For two weeks now I have been dragging my loved ones around forcing them to take pictures of me for the new website I am working on.

For two weeks now I have been dragging my loved ones around forcing them to take pictures of me for the new website I am working on.

My friend loaned me her high quality camera and an assortment of shirts to try on. I fixed up my face, washed and blow dried my hair, and tried out a weird eyebrow shaper in the makeup kit I got for Christmas.

At Riverview Park, I handed Connor the camera who instructed me to balance on one knee, hold out my arms, and smile. The first picture features my neck craning to the left attempting to balance my body weight, and everything else wobbling to the right. The following image is just a lovely shot of the river with a boat floating by. Not pictured was me collapsed a pile in the road.

The next several takes were on a set of steps leading to the statute of Mark Twain where I sat with my arms covering up my obvious fat roll. But I later discovered that instead of concealing the protruding pooch, I just separated it into two halves and created a double belly which appeared to be eating my arm.

Flipping through all the pictures, I found nothing matching my website vision. The best shots of me were too dark and looked weird when I tried to fix it in my editor. In one close to perfect picture, I was photobombed by a random squatting dog.

Time for another round.

I ran out and found a sleeveless dress with a long vest dripping in frayed edges (the hippie look by Walmart) and then went through the same hair and make-up regimen. All I wanted was one high quality — slightly whimsical — professional picture.

And I knew exactly where to go.

My church is the perfect place for pictures. Set against rolling hills and green pastures, it’s the perfect backdrop of the sun. For years, families have coordinated clothing and waded through the tall grass while praying any nearby snakes were friendly.

After my wonderful friend snapped pictures of me on two different occasions — both filled with images I instantly rejected — I came to realize the truth. It wasn’t the lighting or my position that kept me from accepting what was on the screen.

It was me. I just wasn’t good enough for myself.

The camera relentlessly exposed everything I wanted to cover up, my pride fought against releasing even one of those pictures to the world wide web.

So, I tried to edit them myself — and I am not sure how ethical this is, but just roll with me, because I was in a desperate place. At the click of a button on my editing program I’d elongated my neck, trimmed down my waist, toned up my arms, and digitally applied mascara — because in real life I’d been out since 2012.

When I zoomed out of the image expecting to find a new and improved me, it turned out that I was way out of proportion. My toned upper arms ballooned below the elbow and my cinched waist somehow went upward and created what I call a uni-boob.

I finally concluded that when trying to be something other than myself, it’s just weird. Be it arm fat or belly flab — it is part of me and I can’t erase it (digitally at least). Believe me, I tried the erase feature and it didn’t work. My arm ended up floating around in the left corner of the photo.

Being genuine is the only way to prevent disproportion — because people can sniff out a fraud when they see it.

So, I took the picture I hated the least and posted it on Facebook as my profile to test it out. About sixty-nine people responded with likes, loves (and one WOW) while commenters told me I look beautiful. I know I shouldn’t need the affirmation of others to feel better about myself, but it certainly helped.

And it is soon to become the featured image on my website. The real me — for the world to see.

So, now as I flip through all the pictures, I don’t hate them nearly as much. Except the photobombing squatting dog — that was just rude.