Writer's Life

The Stories on Our Faces

A recent haircut led me to rethink my profile picture and author photo. Much to my surprise, the previous one turned out to be seven years old.

So, ignoring all the advice about paying for professional photography (where’s the fun in that?), my husband grabbed his camera and cheerfully started snapping.

I admit, when I first saw the results, I was dismayed. One of our chosen locations, it seemed, had particularly unflattering light and the lines on my face shocked me. Happily, the second batch was better, although I still felt melancholy about my forty-something wrinkles, compared to the relative youth of my thirties!

But then I got to thinking about all the incredible life experiences which led to that facial topography. All the beaches, mountains, fields and snow I’ve played in. The miles I’ve run, biked, kayaked and flown. The minor disasters, the unexpected capsizing, the never-again experiments:

Stories on our Faces

And I realised that every line on my face represents an adventure, tiny or grand. Every wrinkle stems from a smile, a frown, a joke, a hoot, a fear, a tear.

I’m not saying I’m not tempted to hire a professional photographer and let him or her find a more flattering vantage point. I am, and I might.

But, it’s not time for a mid-life crisis. There’s no use in lamenting my salad days. And it’s definitely not the moment to throw my money into a miracle face cream. Instead, it’s time to dust off the bucket list, celebrate the wrinkles already earned, relive the stories they tell, and head off out to write some more.

How about you? Are you at ease with the story on your face?


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5 Comment

  1. Reply
    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com
    August 31, 2017 at 6:43 am

    Well said, Pauline. And I think the photos are lovely. Your husband did a great job – no need to call in a pro. I made up my mind early in life to go with what I’ve got! Very little in the way of makeup or special products, and cosmetic “procedures” (surgery, etc) are definitely not for me. It’s all fine for other people if that’s what they want – no criticism intended – but not for me.

  2. Reply
    Tracey Gemmell
    September 2, 2017 at 6:00 am

    I think we should name our deepest wrinkles. A place? A person? An event? Something that shaped us in someway. I’ll name the parenthesis each side of my mouth after my children for all the smiles and laughs they give me.

    And, no, you don’t need a professional. I love the photo you chose for your author shot. Well done, hubby!

    1. Reply
      Pauline
      September 3, 2017 at 10:22 am

      Naming them is a terrific idea, Tracey! What a fun “map” that would make.

  3. Reply
    April J Harris
    September 4, 2017 at 6:54 am

    I think your photos look wonderful, Pauline! I’m not seeing many wrinkles on your face, but I love the way you are looking at this. Our faces really do tell a story.

    I always think it’s especially sad when folks use injectables that make it impossible for their faces to move properly and make expressions – I’d much rather have wrinkles! Having said that, I don’t want to be hypocritical – I do use some pretty heavy duty anti-ageing products and spend a lot of time and money on my skin. Like everything else, I think it’s all about balance.

    The most beautiful people are always the ones who have really lived and expressed themselves – and that gives you wrinkles! I quite like Tracey’s idea of naming them to remind ourselves that they are a part of our experience and should be embraced.

    I do love your new cover photo – and it’s so fun to see all the other shots as well. They are lovely!

    1. Reply
      Pauline
      September 4, 2017 at 9:49 am

      April, I’ve read enough of your material to know you invest thoughtfully in your skin. Whatever you’re doing, it’s working!

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