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School Pictures: My Generation’s Version of Embarrassing Photos

May 22, 2016

Do you remember the time when photos were still referred to as photos and not “pics?” How many of us remember what it was like stressing over if you had the right shoes, dress or what state your hair was in for taking those all-important school pictures? How many of us remember what it was that was like to make such a big deal about having the right outfit and then the payoff of feeling that you got it right? Perhaps the best part of the issue is only realized years later when your memory of how good you thought you looked is challenged in the reality of how embarrassed you are by those same photos all these years later.
As I compare that era with our current social media, celebrity obsessed culture we live in now I’d have to say that not only have we devolved regarding what now embarrasses us, but we have different values as far as what we now consider socially acceptable. I preferred that simple time when that curl was in, and you thought you wore it oh so well, only to now be embarrassed by that mullet, big hair or that member’s only jacket!!!


The embarrassment some of us currently feel as we lament hairstyle or wardrobe choices from back in the day is minor in comparison to our contemporaries who now post questionable material online and share with the world. Only a handful of these individuals ever admit or realize how embarrassed they should truly be for the pictures they choose to share with the world.
Teachers sending nude photos to their students; married people sharing nude photos of themselves with strangers; and how about the national story about a Mexican female police officer who decided it was a brilliant idea to take a topless picture of herself while on duty and in uniform?!!! All inappropriate or illegal!!! The female police officer reportedly says she embarrassed her husband and children as she sits on suspension awaiting her fate, but she is reportedly receiving all kinds of offers to pose nude for major publications just in case her career in law enforcement is indeed over.
So what have we truly learned from this issue on embarrassing photos? Since we’re gathered about with so great a cloud of witnesses who have seen and learned absolutely nothing from the countless number of examples before them, can we say that people will ever learn what it means to be embarrassed by taking inappropriate photos? Whether criminally hacked or purposely self-leaked, celebrities, athletes, and ordinary everyday stupid people have fallen victim to the picture frenzy, those photos that by all accounts wouldn’t exist if you didn’t allow them to be taken.
I preferred a much simpler time when our worst fears were that someone you see today was going to see a much less “cooler” version of you from an era in which you thought you were looking good, but then realized all these years later that you were mistaken! I don’t know if it was the clothes, the hair or even just the memories that the pictures themselves evoke, I’d pay serious money for anyone who has that elementary school picture of me in the tan suit to just burn that picture for me. That was just embarrassing.

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