I have been incredibly lucky to have caught the eye of a local writer who is including me in a story she is writing on local style. That’s great, right? I’m thrilled for my jewelry, and I can’t wait to see what she writes. But she asked that I send her a head shot. This totally freaked me out, and for many reasons.
One big reason is….well, it’s just general worry. I’m a worrier. Will my picture help my business grow? Will it be an asset to my little company? Am I a good example of the branding I want for my jewelry? Worry, worry, worry, and all of it pointless.
And then I worry because this is an article about local style innovators, and the working title was “Homegrown Style Makers.” I don’t feel like a style maker. I am an artist who often works in my pajamas and who goes out in public with my hair twisted back with a pencil. Writing implement as hair accessory is not a style statement, now is it? And so, when I had to answer the interview question: What is your style motto? I was tempted to answer: Is it clean? Enough?
The next is pure and shallow vanity and pride. If certain of my ex-boyfriends see the story I would like to look so good, and sound so intelligent, and appear so successful that their day is tinged just a bit with reliving the loss of me. Not too much, because I’m gracious in my success, but a little. That would be incredibly rewarding, and don’t think you wouldn’t hope for the same thing, blogosphere! Those who ended things with me will sit around rethinking their decision, questioning their choices. And then there are those who I flounced away from with a haughty, snotty attitude because I deserved better than what I was getting. Nothing compliments past snotty flouncing-off like current success does. This point is mute, however, because I can’t think of a single of my ex-boyfriends who might be reading the style section, except for those sweet men with whom I’m still in touch who are eager to read the article and see me succeed.
I was a wreck on the day the pictures were taken. We started with my friend Jill taking the pictures. Jill is a wonderful photographer, but I was an impossible subject. The muscles in my forehead were so tight they were causing visible knots. When Jill gently urged me to relax and I consciously attempted to unknot my forehead, what she snapped were pictures of me looking as if I was in some sort of deep emotional pain. Or very confused. My bangs were clipped back in a barrette, and we decided to unclip them and let them hide my forehead. A bit better, but still looking as if someone had asked me to torture fuzzy baby chicks.
When my teenager came home we tried again, this time with him behind the camera. It didn’t help, not the tiniest bit, when he reviewed Jill’s photos and casually commented that the photos were great, but I looked like a chipmunk in all the images where I was smiling. He actually said that. And that’s when I knew drinking was the only option.
I’m not a big drinker, but we were not going to get anything usable unless I was slightly sedated, and the light was fading. I chugged a beer (once a Nittany Lion, always a Nittany Lion).
“Let’s give it a minute to work,” I told my son.
“Take your time, take your time.” He looked nervously at the fading light, and then asked if maybe I should have a second beer.
“No. Nothing is more pathetic than a drunken woman who looks like a chipmunk.”
We got the shots, including the one below. Because truly stylish women make style decisions instinctively, I was very pleased to see I had subconsciously matched the beer bottle to my outfit.
Katie Stein: Style innovator. Style motto: Swagga.