It was awful.
Back in my day (yes, I'm doing the "back in my day" thing... "back in my day we had to WALK to school, every day, in the snow, uphill BOTH WAYS..." apparently I'm old enough to do that now. I digress.) Back in my day we called them "green cards" - same thing, shot of self or self-and-friend, head-and-shoulders only, often off-centered and with a critical ear or top-of-hair cut out of the shot (back in the day we didn't have the technology to flip the view on our smartphones so we could view the shot before we took it and adjust ourselves to look properly pretty and poised and posed according to lighting and makeup and angles...we just pointed and shot and crossed our fingers. In fact, when I was in high school, not only did we not have smartphones, we didn't even have digital cameras. We had to take our green cards - selfies - whatever, finish our roll of twenty-four photos, take the film in to be developed, and wait to see how they turned out a couple of days later. I swear to God. And I am in my mid-thirties, I am not seventy-five years old.)
But whatever you call it, green card or selfie or vanity shot or whatever, I have certainly taken more than my share of them over the years. I have become fairly expert at taking a blind shot of myself and as many people as I can cram into the shot - as well as any necessary background for context - perfectly framed, with my head tilted at just the right angle to avoid weird chin or jawline or eye circles.
But today's selfie? Dear God. Awful. Awful.
Let me explain.
I am the manager of both my older two sons' soccer teams. At the rep level, this is a volunteer position that requires approval by the Board of Directors of the soccer club, a police screening, approval by the regional soccer affiliation, and provincial sanctioning. Only team officials sanctioned by the provincial soccer association can be on the field or the sidelines during games. It's all very official and absurdly regulated. So they require team officials - coaches, assistant coaches, and managers (players, too - you know, in case the ten-year-old team brings in an international ringer)- to have a "passport": head-and-shoulders photo, name and birthdate, signature, sign-off by the soccer club and regional soccer association and stamped by the provincial soccer association before being allowed to play in any official in-season games.
So, having spent weeks collecting photos and signatures for these silly passports I realized I'd need to do one for myself. No worries - I'd just take a quick selfie, right?
How did I get so ugly? When did this happen?
I used to be hot.
Yes, I do understand that selfies are by nature unflattering. And if I were posting this selfie on Twitter or Instagram there would be filters I could use to soften the whole effect - but at one time I was hot enough without any filters.
Today's selfie proves that most definitely to no longer be the case. At. All.
The pale, pasty, tired, lined, fleshy face in that picture bears absolutely no resemblance to the hottie I was in my twenties, the hottie that still lives in my mind. How did I not know that girl no longer existed in the real world? I do in fact own mirrors. The girl I thought I was seeing in the mirror is not the girl in that selfie. How did I let this happen? I mean, I don't exactly put any time into doing my hair and face - but I never did. And, sure, I haven't had a full night's sleep in the ten years since I had kids - but really? I went from a hottie to a haggard shrew in a few short years because I need more sleep?