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?!”
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.
In my middle schools photos I have a sweaty face and fresh zits. Unfortunately, I still have days like that at 43. I’m just smart enough not to document it in pictures!
Older and wiser!
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.
I might take offense but it’s not my picture, I was not brave enough to use my actual middle school picture haha, despite ‘how far I’ve come.’ I can’t wait to read the rest of the blog hop posts. I’m glad you and my blog hit it off though!
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 🙂
Haha well said!
Thanks, I was inspired by the RTT topic this week and was hoping to cheat and use it for both, so I am glad I have your blessing!
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.
haha that is too funny!
You’re so right! What a fun post.
I was very attractive in 7th grade thankyouverymuch
you were one of the lucky few
Oh, I so remember this for myself but relived it again with my two, ugly duckling turned to swans, children. It’s such a difficult time. Strange too!
I know, I already feel bad for my future children and their middle school years
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….
Aww! I bet she was flattered by that, it is a sweet tribute, even if you got teased for it…
She was! My mom is still one of my closest friends, though I don’t wear the “mom” jeans with white sneakers. Whew!
haha glad you are on top of that one
For me it was my 6th grade photo that was the worst. By 7th you could see I was trying, even though I’m obviously wearing my mother’s sweater 🙂
Haha I had no idea so many people shopped in their mom’s closet in 7th grade, it seems to be a trend here!
So true! I’m sorry we can’t all share our pictures. I’ve got one of me circa 1962 in cats-eye glasses, standing next to my metal-mouthed BFF. Love this!
Haha, metal-mouth, brace-face – I haven’t heard those in so long!
This made me smile, great post!
Yay, I’m glad!
“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?!”
Haha, exactly! Whatever is going on in my life, I’m at least proud that I made it out of that phase!
I laughed so much reading this! Can we bust them out for the high school reunion you pretend you’re not attending?
You can blow one up into a cardboard cutout of me and that can attend the reunion, because I am not. (but please don’t actually do that, that would be horrible)
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!
Thanks, I definitely will!
Great insight…it is like that battle scar! Thanks for helping it heal a little more!
I’m glad! Thanks for reading!
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.
What how could you leave that behind? It sounds like rainy day gold! The kinds that still hurts a little but while make you laugh for the most part. I am loving even the mental picture of it!
I meant ‘will’. I’m tired.
Sorry, I was trying to share my grade 8 photo but it didn’t work 😦
Yeah I don’t know why – I would have loved to see it! I was going to share mine but I am not that brave haha
So great! Loving your posts!!! You are right…I think of my 8-9th grade pictures? A nightmare. What was I thinking???
I know, they are horrible and hilarious at the same time. Whenever I feel bad about getting older I look at those pictures and think, no, I am lucky haha. Thanks for reading!