Sunday, 21 November 2010

Moody Lucy caught on Candid Camera

I'm constantly trying to perfect my 'look', bearing in mind that although you can wear the 'right' clothes and makeup, and can put on the right kind of facial expression as required, most of the time your face is relaxed and can give you away. So I was heartened when C---, who I met down in Cornwall recently, sent me this shot of myself in an unguarded moment in the restaurant at the Tate St Ives:
Ah! A pudgy-faced female of indeterminate age with a moody look. Caught on Candid Camera! Clearly she's either having a bad period or things aren't going too well at home. Well, if that's what people might think, I don't mind. Because then I'd look like countless other women whose mask has momentarily slipped. And that's a big achievement for someone who only came out just over two years ago.

To make my point even more acutely, here's a cropped-in version of a picture you've seen before. Same place, same occasion, not the same camera (it was my own little Leica) but the shooter was C--- again. And this time I'm all prepared, perky and smiling:
Actually, it does look highly posed. Not C---'s fault, but mine. I'm all self-conscious! That said, I do like it as a picture of myself, and it's true in its way, but the first shot must be far more typical of what the public sees in my unwary moments.

And the moral is this. The image you normally present to people in general is not the smiling, vivacious, engaging one that faces you in your mirror at home. It's an unconscious, down-mouthed, expressionless face that might, or might not, look credibly female. And it's the face that really matters.

4 comments:

  1. Lucy dear,

    I just love this post! We all love to pose for the camera, and oh, what fun we have doing it, but you are so right! Our normal relaxed pose is much different.

    In your first picture, you are totally relaxed. Slumped down in your chair, a bit thick looking in the middle, and with no artificial smile or grin. You look so totally normal! Don't worry for one second dear, that you don't look like a woman. Of course you do! You look just like a relaxed woman of your own age!

    At the same time, your second picture demonstrates how through conscious effort, when we want to, we can put put our best foot forward, and present a quite stunning version of our ordinary self!

    Thank you for this honest expose', Lucy! That was very courageous of you!

    Melissa XX

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  2. All that you say is right. There is nothing worse than a photo taken 'off guard', but it is what people see all the time. And they still love us just the same.

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  3. You look credibly female in the first picture as well. You don't need a mask! Just need to be real.

    I rather like that first shot. Nicely unposed.

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  4. Smiling of moody, you look great to me, Lucy, and totally feminine.

    Angie xx

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