Sherry Fairy : “Greetings All. Still using your feet for transportation I see. How Quaint.
Okay, okay , alright, whatever, let’s get on with things straight away….
I’m here to address all the worrisome things writers er..um worry about…
First Question …. AND STOP ALL THAT SCREAMING … now lets talk pics..
Mere Mortal, third from the left, wearing a stupid hat :
OMG NEVER! I WOULD SOONER DIE THAN BE PHOTOGRAPHED
IT’S NOT FAIR , woe is me, what did I do to deserve this? Who put you in charge anyway? (Asking for a friend) “
“Why would anyone in their right mind want to take your advice about anything. Or even me too. Now I’m confused. Is this some sort of a horrible dream? What is this hideous photography thing you speak of good for ?
I don’t wanna do it , i don’t like to be told what to do, and i hate you , I want to go home.
Sherry Carroll: No reason, Never, Tough luck. the feeling is mutual, you’re not the boss of me, Too bad, So sad, I guess it really does suck to be you
Mere Mortal #2 with a face like lukewarm play dough in the rain raising hand enthusiastically and smiling proudly
“I’m the friend!”
Mere Mortal #4 standing over by snack table churlishly tossing his ridiculous , even more stupid looking hat into the ring :
WHY? Why? Why do you torment me?
Haven’t I told you a hundred times I don’t like to have my picture took? WHEN WILL YOU STOP TALKING ? I hate you , I hate me, i hate you all! Why wont everyone Just Leave me Alone? Its so UNFAIR I don’t wanna, why are you trying to force me ? I am so unbearably ugly , why are you so mean?
Sherry Fairy : Tough luck, Too bad, So sad, Who cares, Life is unfair, Get used to it. And no one really knows for sure. Could be some bad tuna. Might be Satan. Its one of the Great Unsolved Mysteries of the Universe. My guess is it all had something to do with a sticky dresser drawer in a seedy hotel room in Fresno in 1983, but i can’t really be certain, i guess we will never know. But i digress…
Sherry Fairy : gives mere mortal #1 the thumbs up, but he appears to be attempting to suddenly drift off to sleep on the carpet, rapidly producing an impressive puddle of snot and drool
Sherry Fairy : AS I WAS SAYING, before I was so rudely interrupted …
I understand why you all might be confused and alarmed under these circumstances. If you are anything like most people there is nothing you hate more than having your picture made by, or with, somebody besides yourself.
Now why don’t we take a short pause so you can all practice by taking some selfies?
Or as I like to more accurately call them “Alone-sies.
because unless someone besides you took the picture, they are not in fact selfies, they are technically Someone Elsies .
Or as we used to call them back in my day . say it with me , very slowly,
A photo-graph . Of you .
MERE MORTAL #3: screams in horror while clutching her pearls, and collapses on a nearby folding table, which does just exactly that.
Several young mortals attempt to un-collapse both the table and the mortal madam in pearls but it went horribly wrong now all have become one.that’s a pity. anyhoo..
Sherry Fairy: I’m afraid you have no choice in the matter, it must be done
Because NO ONE in the outside world truly believes writers are actually capable of this so we must bravely prove otherwise.
Because occasionally, and generally without warning, life will demand things that require you to put down your cell phone/camera/keyboard, and get out of your house and get yer picture took, so there is actual physical proof of your being alive for various and assorted reasons
and furthermore they also expect us to suffer the insult and indignity of producing actual physical evidence of such a thing !
In the form of a photograph to stick on stuff to prove it.
SO force yourself untangle yourself from all the cords, disconnect from the wi-fi and step away from your computer . Being careful not to disturb the ever increasing mound of the loose debris on the floor surrounding you
(all hail the sacred snack pack and soda can burial mound)
in order to make yourself presentable enough to be viewed by your average outside world dweller without fear of them running away and screaming in horror at the sight of you
DISCLAIMER this rarely , as in NEVER, actually happens.
Many of you may feel uncertain of yourself, after years hunched over a keyboard, watching your flesh stop being flesh colored
The Reader , a curious creature by nature, enjoys examining its prey before consumption And same goes for editors and interviewers and fans and agents….
And you will need them for bios and profile pictures and book jackets and websites and to remind your family what you look like, in real life
So we have no choice but to achieve the deed at least once, every few years, for the sake of our careers, to the delight, or in spite of the despair or damage to our self esteem. This can be incredibly intimidating and the cause of much unnecessary anxiety
So my answer is : You Have to Stop Being So Hard on Yourself .
Because Fear of taking a bad picture is the number one way of insuring producing one.
A tense , anxious , frustrated , pissed off face is not a good look on anyone , unless you are Clint Eastwood, my agent Gladys, or Harrison Ford
Its a vicious circle , but it is one I can teach you how to break free from, if you choose to.
