Today I attended a course on ‘presentation skills’. Megamind said the difference between a villain and a supervillain is presentation, and as I have plans for World Domination it sounded useful.
Talking of supervillains, ever since I was a ‘big-boned’ wee lass, my absolute favourite was Maleficent. She of the long, flowing black frock, sticky-up collar, a fixation on cardiac extractions and a withering lack of GSOH. I think one can honestly say she had both style and presentation; she’d wipe the floor with Megamind any day. But we digress.
A presentation course is normally filmed. I forgot about that bit. So when I turned up and there was a camera in the corner my already ravaged self-esteem plummeted in anticipation of the horrors that lay ahead.
I hate having my photo taken. I will lean out of the shot, hide, pull faces, anything to not look like I actually do. Which is stupid. Let’s face it, everyone else sees me as I really am, so why am I the one with the problem?
All I see in a photo is fat. It’s not me, I think, that can’t be me, can it? I feel so normal, who in God’s name is that huge, chin-juggling whale in the photo pretending to be me? Look, she’s even got hold of my wedding ring, the cheeky cow.
But it is me.
I, sadly, look normal for me. I look…human, representing a varietal as does everyone else. Normal is relative. Weird is relative too. Which also means that our versions of ‘normal’ are unique, abnormal, weird. They are firmly anchored in self-esteem which is in turn created by our reactions to how others react to us. We construct our versions of ‘normal’ to make us feel at home in a media-influenced, tribal culture that seeks comfort in similarities and rejects differences.
Gosh, this is a cheery post today, isn’t it? Have another gin.
Our actual version of normal can be harder to swallow than okra, sweetbreads, salted anchovies, anything aniseed and Mother’s tripe & onion soup, all blended into a gallon of post-gastric-band-operative mush which will then be spoon-fed to us through our sobbed tears as we’re tied to chair of salted thorns.
We live on our imagined version of normal. I feel good most days, therefore I must look good. Hairdressers love my hair. My hands move gracefully, my hips seductively. I have some lovely shoes, and even lovelier ‘sitting-down shoes’.
Then, as those barrel-hips catch on the back of yet another chair, causing a skinny Fashion Buyer to spill her scalding hot-water-with-lemon down her front (don’t worry, she has no tits to speak of so no damage to report) there’s this moment of clarity that I am, indeed, fat. When I catch myself in the mirror, it says: Fat. I say: You lying bastard, I have great shoes on today so know I look fabulous….or I did until you ruined it.
Yet good news prevails. Our course leader, a lovely, camp, ‘failed actor’ (his words, dahling) wasn’t a malignant, sadistic bastard after all. He didn’t play back the film to the class thus averting my utter humiliation (this from the woman who will get up in front of the select few that matter and do a Mick Jagger impression for laughs). Instead, he gave us each a DVD of our individual presentations.
All I have to do now is watch it.