Ask Rene: They Did THIS To My Daughter’s School Picture.. What Should I Do?

Cute school girl doing her homework and looking happyAsk Rene:
They Did THIS To My Daughter’s School Picture..
What Should I Do? 


I placed an order for school pictures for my daughter, who is in 6th grade. You know how you fill out the form that comes home from school and you just select the package you want and write the check? I didn’t read the paper, word for word because it’s been the same thing year after year. I just selected the package I wanted, wrote my check and put it in the envelope.

Well, she brought the pictures home and, I kid you not, they look like Glamour shots! I mean, they AIRBRUSHED her face! Not a single pimple and barely a freckle shows! At first, I told my daughter how absolutely beautiful the pictures were but my husband thought differently. He told her that they were very pretty but he would have really liked them to not have been so heavily-edited because he wanted to see her naturally, beautiful face! Now I’m wishing I would have thought to say that to her because I don’t want her thinking that she has to be just perfect.

 I’m now finding myself rather annoyed with the picture company for doing this with such young kids. It’s like they’re trying to give these young ladies a complex at this early age about their appearance! What would you do, Rene?

 Signed: Fuming in Florida 


Dear Fuming:

Like you, I’m troubled by what appears to be society/Madison Avenue pushing our kids (primarily girls) to grow up so quickly. And I have to agree with you; this eternal quest for perfection, or at least the appearance of it, is just no good. So, how to handle your situation? Here’s what I would do it I were you.

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Definition of the word Responsibility highlighted in green with felt tip pen

Uh-oh…. I’m sorry to do this to you but the Head GEM needs to deliver a dose of tough love. I know it’s easy, we’ve all done it before and you had no reason to believe things would be any different, BUT….. you must always read the fine print, especially on a contract, which is essentially what this was. So at least part of your ire needs to be aimed at yourself. Got it? Okay. Moving on..

Read more: Ask Rene: Delivery Room Drama! How Can I Tell Them What I Want? 



I’m willing to bet you are not the only parent dissatisfied with the outcome of these photos. Typically in situations like this, there is an option to retake the photos. There have to be kids who missed the photo day due to illness; see if you can schedule a make-up session then make it CLEAR that you want minimal or no retouching. There might be an additional fee but if this bothers you that much, sign up, pay the fee and get the new photos.

Read more: Ask Rene: My Mother-in-Law Thinks Saltines Are A Meal!



I love what your husband said; that he wanted to see her beautiful face. I’m sure he (and you) wanted to capture a moment in time, the real one, not the airbrushed, perfect one. But I think now is the time to impress upon your daughter that life is not perfect and we are not perfect. You can tell her that you still very much love the pictures, but agree with your husband; even though she might not see if yet, she is beautiful just the way she is.

Read more: Ask Rene: We’re Adopting A Child Of Color And My In-Laws Are FREAKED! 


You may or may not be able to retake the professional photos but hey, everyone has a camera; go outside, jump in a pile of leaves and capture the real reality!

That’s my advice.. I’d love to hear what GEMnation thinks! Weigh in here or over on the Facebook page.

Do you have a question for Rene? She has an answer. Click here and fire away. Don’t forget to follow the conversation on Facebook and Twitter too!







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Rene Syler is a wife, mother, breast cancer advocate and television personality whose burning desire to tell the truth about modern motherhood led her to create . When not spending time with her family or burning something for dinner, Rene travels the country as host of Sweet Retreats on The Live Well Network and Exhale on Aspire.


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