The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

If the face fits, wear it...

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In my last post, when I put up a wedding day picture, quite apart from the not unexpected remarks about my hairstyle, both Pat and Mary made comments to the effect that I'd "grown into" my face, or that my face now fits me better.

I must admit I wasn't entirely sure what they meant.

When I mentioned this to Maggie, she said she knew exactly, but upon further enquiry she became kind of vague and changed the subject.

Putting issues of weight aside, does my face "fit" me better now than it did in the past? In many ways it's a strange concept; surely my face is my face whatever age I am?

And yet, maybe there's something in it.

There are plenty of people who crave youth, despair as they move further away from it and spend large amounts of time desperately trying to recapture it. But for me, I've always preferred being a grown up; I never liked people calling me "son", although I still feel a bit too young for "Grandad."

But despite the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, in many ways I am more self-assured, more comfortable in who I am than I have ever been.

Finally I've reached an age where other people take me more seriously than I do.

It is said the older we get, the more we end up with the face we deserve - grumpy, happy, angry, peaceful - the frequency with which we express these emotions, causes them to contort the skin into permanent wrinkles. Will our lives culminate with a scowl etched into our appearance, or laughter lines?

Perhaps it's why I find aging faces so much more interesting to look at than youthful ones. Forget airbrushed 20 somethings, I love photos of faces that have been lived in.

However, the way mine is shaping up, I wish I'd smiled a bit more often.


Ages: a few months, 5 & 16


Ages: 18 (yes that is an attempt at a moustache), 21 & 24


Aged 26, 28 & 31 (with baby Meg)


Aged 34, 38 & 41
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32 comments

Sayre said...

You have a marvelous, scowly look every now and then, but from the pictures you usually post, I think of you as a rather smiley person! I love the time-line photographs. You've very lucky to be able to see your own evolution.

PI said...

Yes this more or less confirms what I was trying to say: the face you get when you are happy in your skin. You've grown into it. I knew Maggie would understand

Carole said...

Great pics. You look good in them all. Captions for all of them immediately came to mind.
"Okay, enough...where's the bloody bottle."
"They'll never guess it was me that put the toad in her shoe."
"Bother, this picture taking is stupid."
"Yeah, you know it, I'm all that."
"Seriously dude, that's whack."
"Who am I and why am I here."
"Life. I'll smile, but I won't mean it."
"So many thoughts, so little time."
"Wow"
"Unbelievable. Who'd have thought this would be my life."
"I need some bramble crumble and I need it now!"
"Doctors are stupid and if I could bend their minds to my will, they would all be in bed, flat out tired, until they come up with a reasonable solution."

savannah said...

interesting...the infant you and the now you have the same direct look which is how i think of you...no fabrication or guile, a straightforward what you see is what you get type of man. xoxo

Sandy said...

For one reason or another it's been a whiley since I left a comment here. so congrats to you and Mrs A, I must watch out for the appearance of black pudding rolls on Rogan's next stall, I had huge difficulty with facebook before let alone now (for much the same reasons that I've never saved an animal from extinction or sorted out Burma (lack of effort))and thanks for the pictorial insight into your last 41 years.

Keep well Kim
Sandy

Eryl Shields said...

You were the cutest five year old ever (apart from Bob, of course).

Chanel said (didn't she?) that at twenty you have the face you were born with, at forty the one you deserve. Which I think is a little harsh, but I can see what she meant.

And I can see what Pat meant too, your face and character now match perfectly, or so it would appear, there's a slight inscrutability in both.

Kim Ayres said...

Sayre - a marvelous scowly look??? Is that a compliment or an insult?

Pat - she always does :)

Carole - superb! You know me so well :)

Savannah - I hadn't noticed the same expression on my first and last photos! There are 2 major reasons why I avoid much fabrication (I only tend to use it to enhance stories and blog posts) - 1) life's complicated enough without having to create more, and 2) my memory is so bad I'd get caught out far too easily :)

Sandy - you haven't sorted out Burma yet? What have you been doing with yourself?

Eryl - I've seen variations of the face you deserve comment attributed to several people, including Lincoln and George Orwell too.

Inscrutable? I thought I was one of the most open people I know?

However, I'll accept the accolade of the 2nd cutest five year old ever...

Archivalist said...

