Reality vs Self-Image

This is a drawing my sister made just prior to her first day of junior high school. As you can see, it is a very accurate account of that occasion.
This is a drawing my sister made just prior to her first day of junior high school. As you can see, it is a very accurate account of that occasion.
I added the arrow to this image to point me out. The arrow could also be a metaphor for the idea that it felt like all eyes were on me, and that the entire world was judging me at that time. In reality, my image from this page in the Talon yearbook is only 5/8th of an inch high, and I doubt now that anyone other than I could even identify it as me.
I added the arrow to this image to point me out. The arrow could also be a metaphor for the idea that it felt like all eyes were on me, and that the entire world was judging me at that time. In reality, my image from this page in the Talon yearbook is only 5/8th of an inch high, and I doubt now that anyone other than I could even identify it as me.

When I was fifteen, I started high school.  I began writing in my journal. Like a lot of kids that age, I was struggling with my self-image. The incessant rejection by the female of the species didn’t help, but I was also plagued by the same body-image distortions teenagers experience.

My sister certainly validated these feelings, usually by expressing them about herself. At some points in her life she still refers to herself as being “hideously ugly” or “deformed.”

Two years ago I took a picture of a teenager named Emily, and when she saw the image, she said, “I’m all ‘Der!'” I knew exactly what she meant, since there is a similar picture of me from a similar age, when I was all “der!” See for yourself…

This is how I perceive others as seeing me in this image. As you can see, it is a completely accurate rendering of a teenager's self-image.
This is how I perceive others as seeing me in this image. As you can see, it is a completely accurate rendering of a teenager's self-image.
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3 Comments

  1. I was 13 when I started high school (turned 14 during my freshman year), and hadn’t yet considered thinking about discovering what puberty was. Other freshmen were full-grown men and women (in my perception). They had boobs and beards and were probably running for Congress for all I knew. It was pretty intimidating.

    Fortunately, my shoes were not as large as yours.

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  2. i used to be stand-offish because i assumed the only reason anyone would want to interact with me would be ridicule. the more i think about those days and have completely normal conversations with old classmates, the more i consider the possibility that i came off as a snobby douche.

    most of us have no idea how people perceive us.

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  3. Props to young me for figuring out where to place the eyes of the people looking at me from the south.

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