Stop to stop hating everything about yourself because when you see yourself you see nothing but the big picture , and everything and everyone else in it, which has been photo shopped beyond recognition, and bears no relation at all to reality
Its a portrait burned into your brain by a machine, designed only to sell things and promote people with fake featureless features because everything unique or interesting about them has been artfully (and literally) virtually removed .
I don’t know about you but I can’t tell any of those airbrushed people apart.
Making us feel like failures and our features feel like flaws , and it can all seem too huge and overwhelming to deal with, whenever you see candid pictures or look in the mirror or get your picture took, on purpose or by accident, so you just don’t.
But sometimes you must . So don’t creep around your whole life avoiding the camera and feeling sorry for yourself.
TAKE ACTION . GET PREPARED
Try spending more time in front of it, not less , examining all the small miracles that add up to who you really are. and learn to love them
Don’t worry i’m not going to give you a some sort of useless, pointless, pep talk, supportive sounding lecture about how you are beautiful just the way you are and how you should love yourself , and have no reason to feel bad just because I say so.
Telling somebody to ” get over it” and all their problems would be solved, if they would only do exactly as they were told , use some sorta magic trick and flick their handy dandy self esteem get quick- fix -switch off super low to max high!
And if they just loved themselves everything would be just fine
It is not only useless and stupid , it usually makes people feel worse about themselves , because if they could love themselves they would, but they cant, so they don’t , and then hate themselves more for one more thing they think is terrible and wrong about themselves
That’s not how this Fairy flies .
Just accept in advance the existence of photography and odds are it’s going to happen at least once in your writing life , no matter how you feel about the matter,
SO I would like you to know some specific actions and proven techniques that will actually help in that the situation , if you use choose to use them.
Number one : Take a really good look at yourself in a mirror, concentrating on observing yourself completely objectively and judgement free from preconceived ideas of what flaws or assets you do, or do not already possess .
I know how difficult that is for all of us. but consider it a test you must master or a challenge you must overcome, not a personal issue .
Step outside of yourself and examine yourself as a stranger would, look with fresh eyes at what other people see, how would they describe you or would they notice about you.
What do you notice first when you meet someone new ? Certainly not any small insignificant flaws.
Now try seeing your face, not as your own, but as the face of long awaited , greatly anticipated visitor, a beloved lifelong friend. Look at yourself as if you were someone you love
Someone who only brings joy with their presence
What do you see?
Oh Dear . Well, we have a long , long way to go then …
Begin to make a list of each of the good things you noticed and features you found appealing , and attractive in that face
Focus only on all the things you are physically pleased with and proud of , think of the physical qualities that you do admire about yourself , the progress you have made growing and learning , and goals you are working towards with this strong and brave and beautiful physical machine
Do it loud enough in your mind you cannot hear anything negative, refuse any thoughts of your real or perceived flaws and failures, reject any unfair or habitual objections, only allow praise for this vessel which allowed you to become who you are, where you are now
Accept your reflection is a testament to the uniqueness of your being, your skin a living breathing map of your strength and struggles , a container of your character, and companion from day one on your life’s journey
Thank your body. Appreciate It. View it with only kindness and gratitude and remember it is a product of and a gift from your entire ancestral line. Pretty cool, eh?
Its the only one you got , or will ever have , so you might as well love it and treat it well , admire it and enjoy it. Do not allow your mind to disrespect or demean it. It is yours and for you, it is perfect
Look at your face now, and remember everything you learned .
They say if you silently look at someones eyes for less then a half hour you cant help but fall a little bit in love with them. That is science Bro
Look at it long enough, with love, as perfection, never comparing it to anyone else’s, and let its unique beauty begin to grow on you
After all that’s exactly what its been doing your whole life
Growing on you … See what i did there?
By hunting for however long as it takes , and finding each individual part of your body you feel comfortable with and not self conscious about, and as your admiration grows for this miracle you inhabit , your respect and confidence will naturally grow stronger accordingly.
Because that determined chin , your grandfathers wise watery blue eyes, those asymmetrical ears, inherited from your mother’s side of the family , that imperfect brow line, your unfashionable nose and great big crooked mouth, all unsuitable to fit a fashion magazine cover , fit you perfectly . One could almost say they were made for you
These tools your body built just for you , in order to live your story as only you can.
Do this Meditation as often as you feel you need to
Spend quality time having fun with your inner child , by just playing around with your appearance in front of a mirror, making various and assorted faces at yourself like a supermodel or six year old. Play with scarves and hats .
Strike a pose . then Vogue
In order to get comfortable and confident with your own appearance , which you usually only catch glimpses of while brushing your teeth or hair a few mins a day
Learn to love the sight of the face and shape that you were given and all the interesting and remarkable things they can do!
Practicing appealing new expressions to wear on your face when you need them , discover if you have a good or bad side , how to hold your head to make the neck look longer and more swan like, giving yourself a flirty wink , no matter how silly it may feel at first
Because finding out what poses and positions make you look your very best , and are most flattering to your features, trains you to be ready, willing and able to use them on command.
