As I’ve mentioned once or twice before, I’ve been going through a lot of changes lately, some by force and some by choice. I’ve decided to do something different with my hair, so I looked through a bunch of my old Facebook profile pictures for hair inspiration.
As cheesy as it sounds, I was inspired by much more than just my hair in those Facebook photos. I found myself looking at so many different versions of myself, most of which I’ve forgotten about by now, for better or worse.
It was really fun to go through a bunch of old memories on Facebook and see how I used to see myself in selfies or pictures with other people. It was almost surreal at times, really. If you haven’t gone through your old Facebook photos lately, I’d highly recommend it!
It was really eye opening for me, so I wanted to talk about my experience and share some of my profile pictures and the stories behind them. I chose one photo for each year since 2007 when I first joined Facebook, so here we go!
I first joined Facebook in June 2007 after getting back from a school trip to France. Before the trip, I didn’t get the hype around Facebook and thought I didn’t really need it. I said I was just getting an account so I could see my classmates’ photos of the trip, but hey I’m still here so I guess it’s pretty cool after all haha.
This was one of my favorite photos for a really long time. I’ve always loved the French language and the landmarks and everything, and this trip was life-changing for me. Twelve years later (how?!), I still honestly can’t believe I got to go visit the Eiffel Tower and the other amazing places we saw on that two-week trip.
I also remember how fat I felt on the trip, especially in a country where the stereotype says everyone is skinny. Looking at this photo now, I can’t believe how skinny I look. Everything is relative, right? I was so happy in this moment and knew I wanted to capture it on film, despite being worried about my body size, and I’m so glad that I did.
I mean, this picture is me in a nutshell, really. This was taken on a night where I was hanging out with two awesome friends who lived in my dorm my freshman year of college. I remember we stayed up almost all night by watching movies, chatting, pretending to drink out of shampoo bottles that looked like beer bottles (they didn’t even really look like that, but enough that we thought it was funny? I don’t even know) and exploring various floors of our dorm building.
This was probably one of my favorite nights of my freshman year experience or maybe even college in general. We had a blast running around, chatting and being goofy, and it was so fun and care free. I hadn’t had a lot of other memories like that at this point in my life, so I definitely wanted to mention it in this post.
I make funny faces all the time. I have a horrible poker face, and I can never really hide how I’m feeling. I can’t remember exactly what happened in the moment this photo was taken, but I remember being confused by something and then laughing hysterically once I saw the photo. This isn’t a stereotypically flattering Facebook profile picture, but I knew even then that it defined me, and it was such a perfect night that I wanted to remember and share it.
Honestly, my freshman year of college was pretty great for the most part. At Concordia College, they held a music festival every spring featuring various musical acts. My freshman year, the main act was Hellogoodbye. I was obsessed with them for years, so when I heard they were coming, I freaked out.
A friend from high school and I were in the front row for all the previous acts so we could see Hellogoodbye front and center. It worked, and the night was one I’ll always remember. After Hellogoodbye’s set was over, my friend and I took off running toward the side of the stage with a girl we had just met because we had to try to meet the band. I still can’t believe we did it, but we did.
We bolted behind a black curtain and met everyone in the band. We got a group picture with all of them and then lead singer Forrest Kline took pictures with us individually, too, before security kicked us out. I rode on the high of this night for so, so long. I will forever cherish this photo and this night.
This is probably one of my favorite photos of all time. Basically anyone who knows me knows about my deep love and obsession with Rocky Horror Picture Show. Various theatre troupes in the Fargo-Moorhead area have done the play over the last decade or so, but this was definitely the most memorable for me.
At first it was hard for me to get over how shiny (aka, horrible) my forehead looked, but come on. Even I couldn’t deny the magnetism that Frank-N-Furter was serving and the pure joy I exuded from being there and meeting him after the show.
I’m sensing a theme here of my favorite photos of all time. This was my attempt at being very clever, and I was so freaking proud of this selfie for so, so long. This was taken on one of the best weekends of my life: I turned 21 and then saw Michael Buble in concert the day afterwards in Duluth.
In the second part of his set, he came into the audience and got “so close” to us. I couldn’t not get this photo taken! Again, anyone who knows me knows about my obsession with him and his music. I’m surprised I was able to breathe at all this night, being in the same building as him and listening to him sing.
I was just in pure bliss the entire time that I didn’t care how sweaty I was getting or how my makeup started smudging or the fact that the spaghetti straps of my dress kept slipping as I kept dancing away. None of that mattered to me at all. I was seeing my idol perform, and nothing else came close, so it was clear Facebook profile picture material.
In my last semester of college, I took a digital photography class. As part of our final project, we split up with partners and explored downtown and took pictures of places and each other with interesting angles and tools. My partner took this picture of me, and at first I didn’t like it because I thought it made me look huge and like a poser or like I didn’t know what I was doing. News flash: I didn’t know what I was doing then, and I certainly still don’t now.
I don’t think I even knew that I really loved this photo at the time, but I remember making it my profile picture for a while because it was a cool angle. It was cool, but it wasn’t just the angle that made it so. I made it so.
