Office photos and vanity run amok

Friday, December 6, 2013 Permalink

I’ve mentioned before I’m doing regular contract work for a local website development, design and hosting company. Check out our site if you’d like. (PS. I wrote most of the blog posts over the last year, so feel free to admire them as well!)

It’s all going well and I’m enjoying the mix of liaising with clients, project managing the delivery of some of our activities and the writing (of course). I’ve been there a few weeks now and am surprised by the constant stream of new work which arrives in our inboxes and I’m loving the vibe of the office. Plus I’m wearing thongs/flip-flops to work every day… but more on that another time!

However… this past week the boss decided that (while one of the team is visiting from his base in the USA) we should get a photographer to come and take some workplace shots.

SHIT! Pictures of me? Looking like this?!

Anyone who reads my diet blog will know that I will do EVERYTHING I possibly can to avoid being photographed. So, while I appreciated the idea… I hated it at the same time.

I ‘like’ the photographer on Facebook so knew she was fabulous, but I wasn’t quite sure how much photoshopping she would do.


Unfortunately my regular six-weekly hair appointment was scheduled for two days AFTER the photo shoot, so I decided immediately that I would reschedule so that my lovely golden locks (!!!) would not have dark horrible roots. I also contemplated the notion of makeup. (I don’t / can’t wear makeup as my face / head perspires too much and if I put ANYTHING on my face it starts sweating!)


I contemplated sharing my ‘I must change my hair appointment’ dilemma with the guys in the office; and I even almost posted it on Facebook (#asyoudo) but then I wondered…. “Did that sound ridiculously vain?”

I HATE vanity. My own personal opinion is that it should replace pride as one of the seven deadly sins. Pride can be earned but vanity is so often unjustified. And it’s rarely a desirable trait. Confidence is one thing, but vanity… #meh!

I was indoctrinated at a young age as I can recall my father chastising me for admiring my flawless beauty studying myself in a mirror.

“It’s vain,” he said. And I understood then, vanity was a bad thing. (Of course the fact I tipped in the other direction is beside the point!)

So, I kept my plans to myself and tried not to sound worried about how I would look in the office pics. After all – they were all about work and the office. They weren’t vanity shots for my lounge room walls, or pictures for my modelling portfolio! 😉 Plus, I’m working with a bunch of (young) guys who I suspected would think I was being ridiculous by stressing about *how* I looked.

Of course what actually happened was that I *forgot* to change my hair appointment so rocked up for the photo shoot with horrible regrowth. On top of that I got hot, so in half of the photographs I’ve got my sweaty hair pulled back into an unattractive little piggytail thingy. Faaaarck!

We got the pics just a day after they were taken and while the objective part of me can look at them and think they’re great pics – the vain part of me is horrified at my own shots. #fuckfuckfuck

On one hand I’m wondering if I SHOULD have been a bit more concerned about the way I was going to look in the pictures as these will be things clients and colleagues will see; and on the other I’m wondering if it’s just the fact that I look like a fat middle-aged woman that I can’t stand! Either way, like I said… faaarck!

Would you have made more of an effort if you were me?
Do you think the vanity-in-pics is a natural / girl thing?

*Flogging my blog With Some Grace today.

  • Janet @ Redland City Living
    December 6, 2013

    Oh I hear ya. I would have run, not walked, to the hairdresser for sure … I find if I’m having a good hair day every thing else falls into place … maybe I’m vain too!

    • Debbish
      December 6, 2013

      Yes… my regrowth looked kinda bad in the photos (though of course I focus on it) but it was even worse when my hair was a bit sweaty and done up!!!

  • Char
    December 6, 2013

    A little bit of vanity is normal – necessary, even, in business life. You don’t rock up to an interview without some degree of presentation. It’s just when vanity goes overboard that it’s a problem.

