Every now and then, what I define as a less than “flattering” photo of myself surfaces on Facebook. I’m sure this is a situation that is not unique to me. In fact, I know it isn’t. There have been so many times that a friend has asked me to straight up remove a photo of them because they claimed it to be offensive and unflattering.
When we see angles of our faces and our bodies that we don’t typically pay attention to, it can be a difficult thing to confront. It’s not what we’re used to seeing in the mirror. It’s easier to untag ourselves or wipe the existence of the photo off of everyone’s radar than confront those feelings about ourselves, our body image, the way other people perceive us.
The above photo was taken last year during a wedding in Scotland that my fiance was standing up in. The photos were only just posted to Facebook and as soon as I saw it, so many things happened. First repulsion, at my thick cheeks, small eyes and wide, crooked nose. Then I remembered the moment this was capturing. I had turned in my chair to watch my fiance give his speech as best man.
I was taken back to that moment, how utterly proud I was of him, how fucking happy I was to be there amongst his closest friends; having just witnessed another trans-atlantic relationship, quite similar in some ways but vastly different than our own, unified in love, beauty, and holy matrimony.
These were simply moments. That is how we existed - the memories tied to them more precious than any thoughts or insecurities I may harbor.
I spent a very, very long time wiping the existence of certain photos of myself off the face of the Earth, avoiding the camera lens, dodging captured moments for fear of not looking a certain way.
I will admit that when I first saw this photo, I removed it from my Facebook Timeline. I let myself stew with it for a while before I developed a desire to fight that automatic impulse to hide.
What is the fucking point? It’s my goddamn face. It’s me. Why am I ashamed?
<3 Haley Cue