August 5, 2006

Picture Perfect

It's too gorgeous a day to complain about anything I'll take a time-out with the frivilous instead.

Remember your school photos? Cowlicks, blinking, pimples, braces, and a bad copy of a Farah Fawcett flip? For me, that was just grade 11. Now you can fix it all. Read this. You can get your kids school photos retouched to perfection. Is it just me, or is there something inherently wrong with this?

Kids are supposed to look like kids. For the same reasons I despise seeing makeup on 8 year olds, I hate this idea. The whole point of school photos is to provide you with a visual progression of a child through to adulthood. It's a story - and it shouldn't be fiction.

There's a creepy paragraph in that link about swapping in the eyes of kids from shut to open. They combine the best of several class shots to get the best. My favourite pictures have at least one or two kids doing something dumb. Who got away with flipping the bird, who glared at the camera like a serial killer, who pulled back a grin that displayed every last tooth in his head?

I never knew when picture day was, so my kids have grubby shirts, uncombed hair and lunch on their chins. So what? They resembled that far more than the stagey Sears shots I got for posterity. And because I had a coupon.

The greater damage of course, is to a child's self esteem. What kind of message are you sending when you 'perfect up' a photo of your kid, explaining that pimples and braces are bad, bad, bad? We're going to have a generation of insecure, shallow children who become insecure, shallow adults. Like we need more of those around.

Opt out of the fashion shoot, if it's offered, folks. Our children are perfect because they are unique, and we'll be better parents if we celebrate that.


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