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29 November 2017

Why I'm Done Living Life On The Good Side

At the age of fourteen, and after a series of awful photos of me at awkward teenage house parties I rejoiced when I stumbled across an article by Garance Dore on How to Look Good in Photos. Garance always looked so lovely in her photos – I felt like my prayers had been answered. What was the secret? I often looked in the mirror and thought I could pass for pretty, only to see photos from the night before the next day and wonder whether I was in fact The Grinch. The fact that what I saw in the mirror and in the camera lens never quite added up stressed me out, to be blunt – what the hell did I actually look like? 

The main tip was this, and it is one that I have held close to heart for the last  almost-decade; find your good side. Use your good side.

My good side is my right side, which unfortunately is most people’s good side (according to themselves); this often results in an awkward pre-photo battle of who gets to stand on their good side, and who is forced to bare the left side to the world, so deprived of sunlight by this point that it is at least two foundation shades lighter, and has accrued a low level of mildew.

Men often query; why do women all stand back to back, like some strange caterpillar or girl band, in their group photos? Because we all have the same good side, Gregory – and while you might laugh at us, wait until you swipe left on someone’s left side and then get back to me. The mutual support of womanhood ensures that we will all happily look a bit silly in return for no woman being left on her bad side; a good picture for all women is what we want. It is, at least, the third most important aspect of a big night out for if I do not have good photos of myself, what on earth will I show my children? Pray tell me, Gregory. If you've ever wondered what a fundamental aspect of the whole 'women supporting women' catchphrase is, this is it. It's in the little things, but the little things that matter to us. We might look like a girl band, but we all feel good about our faces and that’s enough for us to justify such an awkward stance. You can say what you want about Girls Aloud and The Sugababes, but you cannot say they ever took a bad group photo.

It won’t take more than a cursory glance at my social media profiles to see that I am looking the same direction in most of them, never leaving a left side glance to chance. If it really is impossible to look left, then a front on photo will suffice but really - that is not my best side. The resulting Instagram feed implies that there is constantly something fascinating to the left of your screen. 

I'm taking a proverbial stand (because I'm very comfy in my chair, and refuse to actually stand up): I don’t think I can live my life like this anymore. I'm afraid of one half of my face, and I shouldn’t be.  So what if one half is more moon-face than model? I can’t have the pre-photo debate about who gets to stand where, as we all go bright red and laughingly say ‘ah, sorry, this is my good side’ and ‘oh, let me just stand on your other side’ shuffling around until the end of days. I will fight for another woman's right to bare her best face, the face she feels most comfortable with, but I am done fighting for myself. The left side of my face and I are stuck with each other, born to be together from now until death do us part and perhaps it's time we get acquainted. I really don't see the point in disliking fifty percent of my visage, and at some point someone is going to notice that I'm looking the same way in every photo, and they will ask what's wrong with the other half. I suppose if my natural reply to that would be, 'absolutely nothing, Gregory, and that's an awful pick up line by the way' then I'd do well to believe it before I say it. 

The only good side that I want to have is the side of me you have access to when you haven’t pissed me off, and gotten on my bad side. I want it to be a mere figure of speech, not a facial reality.

NA-KD coat, H&M hat, MONKI jumper, SKAGEN hybrid smart watch (c/o), ACNE STUDIOS sneakers, DKNY bag, DR. DENIM jeans (c/o), JANE KOENIG earrings (c/o)


  1. Hear, hear! And can I just say that you look pretty stinking great from every. single. side. :)


    1. Oh thank you! You are too kind :) x

  2. Brilliant read, love your style of writing! Also, I too have a 'bad side' and had been thinking recently about how living one-dimensionally is really not the way forward! Thanks for the push! ;)

  3. SOOO relate to this! Although my left side is my side and the majority of my photo's are definitely taken from this side. Need to take a leaf out of your book and take a stand and own both sides haha!


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