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You’re So Vain, La La La La

Melanie Super Sized
Ok, so I’m about to announce something you already know. I’m a little vain. Ok, maybe a lot vain. Yes, I know I’m not a supermodel. Yes, I know that I’m not a young thing who will catch everyone’s eyes as they walk by me on the street. No, I don’t think that I’m all that and a bag of chips. BUT I do care about how I look and I do try hard to make good choices for my body and for my overall appearance.

So, what does this have to do with anything? Well, there’s an article that ran in today’s Boston Globe in all its color multi-page spread splendor that included pictures of myself and my girls. The article addressed the issues of working parents and the high cost of childcare.

AidanLeelaThe Globe asked if they could send a photographer to the house to shoot some pictures for the piece. Sure, I said. Why not? It was a lot of fun. I really hit it off with the photographer and we enjoyed working with her. She even commented on how loving our family was and that she was amazed at how the kids respected each other. Something that I really wanted her to capture with her camera.

Actually, one of the things the article didn’t speak to is the role my oldest son Aidan plays in helping me out with his siblings so that I can actually get to the office in a timely fashion.

I asked the photographer to take a picture of Aidan doing Leela’s hair because I wanted to make sure his face was included in the article. Michael is a huge help too, but you already know how camera shy that boy is.

Back to Aidan…

You see, Aidan goes to college locally and his schedule allows for him to help me with the before school care of the kids.  I actually employ him to do this which makes it win win for both of us.

Honestly, I could not do this job right now without the support of Aidan. Furthermore, I couldn’t do this job without the support of my entire family. They have been so incredibly supportive during this transition that it brings me to tears at times. Literally.

I’m sad that that wasn’t mentioned in the article. It’s an important part of the overall picture. Yes, I have to pay someone to do the full-time care come June 1st, but my oldest kids are a big part of the overall care picture right now.

But I cannot control what is published in the paper. Especially not the photos. Which brings me to my vanity point. They could not have put a more awful, not-me looking picture in the paper. Granted, at the time I was on super powerful meds including steroids and pain killers for an injury I haven’t shared with you yet.

And before you even worry about it, no it’s not exactly serious. I’ll tell you all about it in the next post. But it was serious enough at the time to land me on steroids, pain killers and muscle relaxants.

Not the best time to be photographed. And the shot was from the ground up. Never take a picture of a woman who is 44 from the ground up. It will create a double chin and a face the size of Texas even if you are a peanut in real life.

So, I know that there are a bunch of you here today for the first time due to the Globe linking to my site. It’s my great pleasure to meet you. But I’d love for you to see what I really look like. Here’s a selfie from that very same day taken right after the photographer left my home. No filters used. Just me and my cell phone with no apps used at all. I promise…

MelanieInReality
Yes, I know that this is a stupid post. But for those of you who are new readers due to the Globe piece, there’s something you should know about me…

One of the things I write about here on Melanie In The Middle is my self-esteem issue. I’ve written about my issues with distorted self image on this blog for years. I’ve written about my struggles of being horribly picked on as a child over my weight for most of my school-aged years (I was a chub). I’m hyper-sensitive about my appearance. I admit that I have issues with this. I admit that it’s not normal. It’s my Achilles heel.

And I just needed to share this post with you new folks because I’m sort of horrified with the way I look in the paper. So that’s that. Try to play nice in the comments. I’m already feeling crappy about the picture in the paper.

Also, I want to say that while the Globe chose to place pictures of other blogger peer’s kids in the online article, they were omitted from the physical newspaper which makes me sad. So if you get a chance, please check out Charlene, Nirasha and Gilda . Their kids are so cute and should’ve made the actual paper. They really really should’ve.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    You’re So Vain, La La La La. Good morning Melanie! Now I can’t get that song out of my head! Oh well, I always liked that song. Yes, you look much better in your selfie but you look happy as a Mom spending some quality time with your child helping her with her hair. You still made me smile because we all seem to be our own harshest critics when we look in the mirror. Remember when we actually had to do that and we had to wait to see our pix developed? Now we can take 19 selfies until we get that one that is acceptable to share! Oh how times have changed. Great article about the hard work it is taking care of your children and especially finding quality care for the times you can’t be there. Your boy’s are doing great things helping with their sisters. You are very right to be proud of them.

  2. Oh that just sucks. And honestly, I don’t even think this touches on vanity. You just want to present your best self. I felt the same way a few weeks ago when a picture of me – also taken from a low angle, and in horizontal stripes no less! – got picked up by Reuters and showed up everywhere. But one thing I’ve got down pretty good right now is to not waste energy on the things I can’t change, so I shrugged my shoulders and shared the damn thing, because hey, my picture got picked up by Reuters, even if it wasn’t flattering.

  3. Ah, not the end of the world. I take horrible pictures. I always have a double chin. At 5’4″ 116 pounds, I just always look like a troll for some reason. Just smile and know who you are. A pretty lady. Inside and out. Hope you’re done with the steroids. They are THE WORST. I had to take them a year ago for a reaction to penicillin. My head was twice the size it normally is before taking them. The roids certainly didn’t improve the look. Happy you’re loving the new job!

  4. anonymous says:

    The first think I notice about the Boston Globe picture is your great smile – I think we all can be our own worst critic, don’t be so hard on yourself! I make an effort to not be obviously self conscious about my appearance and weight to help counteract the pressures my teenage daughters feel to look a certain way. Judging ourselves and others based on appearance starts so early and it’s hard to get that inner mean girl out of our heads! Happy and confident (even if you have to fake it) looks good on everyone.

  5. I don’t think you’re vain at all! Just like you’re disappointed that the article didn’t present a complete portrayal of your daily life, you’re disappointed that the likeness of yourself that was shown wasn’t your best. I can’t imagine anyone that wouldn’t feel the same way.

    It’s weird, really… it’s sister/girl friend/whatever code that you never post/tag a pic of someone unless they have approved it, yet a newspaper thinks nothing of posting something like that!

    And on the steroids? I feel you. I just finished up a Medrol Dose Pak for my asthma, along with another spinal block that among other things pumped me full of cortisone. Needless to say, I’ve been a cranky mess this past week! :-D

    BTW… you & your family are beautiful, inside & out! xoxo

  6. I know you and photos and I’m surprise you didn’t give her the death stare when she was snapping photos from down there. I still think you always look beautiful though! :)

  7. Melanie, you know what I see when I see that picture of you? A HAPPY woman, blessed with four awesome loving kids. You are one hot mama inside and out. The whole city of Boston doesn’t need to know how hot you really are, do they?

  8. That pic just doesn’t look like you at all. My first thought was “What is Delta Burke doing to Leela’s hair?” It certainly does’t do you justice!

  9. Aimee CST says:

    You’re being too hard on yourself. I think you look great.

    And, small world! Gilda’s husband is a friend of mine from high school.

  10. That is not a bad picture at all. You look happy.

  11. Playing catch-up. Haven’t been reading (or writing) for a while.
    Shush already. You look great. Hell, I’d let the Globe photograph me in my underwear and mud mask as long as they promised to link to my blog.
    Congrats on the piece. :)

  12. PS: That was supposed to say “and a mud mask” … as opposed to the implied “my mud mask” … which makes it sound like I am a regular mud-masker. I’m not. I think I had one once, last fall, briefly, as part of getting my Red Sox beard shaved off.

    Anyway … you’re vain, I’m obsessive-compulsive about blog-comment errors … it’s all good.

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