Yay! Pictures! All parents of school aged children know it as that magical time where strangers come to photograph your kids, then try to extort you to buy their wares.
My pre-schooler's "standard package" was in the $70.00 range. Thanks, but no thanks. I love my kid, but I'd rather use that money for our electricity bill. Not to mention they're often forced into awkward, stiff poses and have fake, plastered smiles on their faces.
Alas, if only that were the worst of it.
My six-year old just brought home his "spring" photo package. For those who grew up in a less commercial time and don't have kids in school yet, photographers come to school twice a year now. So, we've already had photos documenting first grade, but this is an additional "opportunity".
The child photography business has come a long way since the 1980s, people. There are some interesting benefits-- like having photos printed onto a mug, key fob, or (?really?) dog tags. Finally! Someone has responded to the requests from the photo-on-dog-tag niche market. Yes!
Here's the kicker: the photography studio offers "retouching".
On a child's photograph.
According to the company, "retouching will reduce the appearance of acne and soften facial lines."
Which is great, because just between you and me, we've been worried that the six year old is looking a little ... well, haggard. There, I said it.
Though he's been taking regular spa treatments and using products to diminish the appearance of fine lines, it's not enough. Sometimes I wonder if all the treatments and products are really a scam. Anyway, I'm getting off topic. Back to the issue! And it will only get worse, you know. By the time he's in high school-- he could look old, like eighteen, or nineteen-- you know, really OLD!
Why should supermodels be the only ones getting airbrushed? When your six year old can experience the delusion and self-judgement that comes along with retouching their photo, too!
Everyone (even perennially cute people like Reese Witherspoon! I'm certain! She must!) has a photo they don't like. Everyone can look back at a school photo and cringe.
How else will we look back and remember what we survived?
Stand with me in solidarity, and tell the corporate-photo-man, "You may take away my acne and fine lines, but you will never destroy my bad hair and Coca Cola fashion!"