« Amusing Way to Cool Off | Main | WEINER!!!! »

July 24, 2013

What Lies Beneath

Two interesting photo essays explore how little of our lives is reflected in the faces we present to the world. The first features young adults, posing with photos of themselves taken during that awkward phase we all go through as children or teens:

awkward.jpg

The narrative that goes with this photo provides a poignant reminder that the beautiful young woman you see walking down the street was once an ugly duckling no one would have noticed:

"Throughout the course of my life, leading up to this photo, I had worn leg braces, had my fourth grade teacher lead the school line down the hall walking pigeon toed to make fun of me, had worn an eye patch in elementary school and braces and a headgear. As you can see in the picture, I was also chubby. My sense of fashion was pretty much nonexistent and it was hard for me to feel secure around my peers. Largely because I was relentlessly teased for all of my imperfections by not only my peers but by my teacher too. At the time this photo was taken, I was 13-years old. Shortly after this photo was taken, my school discovered during a routine screening that I had scoliosis. It was so severe that I had to wear a back brace all four years of high school. Luckily for me, the scoliosis was caught before I hit my growth spurt. In the years to follow this picture, I grew 7 inches taller, I lost weight, I got a job to pay for my own contacts, and overhearing the comments made about my clothing by my schoolmates inspired me to change the way I dressed. I had great friends in high school, but my awkwardness of my younger years was never forgotten by my more popular peers. Looking at this picture brings up many emotions. A lot of sadness over the way I was treated and what I went through. But also pride, because I bore it all and the outcome isn’t so bad."

The second photo essay imagines the elderly as they once were. I particularly loved this one:

nurses.jpeg

My Dad is finally back at home after a bad fall and a long convalescence. I think what most frightened me about the whole experience was watching how hospital and the rehab center staff interacted with him. It was so clear to me that all they saw was a fragile old man. Not the person I know at all.

And I so wanted them to see my father: a handsome, 6'4" Navy destroyer man, a man who still avidly follows the news and politics, someone who passionately loves his family and his country. Someone far more accustomed to protecting and caring for others than requiring assistance.

The experience made me wonder how often I'm guilty of seeing only what's on the surface and assuming that's all there is? There is always so much more, if we only have the patience and grace to look for it.

marine.jpeg

Posted by Cassandra at July 24, 2013 07:43 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.villainouscompany.com/mt/mt-tb.cgi/4711

Comments

The VES and I were particularly struck by the nurses, too.
I find that I am particularly struck by pictures of my parents in their youth. Their vitality and enthusiasm for life beams from their eyes. The same eyes that, later, I saw grow weary of growing old, and I wish I could speak to that young couple for they seem so different from the people I came to know first as parents and then as grandparents.

Posted by: DL Sly at July 24, 2013 01:43 PM

The second photo essay gives me chills....maybe because my husband and I are starting to see our parents get older (my mom passed away this year, although she was in terrible health to begin with; husband's father has had some pretty serious health issues). It's hard to remember how they were when they were younger, and it's definitely made us reflect on our own mortality.

I also found the one with the nurses very striking.

Posted by: colagirl at July 24, 2013 02:21 PM

My father died 18 years ago. I hated the way his doctors treated him so much that to this day, thinking about it makes the blood drain from my lips and sets me to trembling.

Posted by: Texan99 at July 24, 2013 02:59 PM

I had a similar reaction, Tex. I still can't talk about it much. Better just to be happy he's at home now :)

I find that I am particularly struck by pictures of my parents in their youth. Their vitality and enthusiasm for life beams from their eyes. The same eyes that, later, I saw grow weary of growing old, and I wish I could speak to that young couple for they seem so different from the people I came to know first as parents and then as grandparents.

Yes.

The second photo essay gives me chills....maybe because my husband and I are starting to see our parents get older (my mom passed away this year, although she was in terrible health to begin with; husband's father has had some pretty serious health issues). It's hard to remember how they were when they were younger, and it's definitely made us reflect on our own mortality.

I'm so sorry for the loss of your mother, colagirl.

The last two times my husband deployed for a year, I scanned a lot of slides my parents had taken during our growing up years. I was astonished when we got to several photos of my paternal grandfather to see how very much (surprise!) he looks like Dad, now. The similarity is even more striking because Granddad had red hair (and I'm guessing, maybe blue eyes? I don't recall b/c he died when I was still small) and my father had black hair and brown eyes.

Genetics (and time) are amazing things. My oldest boy looks more and more like my husband every year. Their coloring was similar, but in reverse: my husband has dark brown hair/eyes and my son has red hair (brown eyes, though!).

Posted by: Cass at July 24, 2013 03:42 PM

The first time I met the LG's Dad's side of the family she pulled out a photo album at her Grandmother's house. As we were flipping through them I saw a fairly recent picture of the LG in a bathing suit walking down the beach.

I looked at her and said, "I don't remember you having that bathing suit."

She laughed and told me, "That's my mother when she was about 20."

Everyone in her family tells me that if I you took a picture of the LG, her Mom, and her Mom's Mom at that same age, you wouldn't be able to tell any of the three of them apart.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at July 24, 2013 04:17 PM

No one in our family (on either side) is the spitting image of anyone else. We all look somewhat alike our immediate family members, but we're all in-duh-viduals.

Resemblance is such an odd thing. People constantly say that my niece looks a lot like me, but when you look at her individual features, ours are nothing like. It's just the aggregate, Geshtalt thingamajobbie that is similar.

On a feature by feature level, she looks mostly like her Mom (no blood relation, and very different ancestry).

Posted by: Cass at July 24, 2013 05:02 PM

My mom, myself and the VES were identical when we were young. As time and tide passed, though, geneology took over and individual traits developed differently.
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at July 25, 2013 11:52 AM

Strange oh so strange.
I see the world much as I did as a young AF Officer.
What I see in the mirror is an old man who looks nothing like he did 55 years ago when we married.
Strange because most times I see my wife as I saw her 55 years ago. It is usually a shock when she actually looks her age when I catch an unexpected glimpse of her as she is today. .

I can remember the joys of being a Parent. Then of being a Grand Parent. I have discovered that if one is a Grand Parent long enough you become a Great Grand Parent.

The Doctors like to ask if I am in pain.
I can truthfully say yes I always have some pain, it is my joy.
As long as I feel some pain I know I am still alive.

Have a Grand & Glorious Day.

Posted by: Bill Wilson at July 25, 2013 07:41 PM

God bless you, Bill Wilson.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at July 25, 2013 11:35 PM

Amen, Don.

Posted by: DL Sly at July 26, 2013 01:01 AM

...most times I see my wife as I saw her 55 years ago. It is usually a shock when she actually looks her age when I catch an unexpected glimpse of her as she is today

I suspect my Dad sees my Mom the same way. One of the things I love most about him is the love in his voice when he speaks of her.

As long as I feel some pain I know I am still alive.

You have a gift for seeing the best in things, Bill. So nice to see your name in the comments section :)

Posted by: Cass at July 26, 2013 07:24 AM