Let’s just keep our kids looking exactly as they are thank you very much
School pictures are the best. They are a moment in time for parents to look back and see how much our child has changed from year to year (and eventually use to embarrass our children at their graduation and weddings). So you can imagine how one mom felt after her eight-year-old son’s missing teeth were added back into his mouth when their School photographer photoshopped his picture.
“Surely we have lost the plot when we start photoshopping an 8-year-old’s gappy grin,” Angela Pickett, Australian mom of two writes in a now viral blog post on her website Words By Ange.
Pickett had been dealing with two kids down with chicken pox when she received the photos. She thought to herself, “I didn’t realize he still had teeth when the photos were taken.”
Pickett then says, “I looked at the family photo and his class photo — and there he was. Gappy McGapster (as he currently calls himself) in all his glory. At first, I thought they’d given us last year’s photo — but then I looked closer. Nope. His mouth had been photoshopped with what looked like last year’s baby teeth swapped in.”
File this one under “Oh, HELL no.”
Our kid’s school photos are supposed to be cringe-worthy — that’s the whole point of being a kid. They are going through a million phases from baby chub to awkward haircuts, and especially when their mouth looks like a Swiss Army knife. As parents, we want to capture all of the stages, to be able to look back and see how they become the beautifully distinct person they turn out to be. These photos are our memories and no one should alter them.
“While our school photographer quickly acknowledged the mistake and provided new photos, I wrote the blog because it would seem that some companies do this on a regular basis – and some charge for it – which I think sends a bad message to our kids,” she tells Scary Mommy.
Pickett believes the whole concept of editing photos has gotten out of control. “He’s not embarrassed by the gaps and wonky teeth, he’s excited because lost tooth,” she says. “I want my son to be able look back over all his school photos and see how he has changed.”
Pickett says her son thinks his picture and viral attention has been quite funny. “Because he was late to lose teeth, he thinks losing his teeth and how he looks is quite amusing,” she says.
In an update to her post, Pickett explains, “The staff member who swapped in his “2016 mouth” now realizes it was an error of judgement. It was sad to hear that in the past they have been criticised for NOT photo shopping out messy hair, bruises, cuts and stains on shirts.”
In the blink of an eye we will be looking back on our kids, let’s remember them exactly as they are — awkward phases and all.