I got an email from my publisher yesterday requesting my bio and my headshot.
Bio: no problem! Oh, wait. You want me to limit that to 150 words? On second thought, this is going to take a few revisions. I’m a writer, after all. The hard part is going to be keeping it under the hundred and fifty words.
I’m sure I’m not the first author to have that reaction. I immediately started mentally sifting through all of the pictures that I’ve had taken, wondering if I could pull off giving her a picture of me from when I was 18 or so. (Probably not.) And that got me to thinking:
Why am I doing this to myself? Why do any of us do this to ourselves?
I’m not trying to be a model or an actress. I’m a writer. My family loves me, my husband thinks I’m beautiful (thank you, God), so why does it matter how my picture looks?
Obviously, I want to be clean and presentable. Makeup might not be a bad idea, either. But, other than that, what’s the big deal? I am who I am, I look how I look. We all have flaws that we see in ourselves, but it’s mostly a comparison thing. We’re either comparing ourselves to someone else (I’m not as thin/curvy/tall/short as so-and-so), or to an earlier/better version of ourselves (gee, I wish I had the smooth skin I had when I was nineteen). What’s the point?
Yeah, I’ve got a few more lines around my eyes than I did when I was eighteen. I’m in my thirties now, I’ve spent a lot more years laughing and squinting and rubbing my eyes after the sleepless nights my daughters have given me. A few more freckles, too. I like spending time in the sun. My figure isn’t what it was then, but it’s the perfect figure for my girls to cuddle up to or my husband to wrap his arms around. And the wider hips sure helped with carrying two babies.
I’m not eighteen anymore. Why do I want to pretend that I am? I want people to love my stories, love my writing, and hopefully enjoy talking to me. I don’t want to be a pin-up girl.
I want to go look in the mirror, and wrap my arms around the woman I see in the reflection. She’s lived, a lot. She’s got some miles on her. And I wouldn’t trade a single one of them to have the reflection I used to have. None of the memories I’ve made in the last dozen-or-so years is so unimportant that I’d give it up for a little bit of vanity.
So, I’m going to have my husband or a photographer take a picture of me within the next week. That’s the picture I’m going to give to my publisher. This is me, and I’m okay with me. 🙂