Now when I look at this picture, I see a badass who isn’t afraid to rock sunglasses, a long fake pearl necklace and a whole lot of sass while posing. I’ve never been a big fan of pictures of just myself, especially full body shots, but this one stood out to me. I feel like my partner got a glimpse into my soul even though I didn’t even realize it at the time.
Meet my younger sister, Emily. I believe this was one of many in a series she took on her laptop as we posed in the kitchen at home. Josh and I were just visiting and were about to leave when my sister said, “Wait!” Some pictures were funny, some were loving and some were just weird. This was my definite favorite, for obvious reasons.
We’re all so goofy and owning it in this photo. It’s not a super flattering angle, and none of us look great in the traditional sense. But it’s real life, man. I have a quirky ass family, and I’m so grateful for them.
Remember when I said I had a quirky family? Here’s another example for ya. This is me, Josh, my sister and one of her friends in all of our awkward glory. It really sums all of us up quite well somehow, and it never fails to make me laugh when I see it.
I think this started out as a nice photo shoot to remember the holidays, and this is where it ended up. Sounds about right. Again, I’m grateful for all of our quirkiness and uniqueness because those qualities have made a lot of great memories for me. And Facebook profile pictures.
People have always said my sister and I look so much alike, and normally we both agree that we don’t see it, but here we definitely do. This was taken at a party for her high school graduation. It’s funny because she and I have gone through a lot of ups and downs with each other, but I really love this photo of us. We’re both goofy, smiling, laughing and posing in our own albeit similar ways. I will always cherish this photo.
This was one of my all-time favorite outfits, and I’m so sad that I don’t have it anymore. Something spilled on this dress, and I just couldn’t get it clean ever again. I’m not sure what happened to the blazer, but I think I still have that necklace somewhere, so #winning.
This photo was a huge step for me in my personal journey, even though I don’t think I fully realized it at the time. This was a semi-full body shot, and I remember being terrified to post and share it. I had contacted an old coworker and friend of mine to take some photos of me for my blog because I didn’t really have any or a lot of photos of just me in my personal life.
I’ve always loved my genuine smile and laugh, so I was grateful when she captured this candid of me laughing in the park. This photo shoot was huge for me because it was just me and her. She was taking pictures of only me, and I had to own who I was, even though I wasn’t completely sure who that was. This photo, along with others she took this day, helped me to start seeing myself in a different light. I started seeing the joy and genuineness present in my eyes and body instead of just the imperfections I’d spent so much time focusing on before.
Also, get used to this dress. I love it and have few occasions to wear it, so it ends up in a lot of photo shoots and subsequent Facebook profile pictures. #winning again.
This is one of my favorite photos from our engagement shoot with our friend and the woman who ended up photographing our wedding a year later. I believe this was actually taken in the same alleyway as the photo of me in 2012 above. Downtown Fargo is so pretty, gah.
Again, this is another semi-full body shot (again in that dress, because duh) that was hard for me to look at at first but then I fell in love with it, because how could I not? My now-husband and I have both had our share of body image issues, but we both set that aside for these photos that showed off our love for one another, and I honored that by making it one of my Facebook profile pictures.
I’m very grateful to have photos like this, especially with where I am now in my personal development journey. Certain moments stand out in my mind, but the way I remember them now is different than how they occurred at the time. I can remember how silly and self-conscious I felt during parts of this shoot because I don’t like to be the center of attention or show off my body. I did both, and now I mainly just see our love in the photo. No matter what our bodies looked like then or now, we love each other so much, and we’re not going anywhere.
Our wedding day was one of the happiest days of my life. After a year and a half or so of planning, it was finally time to say, “I do,” and dance the night away. I plan to do more blog posts about our wedding, the planning and what I’ve learned, but for now just know how much I loved this day. I was so damn happy to marry my best friend in a dress that I felt absolutely beautiful in, surrounded by our closest friends and family in a breathtakingly beautiful venue. This is probably one of my all-time favorite Facebook profile pictures for so many reasons.
Honestly, I gave zero fucks about how my body looked on that day. I just wanted to have fun and celebrate our marriage. My husband and I danced basically the entire reception until it ended at midnight. Four of our friends stuck around until the end, dancing with us. It was absolutely freaking magical.
This photo and that day make me so incredibly happy. I remember at the reception, the DJ asked me to sum up the day in one word. I said perfect, and I meant it with every fiber of my being. Not everything happened according to plan, but it was still perfect.
I remember when we first got our photos back from our amazing photographer, some photos were hard for me to process at first. I looked (and was) so happy, but didn’t I notice my giant arm flab? How could I have felt so happy with that hanging out for all the world to see?
Then I had to stop my inner thoughts from running wild. Who the fuck cares about arm flab, especially on a wedding day? Not me. I cared about the people I was with and the reason why we were celebrating. That’s it. So that’s what I focus on now.
We can always find imperfections with our own bodies no matter what if you look hard enough. But what if we stopped looking?