Ugly portraits of beautiful people

Do you stress when you see an ugly portrait of yourself? I know you’re one of the beautiful people, but this can be a blow to your self-esteem, especially after a certain age. If so, I hope to remind you that even super-models sometimes look ugly in a portrait. My super-model is Ursula the beautiful social influencer cat. She spends most of her life posing (unlike you and me). Even so, I sometimes catch her off guard, and guess what? For a moment, she is not beautiful. She’s just herself, a cat.

ugly photo of belly and paws of a cat
That’s not me!
Photo of a seated cat taken from the rear
Does my butt look big in this? Yes, Ursula.
Awkward photo of a cat's legs from above
Should I cross my legs or what?
Odd photo of a cat trying to open an freezer door. Taken from above so the head looks enormous and the body tiny.
My head looks too big for my body

Enough. I don’t wish to shame this superstar, just to convince you that some photos show you (and everyone else) from angles you never see—because you only have eyes in the front of your head. In a photo you saw yourself from behind, or below, or up too close. You were unpleasantly surprised and yet you are still you. You are no less attractive or lovable than you were before you saw this ugly portrait of your beautiful self.

And as I get older and older and older, I need to be told this every now and then. You too?

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33 thoughts on “Ugly portraits of beautiful people

  1. Christine McLeof says:

    Right on the button Rachel

  2. judithhb says:

    I needed to hear tgat today. Thanks Rachel

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Lucky timing, then.

  3. I see you through your words, and you are always gorgeous.

    On Easter, grandson David took a photo of John and me when the wind blew our hair wildly. I’m keeping it, because it is so funny looking.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Yes! That’s the way to go : imaginary snapshots and loving the comedy!

  4. granny1947 says:

    Avoid cameras whenever I can!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      And “use your words”.

  5. Yes, we love our loved ones even on their worst picture days, and vice versa!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Easy to forget 🙂

  6. Me too!!!!!!! The best photos are ones taken when you are totally unaware.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      I so agree.

  7. Ursula is beautiful no matter the pose. If only people were like that!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      But we are, Kate.

  8. Alan Ralph says:

    I’m currently in a fortunate place as far as body image is concerned — for the first time in years, I actually *like* my body. Since I changed my diet, started to exercise regularly and get more sleep, I’m now in the best physical health I’ve been since my teens. The only times I feel bad are when I see photos of myself and am reminded of my struggle to smile for the camera. Part of that, I suspect, is from my autism, which I’m *finally* getting close to having formally diagnosed.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      So glad to hear this, Alan. I’m impressed. You have the skills to sort this out, decide what’s a problem for you and find a way through.

  9. josaiawrites says:

    I so needed this today! Thank you! A friend also once told me that in 10 years I will look back and long to look as I do today …. All about perspective. And Ursula is beautiful no matter what….. As are we all!!

  10. Ally Bean says:

    Ursula is an inspiration to us all. She knows she is ALWAYS lovely, regardless of what we judge-y people say about her.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      So true. To be fair, I haven’t shown her the latest portraits. Nevertheless I believe you are right. Her self esteem is out -of-sight high and long may it stay up there.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Today’s blog brought a smile to my face! Yes — we all go through that. Don’t look in the mirror, don’t take my picture, don’t look at my shadow. But we are the same no matter if we’re glossed up for a wedding or it’s our cleaning day. You go, kitty!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Fortunately Ursula doesn’t read my blog. It’s beneath her and has never sold a thing. But even this post could not dent her confidence.

  12. And I’m non anonymous — I’m Claudia!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:


  13. Elizabeth says:

    I was thrilled when I got the picture of me and the Easter Bunny that I posted a few days ago. I was able to see me truly happy, truly 74, truly “squishy” and totally fine. It’s the posing that often does us in when we are focusing on how we look.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      You look completely relaxed cuddled up to tut mysterious Easter Bunny. It is great when a photo seems to capture the way we feel…on a good day!

      1. Elizabeth says:

        I was completely un self conscious, clearly the key.

  14. chattykerry says:

    Kitties look wonderful from every angle – as do we!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Hold that thought 🙂

  15. Cathy Cade says:

    Tell me about it!
    I don’t like any of my pics taken in the last ten years, but any I’ve tried taking lately havebeen even worse. 🙁
    And I have to provide a high-res photograph for People’s Friend who are publishing one of my stories on 18th May and want to interview me (emailed questions) for ‘Writer of the Week’.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      That’s a challenge. For selfies,

    2. Rachel McAlpine says:

      That’s a challenge,always. Especially with selfies. The last t one I did that was the first time I thought to use Facetime. (Which has been under my nose forever.) no need to hold a camera. Just stand there and look at a photo of your fave person stuck just above the camera. Take 20 and one will be OK. But maybe you do that already.

      1. Cathy Cade says:

        What a good idea. I thought I’d try one of me holding a dog, but one looked worried, the other wouldn’t keep still, and neither would look at the camera.

      2. Rachel McAlpine says:

        Now if the dog would sit just above the camera (as if), you could look at the dog…

    3. Rachel McAlpine says:

      And congratulations! Glow with pleasure and pride as you click the mouse.

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