My father was always interested in cameras and I think I was nine the first time he took my picture. I was nervous and fidgety as he aimed the lens at me. I didn’t know what to do with myself.
“Try not to be so stiff in front of the camera,” he told me.
If you’re nine, you try to do what your father tells you. I made an effort to relax as he fussed about finding a good angle. Finally he knelt down and made the shot with the camera tilted up.
When I saw the picture a few days later, I was aghast. Is that what I really look like? My appearance was not like any of the other girls I saw in school. My legs looked too long and—good grief—my lips were so big. I was ashamed by what I saw as my physical deformities. (How I wish I had those pictures to show you today!)
Trying to be relaxed in front of a camera was a chore that would occupy me for the next seven decades. And though my perceived flaws in my appearance would turn out to be blessings in my future life, I spent many years battling a negative self image. It is the eternal internal war so many women and men fight.