I don’t have many photos of my mother from my childhood, which is odd considering my dad seemed to always have a camera in his hand.
It wasn’t that my mum wasn’t present at all those key photo-taking occasions. It’s just that she would do whatever she could to avoid having her photo taken. Even as a young girl I could sense my mum’s distress at being photographed.
When she reluctantly agreed to be photographed — or couldn’t get out of it without causing a scene — she would hide behind anything she could. I distinctly remember as a child knowing that it was my job to stand in front of her so she could fade into the background. If I wasn’t available then she’d hide behind a table, a chair, even a pole.
If somebody did manage to snap a picture of her body she would look at it in disgust or tear it up or even cut herself out if it. Erasing herself has become a lot easier with digital photography.