From Lesley at Fatshionista, about the “before” Polaroid taken by Jenny Craig in 1991.
I looked apparently happy in that photograph, but I was wrong. I looked apparently happy, but upon further reflection, my breasts are slightly uneven, my skin is too dark, my knees are ugly, my hair is windblown. I looked apparently happy but I was wrong to feel that way, because look at me. How could I be happy, looking like that? What kind of idiot am I? I, in my blind willful ignorance, having the unmitigated bravado to LOOK HAPPY when I also look so IMPERFECT? When I also look so FAT? How pathetic. […]
In my mind, I can draw a clear line between my inclination toward self-portraits and the Jenny Craig polaroid from all those years ago. Even the more remedial images that I take, ostensibly just to record the day’s outfit, are all actually stunningly persistent reenactments of that Jenny Craig polaroid – standing full length, back to the wall, remembering everything I was wearing, again and again and again. […]
Now I look at these literal hundreds of new “before” portraits, and realize that somewhere along the way I proved that I could see myself in photographs and like the way I look, and feel happy with my body, and possibly most important, recognize myself in pictures without judgment, with only pleasure and love.
It’s an interesting and thoughtful post, and the comments touch on how photos of fat folks are not only often seen as “before diet” photos – but are also “before Photoshop” too.