Self-Portrait


Years and years ago there was "Self-Portrait Tuesday" meme that made its way through the blogosphere. I wasn't a blogger at the time, so I never participated, and the only remnants of it today are a Flickr group that seems largely populated by teen-aged girls trying to out-sexy one another. Back then I really liked the idea of this trend, though, and I liked seeing the women behind the words that I was reading. I decided to call on this little bit of the past today for a couple of reasons.

The first is that I think moms are far too often absent from the family photo book. Mom is so frequently the one behind the lens, that it's easy to forget to get her in front of the camera. I have, literally, close to one thousand pictures of Silas (such is life in our modern age of digital cameras and infinite storage!) but I'm in probably less than 20 of them. I made Steve promise me that he would make a point of photographing me with our son, but it's just not a part of his habit yet. When I look back on my own baby pictures, it's fun to see what I looked like, but it's even more interesting to see what those around me, especially mom, looked like. I want Silas to have a complete recording of his childhood, not just 37 pictures of himself rolling around on the floor (as adorable as they might be). Part of this desire is a little selfish too. When I'm 60 and reminiscing about my son's infancy, part of what I'll be reminiscing about is my role during that time too. I want to be visibly present to see the ways in which I've changed and grown along with my son.

Secondly, I read the words of so many women through their blogs and yet I have a mental picture of so few of them. I don't know if we're all just too self-conscious, or too self-critical, but I like seeing the woman behind the words on the screen and I have yet to see one that I didn't think was absolutely beautiful. I think it's important, in some way, to maintain an identity that exists independently of my role as a mom, which is why I swore (before I had a child) that I would never use my kids' photo as my profile picture (a pledge that I broke almost immediately). Right now, mom-hood pretty much defines my every thought and action, but I need to do the crucial work of making sure that "Courtney" doesn't get lost in the fray. So, for today, in this small little moment, here she is.

16 comments:

  1. Courtney, you are just so beautiful. I love this idea and would love to join you next week with a picture. The profile picture I use was taken last year so I really do need to update. It really is nice to have a face to go with the pictures and words we read!xx

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  2. So pretty! One day I might brave the challenge and give you a non-Frodo photo :D

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  3. true. the moms are always behind the lens. i love to see who i've been reading and who comments on my posts :-)

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  4. It took me awhile to be confident enough to post my photo online. You my dear are gorgeous!

    I too have thought about the mom behind the camera epidemic. I started years ago to periodically take a photo of myself so that my boys would remember how I looked. Recently I have been taking a bit more.

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  5. it is really fun that my son is now starting to want to take some pictures, and he often chooses me as his subject- otherwise, it's so true, i am pretty much an invisible character... i loved seeing a recent photo of you, and this one is great as well! i think it's a great idea. and you know, i didn't even know your first name until just now, courtney! :)

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  6. Thanks for the photo! I am with you about the pictures with the kids. I have about a zillion pictures of todd and the kids and about 7 with me in them. I have to literally ask each time I want a photo taken, which sort of changes the mood. Oh well.

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  7. our beautiful daughter! ain't she gorgeous?!!!

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  8. Oh I definitely wouldn't mind joining in next week!

    You are beautiful. I am jealous of your curly hair! :)

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  9. You are beautiful! I love your curls.

    I'm always the one taking the pictures, too. I really do need to get on Josh about taking pictures of me with the kids. They're going to think that I was absent for most of their early years, but I was just behind the lens.

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  10. You are all much, much too kind! :) I'm loving all the enthusiasm for self portraits here. I think we should roll with it and do a Self-Portrait Tuesday next week. See all the lovely ladies behind the lovely words! :)

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  11. God! I so wanted your curls when I was growing up. :-)

    You're right. We all are beautiful in our own way. If I remember next week (actually, I'll set up the post right now to run next Tuesday), I'll do Self-Portrait Tuesday, too.

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  12. I agree that I am all too often taking the photos- you look great- I like the idea of disciplining oneself to taking self portraits.

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  13. Oh, I so hear you when you talk about not being in the photos. My husband doesn't seem to grab the camera as much as I would like, but that could be because I've always got it :) I know I can be self-conscious about posting photos of myself...

    You are adorable! Love, love the curls!

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  14. You are BEAUTIFUL! I love the idea for next Tuesday with the self portraits. I may actually have to link up to it! I do hate taking my own picture though. lol

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  15. i love what you said so much and have thought about this many times in my life. i am nearing 60 (i'm 55, my profile photo is 3 years ago), and when i look through my treasured photos of my family i am in only a handful. i used to think it was just the way it was, the times.
    it's true digital has changed the way we take photos, but i guess husbands havent' changed all that much! :)
    it's too late for photos of me with my babies, they are all grown up now, but i know when they have babies, i am going to be on my sons to pick up that camera!! (or i will!)

    i guess it's my age, but i put my photo in my blog fairly often (you lose selfconsiousness as you age, it's wonderful!)and i would love to participate in tues. meme but im afraid of annoying any blog readers, too much me! hee hee.
    here i am,if you'd like to come over,
    http://loritimesfive.blogspot.com/2011/09/summer-moss-and-fern-rose.html
    it's nice to meet you darling courtney!
    you've made a truly lovely and important post.
    xo lori

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  16. A fantastic photo! You are so right. Silas is a lucky boy.

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