Sunday, 13 December 2015

The radical self love project

I don't think it's any big secret (or that it's that much different from many other people) that I have an intense dislike for the way that I look. I'm well aware that I have put on a large amount of weight due to a combination of factors over the past year and, although I'm sure my girlfriend would tell you otherwise, I don't like my face. I'm losing hair, my nose is a weird shape and fuck knows what's going on with my thighs - they look like stunted elm trees with Jar Jar Binks' skin hanging in loose folds: it's horrifying.

Accordingly, I don't like pictures of myself either. When asked to choose one for anything official, like an ID card or an application form, I'll choose an older one - on occasion going back to the standardised picture that was taken of me when I was 14 - which doesn't make me look that much different, just thinner and with more hair. I'll specifically go for photos without the beard (I've never got that one right), and usually with my default expression which appears to be a cross between a glower and a scowl. I even have a picture taken on my 'phone when, at the age of 25, I had my hair cut and attempted to take a selfie - this menacing death stare will definitely make it onto any staff ID I get in the future.

And yet, today, my cousin (who's just had a baby) uploaded a collection of pictures of various people grasping at her daughter as if she is some sort of source of life energy (and one of my holding my niece because she is a fucking human being). Among these were thrust a few other pictures, which she took to use up the digits on her camera (one supposes...), and among those was a single picture of my head and shoulders in three-quarter face.

I can honestly say, hand on heart, that - for the first time in about a decade - I thought to myself, "damn, I look hot."

Enjoy it while you can, ILB. It's never going to happen again.

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