The fact is we get so much more interesting looking as we get older. I work with college students most days, and yeah, they're all cute and eager little bunnies, but they're also so aware of those facts, and that detracts somewhat, imo. I think the people who get "better looking" as they age care about it a little less each year.

As for the "growing into your face" bit, my wife has told me the same thing, tho not in so many words. (She also says it's the 20 lbs she put on me after we started dating, but that's another story.)

Andraste said...

If Maggie wouldn't mind me saying so, I'd say you've become pretty darn handsome with age. I don't mean it in a 'come on' kind of way - just a statement.

And I won't even say anything at all about the mullett. Hey, we ALL lived through the 80's and most of us are guilty...

And happy anniversary!

Anonymous said...

You look better with age. Well, except when you were a teeny weeny cutey baby. :-)

Cheche

Kim Ayres said...

Archivalist - ah, the old difference between growing into your face, and simply your face growing...

Andraste - of course not in a 'come on' kind of way - more in a matey, punch on shoulder kind of way :)

Cheche - it just goes to show, no matter how cute the baby you have no idea what they'll turn into as an adult...

Eryl Shields said...

Intentionally open and honest for sure, but complicated so not transparent. You're face isn't easy to read I'd say, certainly not in photographs. And that's a good thing, who wants it all at once?

Kanani said...

Interesting....
the thinner you get, the more youthful you look!

Kim Ayres said...

Eryl - It's easier to appear mysterious and enigmatic, until I open my mouth...

Kanani - really? Are you sure you're looking at them in reverse? I've always been quite convinced I looked older when I lost weight simply because the fat wasn't obscuring the wrinkles

Angie in Texas said...

i agree - and as i get older i hope to have LOTS of wrinkles around the eyes.

i like your 5 year old face, reminds me of the kids at the kids' school who are sooooo adorable!

Kim Ayres said...

Angie - in which case, fly me over to Texas and I'll take lots of photos :)

problemchildbride said...

Kims through the ages!

I know what they mean about how you've grown into your face.

Of course, I've always been partial to the older man, but I really do think you look better (and hotter!)now than you ever have.

Kim Ayres said...

Thank you Sam; I shall allow myself a *smug* moment :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, to me the 16yr old face is the one that feels right,suppose maybe because thats the one i remember.Feels strange to see you older! although you do have the look of your dad.It makes me curious as to how Coralie and Michael have changed. Rose

Kim Ayres said...

Hi Rose. They look much the same, only with a few more wrinkles :)

And a bit more grey hair for Mike too

Tara Marie said...

Yes, you have grown into your face and it is a deligthful thing.

I'm like you.....I love aging....loved my youth, but loving each single year [and day] even more.


Loved looking at you grow.....

Kim Ayres said...

Thank you Tara Marie :)

HoosierGirl5 said...

You are one good-looking guy! It's a pity you're married! (grin)

J.

Kim Ayres said...

Ooh, flattery and flirting! I'm an absolute sucker for them. I'll feel smug now for the rest of the morning :)

Sarah said...

Great transformation!

i especially love the mullet years Kim.

Kim Ayres said...

It's just a shame the mullet was 10 years out of date by the time I started sporting one...

Freakazojd said...

You bear a striking resemblance to Peter Gabriel in the last one, I think. What an interesting thing to see your face documented thus throught the years. Great post. Great smile. :)

Kim Ayres said...

Freakazojd - time to update your blogger photo since you've had your hair cut :)

Freakazojd said...

I know...it just seems like a waste since I don't post much any more. Can't seem to find the impetus.
:)

Kim Ayres said...

Has the hair cut sapped your strength in a Samson & Delilah kind of way?

Sang Lee said...

In the age 26 photo you have a strong resemblance to the character, Hurly in the show "Lost" – wait a minute, the show is all about time traveling. These days Hurly is stuck in the 70's. I know this may sound strange, but ARE you Hurly???

Great blog, congrats on your new found audience.

Kim Ayres said...

If only I'd ever watched Lost. I watched half of the first episode, then realised if I stuck with it I would waste years of my life and probably still never get an answer (I'd already endured 2 seasons of Desperate Housewives with Maggie), so quit. However, from bits of marketing I'm guessing Hurly is the big guy. Unfortunately, although I used to be very overweight, I'm quite short, so that rules me out :)

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