    I had my own struggle with this earlier this year when I was a rather ‘elderly’ bridesmaid at a friend’s wedding. I so didn’t want to look out of place with my much-younger bridesmaids but I was also concerned that my first ever date with a make-up artist would end with me looking like mutton dressed as lamb.

    It ended up being fine but I was really stressed beforehand and if it had been up to me I would have ‘forgotten’ to organise things too, done my own hair and makeup and been disappointed with the results.

    • Debbish
      December 6, 2013

      I realise that I can imagine making more of an effort if I felt better about myself and thought I ‘could’ look kinda decent. 🙁

  • Min
    December 6, 2013

    I would have been freaking out about the photo’s. I always hate photographs of myself and avoid being in any if I can. I would like to change this but easier said than done! I would have dressed in something that I thought was slimming and would have fussed over my hair and make up. That’s me! I’m sure you don’t look as bad as you think. We are always our worst critics! Great news about this job – sounds perfect!

    • Debbish
      December 6, 2013

      I had a ‘nice’ shirt to wear plus this bright pink thing which I thought would take the emphasis off me… but it was a bit bright so fortunately I’d taken a black one as backup and I’ve got that on in a few pics. The photographer (Joy) was lovely and DID try to get my best angle, but…

  • Jo Tracey
    December 6, 2013

    I hate photos of myself & freely admit to vanity- which is why I’m behind the lens instead of in front of it & why I still cough on my age. It starts with a 4. I probably wouldn’t have changed my hairdresser, but I would have stressed about putting a full face on…

    • Debbish
      December 6, 2013

      I was worried the makeup would make me sweat -even if only on for a few minutes. Little did I know we’d have the door open so I sweated anyway. (PS. Don’t actually own foundation etc anymore!)

  • Trish
    December 6, 2013

    I hate having my photo taken too , it’s hard to let it go. No-one else probably pays any attention to how you look. I’d have stressed about the makeup and my hair not being right but in the end I’d hide 🙂

    • Debbish
      December 6, 2013

      Yes Trish where possible I stood behind people but my face just looks SO old & I’ve decided I was too blonde. I’m just back from the hairdresser & have gone dark blonde!!!

  • Annaleis from Teapots and Tractors
    December 6, 2013

    I have very few photos of me where I look nice. I think sometimes we are way harder on ourselves than we need to be.

    • Debbish
      December 6, 2013

      True Annaleis. We immediately go to the things we hate about ourselves. But… in all honestly and objectivity – these photos of me are so…. #blech!

  • Jess
    December 7, 2013

    I would have felt the exact same way!!! I don’t think you’re vain, no more then the rest of us!!

    • Debbish
      December 7, 2013

      Thanks Jess. In retrospect I’ve decided it’s kinda normal but am interested in why I think I shouldn’t have admitted to how I was feeling / or thinking worrying about I’d look in the pics wasn’t normal!

  • Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    December 8, 2013

    Sadly the world we live in is a place where we are judged if we don’t take care of ourselves, sad but true. While society is getting slighter better, it’s not really there yet. I am UBER vain about pics, especially for work, but as you know and seen my blog then anything goes , even the cray cray ones!

    • Debbish
      December 9, 2013

      Yes… I love the pics on your blog!

  • Satu
    December 15, 2013

    I feel you! I hate my hair as it is now but my next hair appointment will be in January. I think I look like a Beatle with my overgrown bangs. And the regrowth!!!

    I’m kind of schizophrenic about vanity too. Yes, I’m vain and I want to look as pretty as I can but I also think it’s “wrong” to be vain. Go figure. Anyway, the reason I have the same old (edited) photo of myself in all my sites is because I look relatively good in it and my double chin doesn’t show. I’m lucky because I’m able to do some photo editing myself….so the pictures I put online aren’t quite horrid.

    Anyway, I think vanity is a normal thing for a woman. And those young guys probably have girlfriends..

    • Debbish
      December 16, 2013

      So glad that you understand what I’m thinking Satu! The schizophrenic thing…. So true!

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