Another guest post by Dana
They are a stretch for me.
They scream, "LOOK AT MY FACE!" and that is terrifying in my world.
I changed my blogger, twitter and facebook avatars to the new look and got very positive, complimentary feedback. I allowed myself to feel good about the new look - maybe it really was OK to be me.
Then it happened.
A direct message* from someone I know. Someone I care about. Someone whose opinion matters to me:
"Tell Dana to change her picture. It's cute, but the lighting makes it look like she has a mustache"
Let me share a secret with all of you. Any time I hear "[Insert favorite compliment], BUT [Insert critical statement]" what I hear is "Blah, blah, blah ... Dana has a mustache."
I was hurt (still am or I wouldn't be writing this). I looked at the picture - a picture I was comfortable with (a HUGE accomplishment for me) and all I could think was that everyone had been lying to me - laughing behind my back - saying, "Dana thinks she looks cute but it looks like she has a mustache. Let's not tell her so that we can keep laughing at her."
When I communicated my hurt, I got:
"And let me tell ya Mizz Thang...How many people saw the same thing and didn't say anything...c'mon you know me better than that"
Ahhhh ... confirmation! Validation! ... and people think I'm crazy.
Now, in all fairness, I know (without a doubt) that this conversation was meant to be helpful. This wasn't someone who was trying to cut me down, trying to make me feel bad about myself.
It was constructive criticism. It was like the friend who tells you about a glaring grammatical error in your post because they don't want you to be embarrassed. It was meant to be helpful.
I took it far too personally. It hurt like hell.
I airbrushed the photo. I softened it. I played with the highlights and low lights. I adjusted the shadow. I did everything I could in hopes everyone would stop laughing at me behind my back. I tried to make it "acceptable." **The picture shown is the "fixed" photo**
I sold out ... and I hate that I am not confident enough to say, "Screw you! I'm fine just the way I am!"
Maybe some day.
*These messages were private messages, not sent to a public forum. I reprinted them (as written) here, but out of context. I didn't do this to make the person look bad, but to help you understand how my brain heard them.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
I picked up my new geeky-chic glasses on Saturday.