Gauntlet Thrown: 14 Truly, Seriously, Terrifyingly Unflattering Pictures of Me

Gauntlet Thrown: 14 Truly, Seriously, Terrifyingly Unflattering Pictures of Me

My fellow Tangentialers (Tangentialors? Tangentialites? Tangentialists? Whatever.) seem to think they’ve got what it takes to produce an unflattering photo. I offer up these fourteen photos of me as my way of saying, “Really? You think so?” For only I have the perfect blend of being totally unphotogenic all of the time and an awkwardness Michael Cera only wishes he could recreate in his films. In an act of serious defiance against my own finely tuned self-consciousness, I present to you the MOST UNFLATTERING PHOTOS EVER.* Click to enlarge…or don’t, that’s probably for the best.

*This does not even take into account my high school years, which were by far my most unflattering.









Date: Judging by the ages of my sisters, I’d guess about 1995.

Location: I have no idea, Nebraska.

Notes: This was my boy phase. It lasted longer than it should have. Please take note of the bowl cut and gigantic glasses that would dominate my face for the next many years.









Date: December 2005

Location: Probably an Olive Garden, Lincoln, Nebraska

Notes: My penchant for drawing dinosaurs is often accompanied by a desire to look like them, too. GRR!









Date: March 2006

Location: Lancaster, UK

Notes: A byproduct of my severe distaste for photos of myself is that I refuse to take legitimate photos. Here, I’ve got a mouthful of crisps, as if to say, “Fuck you and your camera. I’m gonna eat some crisps.” My study abroad semester would prove to be a horrendous semester for photos.












Date: March 2006

Location: Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, London, UK

Notes: Case in point. My awesome ironic finger-wagging at wax Hitler is overshadowed by my conspicuous and ever-present lack of chin, not to mention the fact that I had yet to enter my Reluctant Daily Wearing of Eye Makeup phase. That would come many years later.









Date: April 2006

Location: Athens, Greece

Notes: This photo is the holy trinity of unattractiveness. A Jesus-Fucking-Christ-Did-You-Lay-Out-On-The-Sun Scandinavian sunburn, complete and utter lack of chin, and stringy sun-bleached hair that says “I could do my hair. Could.” After I posted this on Facebook a friend of mine threatened to palm slap my sunburn which, by the way, ranks only 2nd in the list of Katie’s Worst Sunburns.









Date: July 2006

Location: My dorm room, University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus.

Notes: The only thing redeeming this photo is that I am wearing (which you can just barely see) a Vogon Constructor Fleet shirt with a little yellow bulldozer on it. Also, one summer I refused to take off that hat hanging behind me.









Date: September 2006

Location: Mom’s house, Omaha, Nebraska

Notes: I appreciate that I’m tall in this photo. But being tall next to my mother is like being the coolest kid on the speech team – you don’t have to try that hard. Further evidence of my chin problem. Wait, I just realized I wasn’t the coolest kid on the speech team. Shit.









Date: August 2007

Location: Puerto Peñasco, Mexico

Notes: I was absentmindedly fiddling with some seaweed when a wave came and surprised me. Even my at-the-time boyfriend told me this was probably the worst photo ever taken of me, and he’s the one that took it.









Date: May 2008

Location: Dover, UK

Notes: This is at the tail end of a series of photos during which I am begging my friend Archie to give me my camera back. The cool humidity made my hair go on strike, and it took my chin with it. Have you guys figured out yet that I have a serious problem with my chin?












Date: Fall-ish 2008

Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

Notes: Look at it. Just look at it. G’head, I dare you. Look longer.









Date: Xmas 2009

Location: Omaha, Nebraska

Notes: Katie gets all dolled up for Christmas and still pulls this sweet-ass face.










Date: April 2010

Location: Hamilton Hall, University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus

Notes: I am wearing an authentic recreation of a Viking-age tunic, and sticking a spear in my nose. What?









Date: August 2010

Location: Bursa, Turkey

Notes: The only Americans in the bar got on stage to sing “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Badly. When this photo appeared on Facebook, a fellow traveler commented that I “look like an albino kitten that hasn’t opened its eyes yet.” That’s just the emotion, Abby. Feel it.












Date: Two weeks ago

Location: My friend Jessica’s apartment, Minneapolis

Notes: After posting all fourteen of these, I’m feeling like crawling into a hole and never coming out. Was this exercise cathartic? Not really.

Katie Sisneros