Mom baffled when she realizes school photoshopped in missing teeth on her 8-year-old son's photo

Posted June 21

Childhood doesn't last forever, but pictures help create lasting memories ... But what if those memories were altered?

Photoshopped school pictures

Mom and blogger Angela Pickett describes an incident where someone else changed how her son would be remembered. When she received her 8-year-old's school pictures, she thought something was off. His gappy grin had been replaced with a photoshopped version from an earlier picture.

With the hectic life of a mom, she thought maybe she was confused and that he still had his baby teeth at the time when the school photos were taken. She recounts, "But then I looked at the family photo and his class photo — and there he was. Gappy McGapster (as he currently calls himself) in all his glory. At first, I thought they’d given us last year’s photo — but then I looked closer. Nope. His mouth had been photo-shopped with what looked like last year’s baby teeth swapped in."

What message does this send to our kids?

She posted about it online, contacted the school and the photographer. She wasn't angry, just baffled.

"While our school photographer quickly acknowledged the mistake and provided new photos, I wrote the blog because it would seem that some companies do this on a regular basis — and some charge for it — which I think sends a bad message to our kids," according to Scary Mommy.

Interestingly, in the past, the photographer has been criticized for not editing out bruises or other blemishes, stains on clothing or messy hair.

All is well now. The school sent Pickett the original versions of her son's pictures and the family can fully enjoy the memory of a gap-toothed smile.

Would you photoshop to get a "perfect picture"?

This situation does raise some interesting questions: Are we too concerned with having a "perfect life" that we're letting filters and Photoshop hide reality?

I used to fret over getting everyone to look at the camera and smiling happily for perfect pictures. But guess what? That was exhausting. When I see those fake smiles, I also remember the stress of getting them. Now, family pictures may not be perfectly posed, but they are true-to-life.

"Throw back Thursday" and "flashback Friday" are a lot less interesting if you scrub away the real memories of a frowning toddler, the messy hair of rowdy children, the gappy smiles of childhood and the mismatched socks poking out beneath hemlines. Let life be natural and realistic. A photoshopped life is boring.

Years from now, wouldn't you rather be laughing as a family over the memories of the scars, hairdos and clothing your family lived through, rather than the fake "picture perfect" life we pretend we have? Let your family be authentic. It's a lot less stressful and lots more fun.

Wendy is a regular contributor for and does media reviews. Blog/website: for victims of sexual abuse. Twitter: @WendyJessen Email: wendyjessen26@gmail


Please with your account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all