The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I Look Mahvelous!

by Andrew Tibbetts

I must be moving up in the literary world. I’ve had several requests recently for ‘a photo to go along with (my) bio’. This puts me squarely on the second rung of the million-rung ladder of literary success. (From here I can just make out the hairy ankles of Pasha Malla hovering miles above me!) I don’t have any photos though.

I tried to take my own picture with my camera-phone in my bathroom mirror. Awful. I look jaundiced and you can see that I don’t clean very often. I look like I'm ‘behind bars’ from the streaking.

Yup, I’m going to have to knuckle down and have it done professionally. And here’s why: touch-ups. The reasons models look like models is that a team of air-brushers smoothes everything out. My homemade shots look like a dermatologist’s before pictures. I don’t expect to look striking, just not ill. With scurvy. Or tropical skin disease. “Yes, prisoner number 1156 has both jaundice and bwallabwalla disease. Sad. But on the plus side he can hide his shank in some of those pores.”

For an essay upcoming in the New Quarterly (keep on the look-out for the Real Estate Issue) on my move from Kitchener to Toronto, the good people at TNQ came to my rescue and sent a lovely young photographer to snap my picture in a steamroom -- avec towel, so stop worrying! I asked the editor if I could have the ones they didn’t use (you know how photographers take a whole bunch of shots and then pick the best one - ‘look like a cat, now like a hamster, now like a cat that just ate a hamster, throw your head back, your arm back, your back back, now like a hamster with his head thrown back that just ate a cat with his arm thrown back, okay now try ‘attractive.' ) Of course she had to point out to novice me that they didn’t buy the whole bunch, just the one they used. WHAT! The New Quarterly didn’t want a hundred shots of me in a towel?

So I'll have to buy my own professional looking head shot. It feels weird to hire someone to take your picture. If it's kids, well that makes sense - let's all head down to Sears in our best polyester like it's 1977! But your own photo shoot- that feels narcissistic. In the meantime, I am photoshopping my head out of any group shot where I don't look monstrous, pasting it to my bio and hoping people will blame their own eyesight for the blurriness.


Blogger Anne said...

I love your blurriness.

Wed Sep 26, 07:00:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger MelBell said...

Hey, I know a couple of wonderful people I could recommend. In lieu of a towel, make sure you're wearing a jaunty scarf. All writers need scarves, right? (Says she of the always scarf-making.)

Wed Sep 26, 09:35:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

I'm getting concerned about this towel fetish of yours.

Thu Sep 27, 12:51:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

Tricia, I'm in a towel right now reading your comment and what can I say? A towel is comfortable, flexible. If you gain or lose a few pounds it still fits. It's highly washable. If you spill something on it you can use it to wipe itself. It has so many wonderful features. What's not to love? So before you judge, try it for a day. Take your martini out on the town in a nice towel.

Thu Sep 27, 05:19:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

But what if somebody comes to the door?

Thu Sep 27, 07:52:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger tamara said...

You do look marvelous.

Fri Sep 28, 03:44:00 pm GMT-4  

Post a Comment

<< Home