Eye Shy


Dear Ron,

My problem is that I cannot stand to look at myself in photographs. It is not that I am bad-looking. In fact, to the contrary. When I look– in some mirrors (they are not alike, after all) I sometimes drool and want to ask myself out on a date. At other times it is another story and I have to angle myself just right in order not to lose my lunch. People have told me(not recently, but anyway…) that I am “cute, handsome, attractive, interesting,” and other  things that do not come to mind), so why do I have this aversion to seeing my  own image in photographs?

Eye Shy

Dear Eye,

Photographers!   They make me want to give my dinner to the toilet. And everyone’s a photo hound these days, you notice? Clicking away like featherbrains  on their little cell gizmos. Everyone’s a voyeur, everyone’s a target! Eye, I feel your pain. A wise Hottentot tribal elder called Chiefly once confided to me that cameras kill the soul. He said he would rather be singing to a moose than having his picture taken. I think I agree with Chiefly.

What to do? What to do? First off, we must admit that cameras are evil! Why? I will tell you why if you are so darn inquisitive. BECAUSE THEY KILL PEOPLE! You laugh, you snicker. But they do. Consider the terminology.” I took ten shots of so and so” They are guns, make no mistake about it! And photographs are carcasses. Why would you want to look at a carcass?

I suggest that you disallow firmly anyone to ‘shoot’ you. You may have to threaten some of them, but that is fair play. If anyone comes at you suddenly with their little snapper, be prepared to protect your face with your hands or turn your back. They won’t have murdered you. Don’t be a victim, Eye! Don’t be a victim.

Now this mirror thing. I would say there is a connection between looking at yourself in the mirror and viewing  yourself in a photograph. You are right to have an aversion to seeing yourself in photographs. But admit it. You do look because you are a curious person, you want to see what ‘you’ look like to other people.

C’mon. Screw other people, Eye! They will see you any way they want to see you. It is not necessarily you at all, the real you, that is. Mirrors are evil, Eye. When you look at yourself in a mirror you are getting an image of yourself that is distorted and that is why some mirrors make you look fatter than others. Which one are you going to believe? It is like the thing about opinions –they are like assholes, everyone’s got one. But none of the images is the true you. So avoid them like the plague.

If there is a pimple you have to lance, for example, and it is absolutely necessary that you see it, well, focus directly on the pimple, making certain that you don’t take in your whole face. You may have to squint to do this, but it will have been worth it. You won’t have to worry about what you look like, you won’t be looking at an illusory you. You won’t be saying “I wish my ass were smaller or my nose hairs  shorter.” (by the way, you can always work on nose hairs with tweezers or your own little piggies, don’t be genteel!) Or I wish my wattle would tighten up.

My whole point, Eye, is that one need not be concerned about one’s outer shell. The real person is inside yourself and cannot be photographed! Sit down with a bowl of cabbage soup and ponder it. One more point before I leave you is: Let there be laws against photographers! Let  we, who do not wish to be frozen in frame arise and demolish the darn ciickers! Avanti, Eye!

I sincerely hope this helped.


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