School photos whiten teeth, even skin tone, and banish flyaway hair

It’s photo day at my kid’s school, and if I pay a little more, my daughter gets treated like a supermodel!

If I order “Basic Retouching,” her face comes back to me blemish free. For even more perfection in my first grader’s portrait, I can buy “Premium Retouching” which  “whitens teeth, evens skin tone, removes blemishes, scars, and flyaway hair.” Think that includes replacing lost teeth?

Unfortunately, Lifetouch, no matter how much airbrushing you offer us parents, you can’t get past those cheesey backgrounds and fake smiles. Even skin tone is the least of your challenges. In fact, your best quality is how you regularly and consistently document the humiliation of picture day. We’d all be better off if you stopped trying to get more money out of us and just let kids be kids, flyaway hair and all.


7 thoughts on “School photos whiten teeth, even skin tone, and banish flyaway hair

  1. looking back over your kids photos is a joy when the photos capture something of their spirit, their awkwardness, the changes in their face etc. That is what photos are supposed to be for…to capture a moment in time. But somewhere along the way we have lost that and now it’s like some sort of competition to look the most “perfect”. Big news – NONE OF US ARE PERFECT – we are erasing the things that make us us and those are the very things that make us beautiful.

  2. While I totally agree with you in theory, as a kid who was bullied her entire childhood because I had acne (I first developed it at age 8), and had terribly low self-esteem issues about my appearance as a consequence (and my parents were very feminist, non-appearance focused; this was largely society-, self-, and peer-driven), I was so grateful to have the option of the sort of basic retouching you describe above for my senior photo in high school. For every year prior, I hated giving out school photos, even to my friends, because I was so embarrassed by the red acne spots that I was not able to conceal completely, even using makeup (as a high-schooler; when I was younger, I felt even worse about the pictures). While I think that whitening teeth and eliminating flyaway hair seem a bit much, having the option to eliminate acne spots, at least for high-schoolers (who are old enough to use makeup anyway), might not be such a bad thing. Would having had this option before my senior year have made me any less bullied? No. Might it have let me at least feel better about my school photos and giving them out? Yes. If that makes me less of a feminist, so be it. (and incidentally, I’m not in any way implying that boys with acne might not also be interested in this. I have known guys who were similarly embarrassed about acne)

    • Hi Suzanne,

      I understand wanting to make acne vanish more than fly away hair or whitening teeth. It was the fly away hair that drove me nuts, and of course, that a girl is pictured in the offers to airbrush. Also, as I wrote, I kind of feel like documenting all that is just part of growing up, like in my pictures, I have braces.


Leave a Reply