Emily’s Totally Unnecessary (and Completely Unsolicited) Advice: HOW TO Look at Old Pictures of Yourself
Here’s something to ponder: our kids will have their entire lives captured and put on the internet. Think of all the people you know having babies and then taking a shit ton of pictures, where they are all uploaded immediately to Facebook and Instagram. Theoretically, those babies will grow up, Google themselves, and see their entire existence in photographs, in sequential order. That’s INSANE. I thought to myself, “I haven’t seen a childhood photo of myself in ages… Maybe I should gather some, put them on my blog, and then make fun of myself!”
Do you people see what I do for your entertainment?
Well, internet… you’re welcome.
I decided to narrow down the photos for this blog. Instead of just random (albeit adorable) photos of myself to make fun of, I decided to go more specific and just make fun of my old dance photos. I took dance classes from ages 4 to 15. So naturally, I have a plethora of photos featuring my ridiculous costumes and poses, as evidenced above.
But I also thought this could be a good lesson. Because clearly, if there’s anything I’m good at, it’s giving unnecessary and unsolicited advice. I can dish it, but I can’t take it! DUH! So while I like to make fun of myself, I think it’s important that we reflect on childhood photos and take them for what they are: lessons on our own unique coolness and how to bring that coolness to the present. Looking back at these old pictures has given me a weird sense of confidence! If I can pose in a purple unitard and sequined jacket back then, who’s to stop me now?
So buckle in, folks. This is about to get weird.
This was one of my very first costumes. We did a rousing number to Aretha Franklin’s “Respect.” I think my mom still has it in my Emily Box, stuffed in a closet somewhere. She’s cute like that and saves everything.
But let’s take notice, first and foremost… the bangs. I don’t know why my mother felt it necessary to start my bangs DEAD CENTER in the middle of my head, and then curl them aaallll the way forward, but… that’s what she did. In those days, the bigger the hair, the closer to God, right? When my sister and I would get ready for our yearly recitals, we basically just asked my mom to put curlers in our hair and hope it would tease crazy big, like so. Then you cake on the makeup, JonBenet Ramsey-style, and hope the lipstick doesn’t stick to your teeth. Badabing, A STAR IS BORN.
LESSON: I like this picture because it was one of the first times I was about to be on stage. I was about to rock the socks off an entire audience and I knew, in my heart, that I’d smash it. The smile, the pose, the makeup… it all says, “WORLD, get outs m’way! You’re about to be AMAZED!” Look back on these types of photos and feel that confidence all over again.
Now, here we are again with another bitchin’ pose. This was for a dress rehearsal before the yearly recital. I can tell because parents were only allowed to take pictures during rehearsal, and also, because my Baby Spice pose is off the charts… and I’m sure in front of an entire audience, I dialed back somewhat. After all, one can only be a Spice Girl for a certain amount during the day. Try that shit all the time and you’d be exhausted!
Notice how I am the only one in this picture getting REALLY into it. The other girls are smart and saving their energy, or perhaps just getting their footing and blocking down, checking the stage out. You know, normal rehearsal things. No, I decide to go full music-video-mode and TWERK it like nobody’s business. I sort of want to tell past Emily to take a chill pill.
I do wish I could remember what song this was to. Because you better believe I’d be playing it right now and coming up with new choreography to do around my apartment. Research, duh.
LESSON: A t-shirt and bike shorts are nothing to scoff at. They’re comfortable, sassy, and say F YOU to everything and everyone. I am going to go buy this outfit and rock it in 2012.
This was my first costume for my first recital. And chicken arms say whaaaat? Not sure about this particular pose, but the leg is pretty fierce. I’m sure I bitched about having taffeta right in my arm pits, because as any dancer will tell you, that shit itches and rubs so bad. No me gusta.
LESSON: Pose like this in all future photographs, complete with arms behind the head. It makes your posture better and it says, “So what? Don’t mind me, while I lounge here and take a photo effortlessly. All you basic bitches can take a seat.”
So this photo gives me all kinds of hope. First of all, I have to remember that I was not a fat kid; I was never predisposed to be fat. I did not grow up thinking my body was ugly and no one ever made fun of me for it. OH WAIT, I was a fucking giant and everyone made fun of me for my height. (This is why I do not sympathize with short people. Oh it must be SO ROUGH to be shorter and cuter than all the boys in your grade and have boyfriends. Whine some more, okay?)
And second, I can get tan and my arms can, in fact, have tone and definition. Sure, I was a child here and to compare my current body to my third grade body is absurd… But in all fairness, it just let’s me look back and be like, I can be cute again, if I so choose.
LESSON: This color combo is all sorts of amazing. Try and coordinate your outfits in blues, pinks and turquoise, and NOTHING else. Ever. All other colors bow down to these three, and the world needs to know it.
Okay so those were my old dance pictures. I trust that my advice will take you far in life and that this blog post has changed the entire course of your future endeavors. It’s fine, I do it for the people, you know?
But really. Unlike our kids and our friends’ kids, our early photos are not online. They’re not easily accessible, to peruse at our leisure and reflect on our childhoods. So do what I did: find old photos of yourself and realize how fucking rad you were. And are. And then put those photos online so I can laugh and comment on your cuteness.