Old Photos

As I sit looking at old photos, I am stricken with one in particular, a teenage girl petting a horse, her profile lit up by the glean of the sun. She is smiling with buttery skin and sharp, lean features, and black gold hair tied up in a bun, curls restrained but not forgotten. Her eyes sparkle, even at a grainy resolution.

I am struck by the fact that it’s me. I am that girl in the picture. For the first time in my life I see beauty in a candid image of myself.

girl petting horse

the hair; growth cycle

when I was young,

I grew mine out, thick with stringy curls

to cover the self I was ashamed of

as I matured,

I cut it short, from shoulder to neck to ears

to expose the self beneath

in my mid-20’s

I dyed it light, progressing to platinum blonde

to celebrate this new self

I sit here now, looking at old pictures

and marvel

you were beautiful all along.


I contain multitudes.  – Walt Whitman


queer folx,

black folx,

biracial folx,

what say you?

is there interconnectedness

between hair, identity, and self-image?

rediscovery and renewed appreciation to be found in old photographs?

post your thoughts below!

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