Day 23,701: Looking Back With Old Eyes.
The beauty of scrapbooks and photo albums is you occasionally get to look back and see with clear eyes (regardless of the need for glasses) the reality of days gone by. It first happened for me with my oldest cousin. She struggled with her weight for most of her life, was a strong career woman, but never thought she was pretty. The highest position she ever held in the working world was as the Executive Assistant to the President of a Fortune 500 company in Manhattan. It was considered a plum position even though I’m sure she was smarter than any of the men she assisted.
She was my mentor, although she never knew it. She showed me what it meant to have a career of one’s own, travel the world, be childless and yet whole, and take risks. She spoke fluent Spanish. She taught me how to ski. She never forgot my birthday and always figured out how to get a whipped cream strawberry shortcake delivered to me regardless of where I was in the world, including Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
After she passed away I started constructing a Heritage scrapbook with old family photos. There, among all the photos I’d inherited from my mother, was my cousin’s high school graduation picture. She was freakin’ gorgeous! She was alluring; she had beauty; and somehow she never knew it. If only she could have seen her own photo with the eyes of a Crone.
The Beauty of Youth
When I was a young mother, people would compliment me on the beauty of my young daughters. I wholeheartedly agreed. They were, and still are gorgeous. Then, every so often, someone would throw me a curve and say one or the other of them took after me! No Way! I never looked that good. And, I honestly didn’t. I was an awkward, late bloomer, and they bloomed well for most of what were chubby, white ankle socked years for me. Some of it was the styles of the times, but they, perhaps from being sisters and having more girls around, were more comfortable testing and finding their own styles. To this day, they are still mentoring me on how to use various hair care products and wear certain clothing. Tucked in or out? Cuffed at the ankles or not? I never seem to know and they do!
At some point, I started looking at old photos of myself similar to how I looked at my cousin’s old photos. I can attest to the fact that I was an awkward child, but I sure was better looking, thinner and more put together in my twenties than I ever remembered! In looking back, I had a different and better view of myself than I did when the pictures were snapped.
This week, I wanted to publish some photos of my gorgeous progeny for the last post How My Office Has Changed. I have blogged long enough to know to keep most family specifics out of posts, and have become smart enough to ask family members (except the dog) for permission before posting photos. No surprise – permission was not granted. One daughter felt the lovely picture I had of her was not complimentary. She saw the state of mind she was in when I snapped the picture, rather than her actual outward appearance.
I could have posted a photo of them when they were really little, but I knew better than that as well. That would have been interpreted as “just embarrassing.” So, even though I am the mother, and those are my pictures, I don’t have the rights to them. The reason is face rights.
You Own Your Face
In the publishing world, you can own someone’s name by trademarking it even if it is their real name and, if they are not a public figure, they can’t stop you from marketing the name. However, they always own their face and you can never publish someone’s face for marketing purposes without their express permission. You can publish someone’s face in a news story, but not to market a product or service, even if the product carries their very name. I used this rule once when a professional photographer put my family photo in her shop window to show her talents. She wasn’t that talented. I just had a wonderful, happy, photogenic family. I got her to remove her copy from her public display.
George Bernard Shaw is attributed with saying: “Youth is wasted on the young.” It is not. What is wasted is their subjective view of themselves. They just can’t see themselves the way the rest of us can – with Crone eyes and experience. Youth, by its very nature and definition, is fresh faced, natural and inspiring. And, that is beauty, pure and simple.
Focus on Common Sense Gun Sanity: Tomorrow, March 14, is the first date for a student march out in support of Parkland and sane gun regulations. This is a case where the young are the ones who are seeing clearly when crusty adults are not. The students are not worried about being politically correct, keeping donors happy, or tip toeing around issues. They are asking everyone to value life over possessions, life over antiquated words, life over politics. They are inspiring and, hopefully, will encourage the more ancient among us to come out when it’s our turn on March 24. To find a march near you, go to: MarchForOurLives.com.