All those gorgeous actors at the movies and those models on magazine covers didn’t get there by accident , they spend hours a day, every day doing the exact same thing
Let me tell you a Secret …
Looking and feeling attractive (to yourself and others) is actually nothing more than a skill and just like every other skill , it can be learned. And no one is a better teacher than you.
You can do this alone without expensive tools or exercise equipment or expensive plastic surgery anywhere, anyplace, anytime , because practicing charming expressions for parties in the mirror for hours is good practice, not a form of vanity in this case
And the more insecure you are the more of it you should be doing, not less
Because if you are self conscious and don’t like your photo made odds are good you have been avoiding the mirror as much as you possibly can. make it your best friend .
Have someone you trust to take hundreds of practice pics, just around the house if you like , while you are relaxed and becoming more body aware and concentrating on changing both your appearance and your perception of it ( in a good way, for a change ) so you get used to constantly having a camera around , every chance you get, if you can. or take hundreds of selfies. Some are mathematically certain to be not bad , if you take a whole lot of them .
So you are never caught off guard
Come on STOP being scared of a little old thing like a camera .
You are a writer . If there is one thing you’ve got is guts
Don’t be afraid . Be prepared .
By taking these specific, concrete actions towards your long term goal , of liking your appearance enough to enjoy making, and enjoying seeing pictures of yourself , you will look and feel better every day and always be camera comfortable and believe me, it will show
Doing whatever reduces anxiety on a regular basis leading up to, and on the day of any occasion that you might want to get a pic is always a great idea. So eat all the ice cream. Or wear what makes you feel good and be happy
Instead of just sitting around , stressing yourself out and dreaming and wishing and hoping and praying the day of the pictures you will magically wake up as a Kardashian
As you become happier with the skin you’re in, don’t be surprised if it inspires profound changes in all aspects of your life. Releasing yourself from self defeating and destructive thoughts and long- held , out of proportion, useless negative perceptions .
The loss of internal criticism and unfair judgment, appearance despair, the hating and blaming yourself for failing to live up to your own too high superficial standards and negative beliefs and gaining of a newfound respect for your body and how you perceive it , just might lead to you treating it, and yourself a little bit better as well, which can never hurt.
That’s the theory at least . The more you love yourself the more the camera will love you back, and that’s only one of the wonderful changes you can manifest in your life in this fashion. Great pictures are just a side effect.
The minutes spent in front of a mirror after doing the work nec to discover all the things you love and find beautiful about your body will not only have an ever increasing long term effect on your appearance, just might turn out to be your favorite part of the day
So with that plan in action soon you will be ready for the next step , actually having decent professional photos made for your writing and promotional and even recreational purposes , like giving to your mother or partner for Christmas, trust me they will love it, they live for that stuff!
But rest assured, fear the fear of the fear of the photo session fear can be no more
So let me just quickly sum things up.
YOU WILL NEED A PRESENTABLE FAIRLY CURRENT HIGH RESOLUTION PHOTOGRAPH WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT AT SOME POINT . plus every fool in the world has a camera on their phone and since its still not legal to shoot people who tag you without asking first you are in danger of being on film everywhere you go
So I suggest actually doing something about it, trying to like it and ourselves instead of just whining about it and feeling sorry for ourselves because of the skin we are in.
I recently had my very own professional pics made for the very first time,and will be delighted to share every detail of my undeniable expertise and wisdom with all of you! ABOUT EVERYTHING I HAVE EVER LEARNED
but not today, for we seem to have run out of time
So suck it up buttercup, and start looking for all the small beautiful things you do have that you just stopped seeing or appreciating and re-adjust your focus, not the cameras . with your eyelashes longer and softer than silk or two absolutely perfectly shaped ears and a belly button that belongs in the belly button hall of fame,
and remember, no matter how different you are now than you were once is not such a terrible thing.
Age brings wisdom and experience, which builds character, resilience and strength are essential in life and knowledge is powerful and the longer you live the more of all that you got and it shows on your face.
Wear it with pride
so until next time …
AND Enjoy admiring your recently discovered prize winning perfect elbows joints or the lovely fawn colored silky peach fuzz on your upper arms or the surprisingly delicate flair of your nostrils or those adorable pinky toes I would kill or die for , and get used to loving those things that make you different, and unlike yourself at all ,if they were just to magically be photo shopped out.
And work on developing your very best ” picture face” so when the occasion arises you can be confident you always look your best in front of a camera
You will find that the best part about being and feeling “photo ready ” means you are always ready to face your face, anytime, anyplace, every single day and actually enjoy it and that’s a pretty great feeling.
See You Next Time to #AskSherry Fairy about getting your head shot . it doesn’t hurt nearly as much as you think
and a specal thanks again to