Op-Ed: Yes, My Zoom Photo is My Headshot. I Hate Myself as Much as You Hate Me

Imagine: you wake up late for your 9am lecture and you find yourself looking absolutely horrendous. A dreaded scenario. The easy solution for most would be to simply turn off your camera, but for me it’s not so easy. My Zoom off-camera photo is my headshot.

I know what you must be thinking. I know that people assume I am a pretentious asshole who is completely full of myself. All of these assumptions are valid. For the first time ever, I am coming clean about my story and embracing my truth.

I never meant for this to happen. I simply put the photo on my Northwestern GMail in order to come across as professional. How was I to know it would automatically end up on my Zoom? I have tried to change the photo on several occasions, but like a terrifying nightmare, it continues to return when I least expect it.

There is nothing like the embarrassment of having your headshot displayed for a lecture of 80+ people. My cheekbones and piercing stare betray me. There is no going back once people have made their judgements about your personality based on your headshot.

But here is this thing: I have shed my shame, and as strange (and slightly preposterous) as it is to admit it, I have come to celebrate my headshot. It is honestly the best picture of me that exists, so why shouldn’t I show that off to the world? If I am seen as pretentious, so be it. I am a theatre kid. And I will stand proud. But maybe not so proud, I would prefer if people didn’t know that.

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