Everyday Runway

20 Awkward School Photos That We All Remember Taking

When I was younger, I kind of hated taking school photos. There were weeks of pressure leading up to it, from making sure that you had a nice haircut to picking out the right outfit to fighting with mama about whether or not she would finally let you wear makeup. Worse yet, there were also weeks afterward as you waited for your photos to return… only to find that half of them are completely unusable because you didn’t realize you had a zit that morning and the other half are, well, kind of awkward.

If you’re having a hankering for remembering the good old days of school photos before selfies became the norm and taking a photo of yourself with a funny background or a weird face was as easy as grabbing your phone, then take a look. We all remember taking awkward school photos where you could see our first try at bangs or that weird lipstick mama finally gave us. Here are 20 awkward school photos that we can’t help but laugh and cringe at… Yes, all at the same time.

1. The one where you’re surrounded by your teachers.

mareepahos/Instagram

I used to get along with my teachers, but I feel like it was always awkward when you would see them on picture day. It’s no surprise that some of us got talked into taking a picture with them, and then that picture ended up on the internet years later for us to cringe over…

2. The one where you want to murder the photographer.

katelynburkhart/Instagram

Photo sessions can be fun, but they can also take WAY too much time. It’s just difficult to sit still and smile for that long, and sometimes they capture our face which says oh so much about the reality of what we’re feeling right now.

3. The one where you’re stylin’ some daring hair.

lottie.lillian/Instagram

I mean, can you really blame us for loving this style? Everyone experimented with something new for picture day that ONE year. Likely, we didn’t do it again because it didn’t quite go over well with everyone else later.

4. The one where you’re rockin’ a trendy haircut.

fusionardmore/Instagram

Who’d didn’t rock “The Rachel” at some point? Well, just like this lady, some of us made sure to rock it at the peak of photo season so that we could really capture our new hair on camera. Oh, we were so proud and yet so foolish at the same time.

5. The one with the side ponytail, obviously.

cassielynnjohnson83/Instagram

If you grew up in the 80s or early 90s, then you probably remember all of the weird ponytail styles that rocked this time. The side ponytail was definitely a classic that will go down on history as one of the best bad hairstyles ever.

6. The one where you let your mami cut your hair.

sarahtroyster/Instagram

I mean, what is this? Some sort of mullet? I think I can safely say that mami is great at a lot of things but maybe cutting hair is not the best. Still, I let her do mine for way too many years, I admit.

7. The one with the big smile and 80s hair.

big_slim86/Instagram

We had to include a second photo of a weird ponytail style, because this one is somehow even more amazing than the last thanks to the high AND side ponytails. Two in one glamour, amirite?

8. The one where you still can’t live down that you were in your school choir.

musicnwords/Instagram

Somebody found this old photo and couldn’t believe that they were in school choir and that there is evidence. Kind of embarrassing, sure, but also full of pretty interesting memories right about now.

9. The one where you’re rocking the Future Boss look.

qqlaroux/Instagram

Who doesn’t love to be a BOSS? This look was definitely one the I rocked at least once: tie and jacket included. It’s hard to resist, especially as you get a little older and want to assert your independence. I mean, no better time to act like a mini-adult.

10. The one with your happy smile.

phenex1047/Instagram

Sometimes, our awkward school photo is actually awkward only because it’s so seriously perfect. Seriously, how cute is this pic? Hopefully, you have at least ONE photo in your 18 year school career that can live up to this one.

11. The one outdoors with you pretending you like sports.

cyclebarmequon/Instagram

If you were involved in sports, even a little bit, then you probably had to take a team photo at some point. Or you might have even had to take a photo holding a soccer ball and pretending like you were going to continue playing. Whoops!

12. The one where you’re feeling hella good about your lewk.

cyclebarmequon/Instagram

Sometimes, just sometimes, you get to take an actual GOOD photo for your school. This is one example, where your skin is glowing, your smile is spot-on, and you’re even living your hair. #WINNING

13. The one where mom finally let you wear some makeup.

cb_flowermound/Instagram

It wasn’t easy to convince mami to let me wear makeup in my school photos. I begged and begged when I was little, but she finally gave in as I started to get older. Sure, it was weird at first, but SO worth it.

14. The one where you got to pick out your own outfit.

ericabreuerful/Instagram

I loved wearing pink things and basically anything with polka dots. Well, at least until I got older… and took a pink break for several years while I rocked the goth look. Still, I’ll always remember those brightly colored times when picking your own outfit for photos was DA BOMB.

