Senior Picture Day, by Michele Serros

Senior Picture Day at first seems rather cliché as it opens to a story about a young American high school girl with problems.  Oh no!  I disliked the story the instant I read, “’cause everyone knows how snooty those girls at Camarillo can be.”  Stories which start out like this, with the American sweetheart describing the hardships of her hurried, suburban up-bringing, tend to irk me a great deal more than they should and create an air of spoiled, unappreciative entitlement about the writer.  Then again, maybe I’m a bit cynical.  Anyway, my disgruntled assumptions soon faded as I began to read about her experience with Terri.  We’ve all had a Terri-kind of friend before.  Maybe he or she didn’t talk about your “flaws”, but chances are he or she pissed you off by saying or doing something that you weren’t supposed to know about.  I’ve known people like that, so naturally a connection was made.  The more I read, the more I felt similar to Serros in that I used to go months on end to change something about myself that I felt self-conscious about.  In middle school, I was a bit on the heavy side.  It bothered me like Serros’s nose did her.  However, rather than actually try to physically change it, I simply wanted to hide my body.  To this end, I wore a black, rolling Stones hoodie all day every day from September until May, without even rolling up the sleeves if I became uncomfortable for fear of any exposure.  Over the years, I’ve evened out and now I’m pretty much OK with how I am.  Of course, there’s always room for improvement.  Getting back to the story, Serros took initiative to better herself, even if it was only in her own mind; I see nothing wrong with self-improvement.  However, to let one minor detail become something you spend the remainder of your life poring over seems a tad far-fetched and even irrational to me, but I understand one person’s trash is another’s treasure, and I suppose the same can be said for priorities and motives.  Overall, this was a decent story. I was half expecting the moral to be made clear that self-confidence is more important than aesthetics, and it’s what’s on the inside that counts.  But, it came out to be more along the lines of “if there’s something wrong with you, fix it.”  But like I said, I may be a bit cynical.

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