Say Cheese and Cry

Dana is a 15 year old from Hi-nella, NJ. She loves to write and enjoys reading, singing, and shopping. Her goal is to help others through her writing, and bring attention to important topics.

So, I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal to you, but for most teenagers I believe picture day is one of the most dreaded days of the year. You spend all night picking out your outfit and accessories. You have it all down: What you’re going to wear, how your hair is going to look, what you want your picture to say about you. In high school, we all try to portray a certain image. We want to come across a certain way to those flipping through the yearbook, and will go crazy trying to succeed in doing so! I hate picture day. I know it sounds a little dramatic, but I despise it. Every time I get my pictures back I pick them apart. How’s my hair, did my makeup sweat off, do my
shoulders look too big? Until, eventually, by the end of the night I am totally convinced I’m ugly and not at all photogenic. I don’t want people remembering me as what I’m seeing through my eyes at that moment.

I suppose picture day was created for good reasons. All of the students names are listed under their picture and they get a little glory for their effort at going and succeeding in that school. It’s there to remember the students, and keep track of who went to the school. Sounds simple enough right? If only it were. I don’t think the stress of picture day is as bad for guys as it is for girls. Girls obsess over every little detail and eventually drive ourselves nuts! Things such as how should I smile, does my shirt look ok, should I wear my hair up or down, etc. I feel like I need to measure up to what I feel is pretty. Then when I see my picture I look at every detail and come emotionally crashing down. I’ll give you a little repeat of what happened last year. I gazed at my photo and uncontrollably sobbed. “Eww, my face looks so fat. Oh no my shoulders are so big! Why did I wear that? Is that really how I look?” I’d rather just not bother with pictures. I get so stressed out getting ready for them, and then I have a major hit on my self-confidence when I get them back. I hate when I’m not in control of it either. Those photographers are always making you put your head a certain way, or do this, look that way. It sounds picky and stupid, but that position is not my best angle and I worry what the photo will look like. And I know its what is on the inside that counts, but sometimes I cant stop myself form worrying about all these things about myself I guess every teen worries about.

I think every teen is very self-conscious, but I also think maybe I’m more sensitive than others when it comes to looks. If I don’t have to
look in a full-length body mirror I wont. I have only one small mirror in my room that sits on top of my desk I use to put make up on and
straighten or curl my hair. Sure I look in a mirror before I leave in the morning, but only for a second to check myself. If I stand there too long, I’ll drive myself crazy. Plenty of people tell me I’m silly for thinking these things about my self, but I guess it’s a personal thing. It seems like every time I get to a good place with my self-image someone says something that tears me apart. Whether it be jokingly
or what ever It takes me a long time to get back to that place. Some people don’t realize how words affect a person. Jokingly, lovingly, what ever it may be. Perhaps this article isn’t about picture day, perhaps it is about my insecurities and how it comes out in everything
I do. Maybe it’s a teen thing, maybe it’s a “me thing”. I don’t know, but what ever it is I know I have to love and be good to myself and not let any picture or insecurity attack stop me from doing that. You wouldn’t call your best friend ugly, so why call yourself ugly and be so hard on yourself? And that goes for every teen out there who thinks they’re less than perfect. I know everyone says this, but I’ve known it to be true with things like relationships and friends. “If you don’t care for yourself, you can’t expect anyone else to.” Do with that what you will.

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