Last night, I attended a bat mitzvah rehearsal, which, yes, is as boring as it sounds. Especially for someone who is neither Jewish, part of the family or used to being surrounded by so much orange carpeting. Have you been in a synagogue recently?
As I watched the girl have her photograph taken, I wished I could tell her how everything will turn out. She was in a seemingly surly mood and only flashed a smile a moment before the camera’s flash. Being 13, she was obviously uncomfortable in her own skin, easily miserable and prone to sulky drama. I remember this. It was the worst.
I wish I could tell her that yes, right now is when you will look and feel the most unattractive in your entire life. Gone are the days of being a cute child and you haven’t grown into the beauty or at least confidence of adulthood. You will always look back at these photos and cringe. I too was an awkward pre-teen. So were Gisele Bundchen, Katie Holmes and Carolina Herrera, the most elegant looking woman on earth. You will grow out of this.
For me, the technology of my youth didn’t help my case. My parents got a video camera right around my 12th birthday. My younger brothers were at the adorable ages of 5 and 9. There are no worse years to have captured on film than those from 12-17. Who am I kidding? 20. So whenever we have a family movie night or reminisce over old videos, my brothers are sickeningly cute while I am the gangly, awkward (both socially and physically) grasshopper of a pre-teen trying to get attention. The camera did not love me. I shudder as I think of it. Where was the video camera when I was the world’s most beautiful child? No, really. I was.
This photo pretty much sums me up in 8th grade:
New glasses that I thought were awesome. They took up half my face.
Bangs. Oh, the bangs.
Crazy outfit that I also thought was awesome. I’m pretty sure my peers were doing the whole ‘one-shoulder’ overall look, but I am a purist.
My eyes closed, which indicates my awkwardness, as does my pose. I’m probably pretty nervous here. This ended up going on the bulletin board in my classroom.
You can’t see it, but I have ‘clear’ braces on as well. Luckily my parents didn’t make me wear the headgear to school. Actually, that doesn’t sound right. Perhaps they did but I blocked it out. Also not pictured, my legs that were not unlike the railing I’m leaning against and clear jelly shoes.
If this isn’t Winnie Cooper, I don’t know who is.