograph well because I tend to freeze up and look constipated when someone is trying to take my picture.

That is true to an extent, but I was playing with my camera a couple of weeks ago, getting to the end of a roll of film so I could develop it and find out what else was on it, and took some pictures of myself using the timer. So, since I had no idea when the picture would snap, I simply stared at the camera until something happend...curious what my face looked like as a total blank. And here is the result:

Then I wondered how people see me when I'm not I turned three-quarter profile and tried on a few smiles and smirks and such, until the camera flashed. It caught this one:

Also on that roll of film was a picture my sister took of me at Christmas:

Not as shudderingly ugly as I first thought, now that I really look at them. I can blame a lot on the camera (AutoFocus never focuses exactly right, and the flash isn't nearly as flattering as natural room-light). It helps that I cropped out the messy rooms (my bedroom is an utter sty). But still, the skin-tone, the painful-looking razor bumps, that alarming sag in my chin, the thickness of my cheeks, the completely unnattractive set of my glasses, the rather porcine look in my eyes, the striking resemblance to Charles Nelson Reilley. Very disturbing. It makes me want to run and put on some makeup. A lot of it. Or maybe start investigating costs for plastic surgery.

I don't really know why, but I have never quite been able to adjust my mind to the fact that I am not devastatingly gorgeous. It's not like I used to be gorgeous and became plain through age or accident. I was a fairly homely child, quite plain as a teenager, and not terribly pretty as a young man. Now I'm somewhat less pretty than I was, with more weight and less hair and a couple of wrinkles and sags here and there, but it's not a major difference. It's not like you would look at the above pictures and compare them to my high-school photo or pictures of me at twenty-six and scream "What the hell happened to you?"

And it's not like I'm drop-down-and-cry ugly, either. I'm just a little blah. Average-looking. My face wouldn't launch a thousand ships, nor would it stop a clock. It's just kind of there. And for some reason that really pisses me off.

Oh, well, all grist for the mill whenever I get around to getting therapy. I'm sure I can find some way of blaming my mother.

Speaking of which, I quite forgot to call my mother yesterday. I wanted to send her a gift, like chocolates or something, but my poverty and my lack of a credit card prevented me. I will send her something eventually, but it will have to wait until my new card comes in the mail. Unfortunately, I came down with a cold (after getting very little sleep, I took the Grandmother out mall-shopping and completely exhausted myself in the presence of five million strangers and twenty-seven fragrance-sample-sprayers), but still had to get up early and dress myself in a suit and drive to Chinatown and eat a huge Chinese lunch with my family and then drive my Daddy back home to the time I finished that, all I could do was sleep and suffer.

I'm still suffering, too. I've managed with the help of Sudafed and Advil to sort of quell the pain without making me especially dopey, and the beef lentil soup I just ate had a very reviving effect. Oh, but I hate being sick! One would think I'd be used to it by now, as often as I catch colds, but it's just one of those things to which I can never quite accustom myself. Like not being beautiful, not being rich, and not being horse-hung. I've had all this time to adjust to these simple facts, yet they still rankle in my bosom.

At least I know where to get some beauty when I need to look at it. They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so here's some beauty for your eye to behold.

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