Welcome to Thursday’s Confessions. A weekly feature where I confess, before you my sisters and brothers, the silly, the ridiculous and even at times the shameful. Why? Because confession is good for the soul. Even in Blogland.
Confession: I’ve been photoshopped and I didn’t hate it.
This month if you pick up a copy of At Home in Arkansas you can find me on the last page in the monthly At Home With.. feature. (You can also go to their website and find this little diddy as well.) In it there is a happy picture of me, in my studio with lots of great light. The beautiful and talented Nancy Nolan took these shots and worked her photo-shop magic, smoothing out the bumpier edges of my 20lb book weight-gain. Mandy Keener art-directed the whole thing and helped me pick out my outfit. “Just wear whatever is comfy” she said. Well, you don’t have to tell me that twice! I put on my favorite jeans, a long sleeve t, my favorite apron by my craft-partner-in-crime Jeanetta Darley, and called it a wrap. I didn’t even bother with shoes. Nancy and Mandy are the dynamic duo behind the previous two At Home shoots featuring my little house and they have become the loveliest of friends as we all share a love of coffee, thrifted junk and old houses. The whole thing was a little nerve wracking at first, primarily because I was a little self-conscious about those 20lbs. But after I showed off my fierce Tyra Banks-like skills we all cracked up and after that it was easy peasy. I completely forgot all my worries for the next half hour and just enjoyed the experience.
I asked Sweet Man if this picture was realistic in that I have looked that way and can look that way and he said it was so, and that made me feel good.
Here is a more relaxed, unedited version taken by Mandy with her phone and then instagramed. I think you can see the difference just enough between the magazine me and the everyday me.
If you have hung around these parts for a while you know I have some things to say on behalf of my weight. And if you know me personally then you know I have some strong thoughts on things like plastic surgery, severe airbrushing, body image issues for girls and women and how our society has jacked things up and how we all collude with this jacked-upness to keep it all rollin. How health and beauty and weight and labels are a twisted mess and how we all have to work really hard to not take it too far in any one direction. It’s Slovenliness vs. Self-Flagellation everywhere I turn.
I am not completely vanity-free and of course I wanted to look lovely in the magazine photo; I wanted to look like my pre-book weight self, how I feel on the inside. But it was also really important to me that I didn’t look fake, that I didn’t suddenly shrink to a twig, that the picture was real. Double digit pants size and all. Nancy, amazing gal that she is got all of that and more. I think she struck the perfect balance. I look at that picture and I see me. And I look at Mandy’s picture and I see me too. And that is what is the most real, that they are both me.