Day of the Pictures: Year of the Book 11/12/13
And it shall be that on one day per year, 50 minutes shall be dedicated to shuffling behind one’s classmates in waiting for the blessed opportunity to take pictures against a blue backdrop. No other picture shall be more unflattering, nor more widely distributed.
Julia was nervous about her neck fat. She did not possess the razor-sharp jawline that littered the pages of her magazines and Instagram feed, and she feared that her picture would confirm her suspicions that she did not always look satisfactory from all angles. In the same way that one’s imagination twists the worst case scenario into something completely unrealistic, Julia’s impression of the judgement she would receive for a bad picture was infinitely worse than the reality.
Eventually, Julia’s class was brought down to the sweaty, decrepit weight room by the side of the gym. The class stood in an alphabetical line with the teachers standing together at the front chatting and throwing out sparse warning looks at the class clowns.
Julia laughed and joked with her classmates in the line until she noticed a girl standing in the lineup of another class in another area of the weight room. She was talking and laughing, and attention was on her. Her laugh was loud and echoed through the room, but she did not attempt to muffle it. Her nose scrunched up when she was telling a story and Julia noticed that her jawline was by no means a razor. Despite all of this she was fascinating and inviting. Julia knew that there were different kinds of beauty, but the proximity to something so reinforcing was new to her. Her classmates continued to distract her, and Julia neared the front of the line. Eventually, she was asked up to the grimy stool, told to face the camera in an unnatural position, and Julia sucked in the fat on her neck.
One month later, the book of year was released, and Julia hurriedly scanned for her picture. She was pleased to see that her jawline looked suitable, even if the blood vessels in her neck bulged from the strain.
Julia began to flip through the following pages to analyze pictures of other students when she came across the picture of the girl with the loud laugh. Her smiled beamed out of the pages and her hair frizzled and curled so much it almost looked like she was jumping out of the yearbook. The girl’s beauty wasn’t conventional to Julia, but Julia now saw beauty as something else entirely.
Beauty is a razor-sharp jawline sometimes, but it’s also neck fat with a loud laugh.
If you or a loved one you know battles with any Body Image or Shame Issues, please do get the help you need. If you need to talk to someone now, you can talk to one of the many fantastic therapists at Better Help by CLICKING HERE.
This post was created with the help of Grammarly.