The Funny Looking Kid

When I was a kid I was not an attractive one. I was as skinny as a rake, had hair that was thin and wispy, sticking up all over the shop. My teeth protruded from my gums at any which angle it wanted and I had one eye that was able to look straight while the other eye pointed directly to my nose. This was rectified when I spend two years wearing specs with a patch over the “good” eye, forcing my lazy eye to get busy trying to correct itself.

I was usually covered in scabs due to my adventurous ways, and quite often carried little critters in my hair. Not because my Mother didn’t care for me 100%, but simply because there seemed to be a strong and constant infestation at out local primary school. Come wintertime, I would up the attractive ante by wearing my red skivvy and grey cord flares with my dunlop volleys.

But in my mothers eyes, I was completely gorgeous.

“One day you are going to be Miss Australia!” she would tell me often. Back in the day being Miss Australia was something be aspire to be.

Her best mate, Aunty Lois grew concerned. “Christine, you should stop saying that to her. She is NOT going to be Miss Australia.”

Mind you I would have been eight at the time and had no interest in any such shenanigans because I was too busy building a BMX ramp on our street and practicing soaring through the air in an impressive fashion only to collide on the road face first, with my Mongoose landing on top of me, and then being painted, on my face, with bright red mercurochrome.

But times have changed since those heady days of not looking ones best.

One of my readers recently bought this to my attention and with her permission she has let me share this with you.

This is Angela’s eight year old son. The photo from the left is one taken with his brother in the siblings shot and the one on the right is him in his individual portrait. Do you notice anything different?

What in the what now? Click here to read Angela’s response.

This ridiculousness has apparently been going on for years! Back in 2011 Our Lady of Sion College in Box Hill sent an email to the local school photographer after receiving their official school photos.

“We have looked at some of the individual ID images and there are some that we would like to have photoshopped (if possible and preferable).”

The internet is littered with similar stories. This six year old had a birthmark removed without permission. This teenager had her piercings airbrushed out while this particular photography company actually offers a $22 option to airbrush out blemishes.

This is actually going on. We are telling our kids that they are not good enough as is and that with a little tweaking, you are more socially acceptable. And I think it stinks.

It would have takenĀ Annie Leibovitz and an entire digital art department weeks to remove the imperfections of my eight year old face, so I am quite happy that this option was not around back in my day. I didn’t ever end up being Miss Australia but I was House Captain in Year Six and won a writing prize in High School. Glorious!

What do you think of this new trend?

What would you do if your kids photos were photoshopped without your permission?

Were you a Funny Looking Kid? Feel free to share a snap!

  • They’d almost certainly have felt the need to photoshop out my freckles in my school pics…because I was one speckled kid… I can’t even begin to imagine what my mother might have said to that, mind – given the memories of her explosions over certain things!
    This is just wrong, frankly. Sends totally the wrong message to our kids, and in any case, the fact that they just DID it, without even bothering to ask – that’s appalling, IMHO.

  • I think everyone has to have the awkward school photos! I hated my early teen pictures. OMG. Braces. Pimples. Questionable hair choices (I was going for Sarah from Superjesus but ended up looking like a gawky nerd). But as an adult with a little more self confidence and access to more beauty resources, I look back fondly on these! I can see how far I’ve come! I can remember the pain and the beauty of life at that age exactly how it was when I look at them! If I’d been retouched, I would not have the strength of character I do now. I also would not have truly appreciated the Clarendon filter on Insta today šŸ˜‚

  • Alison – Talking Frankly

    I wrote about this in 2012 because I was appalled and five years on I am still appalled. I mean what the whattedy what what what what what?

  • I’d want to smack ’em in the nose if someone thought they should mess with what I perceive to be the perfection of my grandie boy.

  • You need the awkward childhood photos so you can say “look how much I improved with age”, and “wow that $10,000 worth of braces was totally worth it”, and “OMG Mum, you looked hilarious when you were in primary school. So glad I take after Dad”.

  • Kazzie

    Ugh? why would they photo-shop? That’s FAKE photos!
    I read somewhere and kept the words… ” Photos are so precious, even the unflattering ones. They’re a part of your life, even though they remind you of sad times, bad times or even just bad-hair days… be glad you still keep them. Why? because without the bad days, what do the good days mean? Treasure your photos! “