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When I was entering my freshman year of high school, I was a semi-confident, semi-normal 14-year-old. (I say “semi” because what teenager is genuinely confident or normal?) I had my group of friends. I wasn’t a part of the popular, party crowd, but I didn’t care to be. I didn’t worry too much about my clothes or hair or makeup. Plus, my sister was going into her senior year, so I was guaranteed to be cool, right? 5 days before the first day of school my mom took me to “freshman registration”. I wore my new pair of jeans from Old Navy (yes, Old Navy) and one of my sister’s red t-shirts. This outfit would say, “I’m totally not trying at all, and I look great anyway.” The only thing that wasn’t perfect was the fact that I still had braces.

I vividly remember over-confidently walking onto campus with my mom. In my memory, as I walk, I smile at people and wink at them and give them high fives, but I’m pretty sure I avoided eye-contact with anyone I didn’t know and gave a small, closed mouth (of course) smile to those I recognized. I made it to the gym with no mishaps (i.e. tripping on my baby giraffe legs or revealing my brace-face) and managed to register for my classes fairly quickly. First high school appearance? Conquered. When I got home I couldn’t help but want to brag to my sister about my smooth performance. I opened the front door and heard her in the kitchen. I rounded the corner to find her making toast and just as I was about to reveal to her that I would be upping her cool points by approximately 76, she stared at me with a look of disgust and said (as only a teenager can), “Oh…….. My…………. GOSH.” She pointed to my jeans. Horrified, I looked down, and there, on my thigh was a 12 inch sticker that vertically read:

OLD NAVY
SIZE
4
4
4
4
4
4
4

With a laugh she continued, “You haven’t even started high school yet, and you’re already a loser.”

As you may have seen, this week I launched a promo video for my We Heart Glamour senior portrait sessions. I met our senior models at an event we took our photobooth to. They were sweet and smart and fun and perfect for the shoot, so we asked them, and they agreed!

I found myself almost nervous before the shoot (okay, completely nervous). I felt so removed from high school culture. I caught myself thinking, What do ‘kids these days’ even talk about? What music do they listen to? What kind of clothes will they wear? Will they think I’m cool? That last thought crossed the line so I gave myself a mental slap across the face: Seriously, Christin?! Get a hold of yourself! You were in high school 6 years ago, not 40! You’re 25, not 83. It will be just fine. I resolved to act normal, not try to be cool (because that’s the first sign of un-coolness to teenagers), and treat them like any other client. It actually worked. It was a totally normal, fun day of all the usual glamour session activities: hair, makeup, dancing, fun, and music. Oh no, the music. Being the adorable husband he is, as the girls walked into the studio, Jacob turned on Taylor Swift. In his mind, Taylor Swift is a young girl and therefore every young girl must love her. As a closet T Swift fan, I know that this is just not true. Trying to be cool, I laughed it off, “Haha you guys probably totally hate Taylor Swift, huh? My husband turned it on. Not me. Haha. Isn’t that funny? He’s so weird. I don’t even like her. Hah, I mean… unless you think she’s great. Then that’s totally cool too. Haha… *indistinguishable mumbles*” Elise responded, “Um… yeah. I like alternative music.” With a “well, duh” attitude, I said, “Oh, yeah. Totally.”

It was amazing to me how quickly I turned back into that little freshman, so sub-consciously unsure of myself, unable to truly be “me” because I was too worried about what others would think. When I look back on the Freshman Registration incident, I laugh. I think of how it reminded me to be humble, to never try to act a certain way just because I thought it would please others. The funny thing is, we are most attractive to people around us when we are truly just being ourselves, whether it be quiet and sweet or loud and opinionated. People appreciate genuineness. And now that I think about it, it wasn’t just my 14-year-old self that needed that reminder… My 25-year-old self needs it too.

***For more of our Little Love Stories, click here.***

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