Middle School Picture Day? Yes, Please Memorialize the Most Awkward Time of My Life

You don’t know it at the time, but Middle School Picture Day is for you. Elementary School Picture Day is most definitely for your parents, because they know they are about to lose you, and want to capture these last moments of cuteness. High School Picture Day is definitely for you, because you finally look remotely decent and you’ve got a professional there to document it.

But Middle School Picture Day? Who is that helping? Who is ever going to want to look at this atrocity, you think to yourself as you sit hunched over on a stool because you are still feeling a little awkward about having boobs, smiling tentatively for the photographer, careful not to snag your lips on your braces. Your parents aren’t going to show that shit around, “Here is my daughter, she’s going through puberty, it’s not going well.” You aren’t going to pass these out to your friends, “In case you don’t get a good enough look all day, here is a terrible photo of me for your amusement on nights and weekends.” And you certainly don’t want them for yourself. You already know that when the proofs are handed out in class you are going to turn them face down, shove them into your trapper keeper, and cut them into tiny pieces as soon as you get home, as you cry to yourself, “Is that what I really look like?!”

Photo Credit: nedhardy.com

Photo Credit: nedhardy.com

No, you don’t know it then. But the Middle School Picture is for you. It’s just for you in ten years. When you have transformed from an ugly duckling into a swan, and can look back on that picture and appreciate how far you’ve come. It’s for you to turn to on a shitty day and think, Actually, I can’t complain. At least I don’t have braces. At least I don’t shop at the Limited Too anymore. And at least I’m not in the seventh circle of hell grade. Yeah, I guess my life is pretty good. It’s for you to trot out at work and social events to shock and amaze your audience. “Yup, I swear, that fat kid with the uni-brow, that was me.”  The hideous portrait you once cried yourself to sleep over is now an affirmation of self, because of how little you resemble it. The Awkward Middle School Picture is a battle scar. It says: look at what I have overcome. I survived that. You don’t know it then – that one day you’d be proud to have ever been so ugly.

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40 thoughts on “Middle School Picture Day? Yes, Please Memorialize the Most Awkward Time of My Life

  1. I’m so glad I participated in the blog hop so I could discover your blog first of all. And, just know I hit the follow button for the title of your blog alone. THEN I read the post and was laughing hysterically and that picture???? You win. And, I don’t mean that in a mean way, although, it kind of sounds like it.

  2. I kind of feel like if we survive long enough to see the humor in those middle school pictures, then we have beaten evolution. We deserve to live another day.

    Feel free to link up with us since the theme for RTT this week is school pictures! You don’t have to use the badge since this is your yeah write post too ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. omg – you are so right about this! My seventh grade pictures are probably still in the underwear drawer somewhere. My mother didn’t mince words – “These are going in the drawer.” and I thanked her for it. Two years ago I filled out the “special instructions” box for my son’s pictures. “Don’t touch his hair!” So of course they did. We still refer to them as the Ted Koppel shots.

  4. Brilliant!!! When I was in 7th grade I wanted to dress and look like the person I loved the most: My mom. So there I was, 12 years old, with a 40-something year old haircut, the same glasses she wore and cardigan sweater. And I wondered why I was teased….

  5. “The hideous portrait you once cried yourself to sleep over is now an affirmation of self, because of how little you resemble it.”

    That statement is exactly how I feel about my school photos. I was Miss Chubby in middle school, and I didn’t lose the baby fat until my junior year of high school but I remained ‘thick.’ I finally reached my ideal weight. I can now look at them and say, “Damn, to think I USED to look like that?!”

  6. This is HILARIOUS!!!!! AND so true. Seriously, I snorted reading this. Hey, you totally need to add this the Remember The Time Blog Hop tomorrow. Check my blog tomorrow…I should have the post up in the morning with the link where you can add this!!! This is perfect for our theme this week!

  7. School pictures are the minor leagues. For those of us who suffered through a Bat Mitzvah, we have an entire album full of awkward pictures. Mine was waaaay back in 1976, so suffice it to say it involved polyester, platform shoes, and for the disco party celebration, well, a bright yellow jumpsuit. And I had the misfortune of even worse timing: that was the year of the Dorothy Hammill wedge haircut. I insisted on it-only my hair is like a brillo pad, not smooth and silky like hers. Can you say French Poodle?

    Let’s just say the whole photo album might have accidentally been left in the attic when my mom sold her house.

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