Well known factoid – I pose. A lot. Not around the house or in queues mind you; just in photographs...and where large groups of people gather. Whether nurture or nature, it can’t be helped. Examine early baby pictures and you’ll find mini O’Connor working her angles. I like to look at it as a life skill; my friends however would beg to differ.
Take a recent group holiday in Spain. Every time someone played shutterbug, I pulled a Tyra and smiled with my eyes whilst mastering the half-stone-lighter silhouette; in the pool, on the sun lounger, at the rent-a-car queue. “Jesus Annie! Stop posing!” admonished my fellow vacationers. It wasn’t until we reviewed the photographic evidence, that I felt suitably vindicated. No reservations about being unwittingly tagged on Facebook, or bartering to have that beer belly/bikini combo photoshopped (or ideally removed). No siree. Nothing to see here folks. Move it along.
Regardless, my so-called ‘skill’ remained incontestable proof of vanity in the eyes of my thirtysomething coterie. “Even your passport picture is posed!” (Didn’t they hear about the booths that let you review each shot?) Yet as each flash snapped, the naysayers tensed like mummies, parlayed pained faces and wondered why treble chins sprouted like a case of prickly heat.
Then I heard the fateful words “Can you do me a favour?” One of the guys wanted tips on how to pull a Men’s Health for the lens. “That eyebrow of mine has a life of its own,” he sighed. “I’m beginning to resemble Winston Churchill.” And so we had a mini-pose off on the QT – before being ridiculed into submission.
It made me wonder, does our generation still bear the stigma of ye old Ireland? “That girl thinks well of herself,” was one of my nana’s favourite put-downs. Where I grew up in America, such a quip would translate as “What a well-adjusted young lady!” Or is it perhaps that unlike our Yankee compadres, we Irish are less simply less smug about our mugs.
“It’s not that,” admits one of the villa vilifiers. “There’s just no fun with digital cameras. I miss the old days of waiting to get your holiday snaps developed. Good or bad – the results were far more honest.”
With that I took a moment’s pause to consider her point, declaring honesty an overrated virtue...and that someone had far too much wine.