They Get Older, I Stay The Same Age
by YVONNE GEORGINA PUIG
August 2001. I am nineteen, ordering an ice cream cone from a vendor in Washington Square Park. A woman approaches me and tells me that she's with Getty Images. They're shooting stock photos in the park today, would I be willing to pose? Then she hands me a fifty dollar bill. I haven't been to New York since I was 8 years old and wore a lip bumper, so this is extremely exciting for me and akin to being "discovered." Discovered for what I wasn't sure, but that wasn't the point. I was in New York and a credible looking person wanted to take my picture.
So I stood in front of the white backdrop and a bearded photographer shined two soft lights on me and I smiled. A snap later it was done. Then I signed a piece of paper saying I wouldn't appear in any compromising advertisements. This, they explained, meant that I would not be featured in any ads saying "I Have AIDS" or "I love Meat." And I went on my way. I never imagined I'd see this photo anywhere but two years later it appeared. Then it appeared again. And again. Some highlights:
This one was found in Barcelona by my nemesis while she was studying abroad. I'm sure it pleased her greatly to see my face in a store window thousands of miles away. It certainly pleased me. Our mutual friend took these pictures while she was visiting. Who knew I'd appeal to Spainards.
Here I am skydiving with my dear friend Pablo. We were happy together. That was a long time ago.
Two years later, my sister's best friend found this one in her box of raspberry women's tea. As you can see I have not aged at all or changed my outfit. I think I fit much better as a tea lover than as a Spainard. In any case, I'm humbled to possess such range. Good thing Yogi tea doesn't know how annoyed I am by people who say "Namaste" and/or place even the slightest significance on crystals.
My next spotting occurred a few months later, on a banner ad for Match.com. I found this one but unfortunately was not able to save it. You can imagine my surprise when I was checking my hotmail account and saw MYSELF in the margins. But not me. Janet, aged 28 from New Jersey, looking for love. I'm not even 28 now. This all came up again because a few days ago the photo reared its head once again. It's been years.
I blame the timelessness of my hairdo. It's the same hairdo I've had since elementary school , which I suppose makes it timeless. So here I am giving financial advice for Quicken. Rather, here I am offering myself up as someone willing to receive financial advice from Quicken. Incidentally this is appropriate because I've been thinking that as soon as I have finances I plan to get a handle on them.
This photograph is my ticket to eternal youth. Please keep your eyes out for it. Thanks.
Yvonne Georgina Puig is the contributing editor to This Recording. She tumbls here.
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