Monday, December 9, 2013

Say, "Cheese!"

I'm not gonna lie; I'm not going to pretend that I think I'm obese. I know that many women would happily trade bodies with mine, but I know I'm overweight; I'm top and middle heavy, and I don't like looking at full-length photos of myself.  I weigh more today than I ever have, and I just don't want to see reminders of that; the morning mirror is enough reflection. For that reason, I prefer being behind the camera, rather than in front of it. However, I recently read So You're Feeling Too Fat to Be Photographed and I realized that another perspective is in order. Allow me to share an example...

In the summer of 2002, the 4444 family held it's first-ever family reunion. We gathered for a week at a lake in Minnesota, four generations, and had the time of our lives together.

I took tons of photos, which currently reside in a place of prominence on our living room wall.

Little did we know at the time that six months later, we would lose both our matriarch (Great Grandma Florence, center of the photo) and our patriarch (Mr.4444's dad, to Florence's left) suddenly and unexpectedly, within six weeks of each other; those photos from our wonderful time together turned out to be the last of our family together. 

What if Grandpa, about 50 pounds overweight, had refused to pose for this shot (with his mom and only sibling, Uncle George)? 

What it he'd had had a grumpy, "I hate having my picture taken" look on his face? We would not have this beautiful treasure of a photograph to remember our time together.

The article reminded me that people don't take photos so that they can display our bodies; they just want to capture special moments so that they can look back later and smile at the memory. When we refuse to be in pictures, we rob our loved ones of something special, especially when we have those "Is this over yet?" looks on our faces in the shots.

The next time I'm posing for a shutterbug, instead of thinking "Is my gut sucked in enough?" I'm going to focus on the moment and how special it is, along with the people I'm with.  I'll feel good, knowing that one day, when I'm no longer here, my kids will have a memento to treasure, as will their children.

I'm ready for my closeup!

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