© 2014 Marica

Official portraits

The other evening a colleague of my husband’s came over for a meal after work. Our conversation moved to my studies and my plans for my research project. I am going to investigate using photographic self-portraits to explore the experience of ageing.

He started to tell me about an article he had read in the paper only the day before. The columnist Joe Bennett had written about his experience of having to get a new passport and his reaction to his passport photo.

I had never thought much about the image in my passport as an official portrait. As I looked through the images in my old passports, and compared them to my current one, I was confronted with the reality that I am a very different person to that young, innocent girl back in 1974. As Joe Bennett says:

“I suppose we all naturally resist the notion of ageing. It is such an unconscionable existential threat that our instinct is to believe it couldn’t happen to us.”

Only it does. I look in the mirror these days and I wonder how I got to look like this so fast. Where have the years gone?

42. Every day celebrate. Who you are. What you have achieved. Things that matter to you.
44. Every day remember how far you have come.
45. Every day you are a different person.

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