15. The one where you first got bangs.

pepandpearls/Instagram

How old were you when you first got bangs? I was 6 years old and SO. VERY. EXCITED. No matter what age, you probably have a photo that commemorates your bangs when you were little… and that’s kind of a good thing, right?

16. The one where you’re starting to grow up.

loveniare/Instagram

Eventually, your awkward school photos take on a bit of sophistication. You start to look like your grown-up self, but still with a little bit of weirdness. It’s all good, though, because you can have some nice memories regardless.

17. The middle school one you’d rather forget.

joyuhh/Instagram

Between the glasses and the braces, let’s call the whole thing off. We all have that really awful photo that makes us cringe so hard that we THOUGHT we had actually burned the lot of them when were younger.

18. The one where you’re just trying to get through this photo session ASAP.

ohmy_gatos/Instagram

When school photos happen, the day is long. Sure, it’s fun sometimes, but other times it’s so tedious that there’s just not much you can get through the day. Here, you can see what our faces basically look like when all we can think of is, “come on, is it over already?”

19. The one where you get into the whole “posing” thing.

vespa_jade/Instagram

Then there’s that one school photo where you are SERIOUSLY into it and letting the photographer take a million photos of you posing. Should I put my hand on my right hip? On my left hip? In my hair? Just tell me, and I’ll be your model.

20. The one where you don’t know what you’re doing but it’s all good.

sanaroke/Instagram

When we’re particularly little, our photos can come off looking a bit… odd. We might just not know how to smile correctly or why we tilt our heads to one side. Still comes out pretty cute, though, right?


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Venezolana Verónica Sanchis Bencomo Started Foto Féminas To Promote Women Photographers In Latin America And The Caribbean

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Venezolana Verónica Sanchis Bencomo Started Foto Féminas To Promote Women Photographers In Latin America And The Caribbean

Latin America is in the news again. Today, it’s Venezuela. For the first time in its history, the South American country has two presidents, and each one has fierce support on the country’s streets and in neighboring and distant governments. Images capturing local unrest are once again captivating a global audience, but most of the photos broadcast and published in mainstream media, not unlike coverage of turmoil across Latin America and the Caribbean, are being taken by foreign male photographers, not locals or women, whose critical and varied perspectives during crises like this rarely attract international attention. For five years, Foto Féminas, a platform promoting the work of female photographers from the region, has been fighting to change that, and its efforts are increasingly important.

Created in 2014 by Venezuelan photographer Verónica Sanchis Bencomo, Foto Féminas is elevating a long-overlooked demographic. Through its website, Bencomo features a different Latin American or Caribbean female photographer, sharing their work and story through monthly interviews. On Instagram, these visual artists also have the opportunity to engage with Foto Féminas’ nearly 10 thousand global followers through takeovers that expand their audience beyond the confines of their home countries. The founder also uses this platform to help emerging Latin American women photographers, those who might not yet have the experience or acclaim as her monthly features, but whose talent, too, deserve to be recognized.

“We are all of different ages, backgrounds and come from different countries, but we all share photography and feel that’s what’s most valuable, that we are a community and know about each other and discovered each other’s work,” Bencomo, 32, told FIERCE.

(Courtesy of Foto Féminas)

In recent years, the digital space Bencomo has cultivated, which is now 50 members large, has also expanded into the material world, with Foto Féminas hosting several international exhibitions, photography festivals and gallery speaking events, collaborating with art and photography institutions and creating the first-ever library of photobooks by Latin American female photographers, Biblioteca Foto Féminas – María Cristina Orive.

After working in the industry for about five years, as a photographer, editor, writer and archivist, in cities across England and New York, Bencomo was hungry to discover women photographers in Latin America and interested in seeing the way these locals were covering the stories she was reading about overseas.

“Maybe it’s because I felt slightly or somehow isolated because I was in the UK and New York, and most of the people around me were of other backgrounds. The works I saw were interesting and great, but I wanted to know about our women. That’s why I was always searching,” Bencomo, who now lives in Hong Kong, said.

The photographer, it seems, has been seeking this representation since she first fell in love with the art as a teenager in Caracas. An avid reader of National Geographic, she was drawn to the way photography could be used to inform communities and provide them access to different parts of the world. But in the region she resided in, photography jobs were limited to weddings and events, not the journalism she enjoyed. After graduating high school, her father, urging her to learn English, encouraged her to move to Brighton, England. There, her English teacher, who also spent some time living in Venezuela, suggested that she stay in the country, where she could take courses and even earn a degree in photography. She heeded his advice, first getting a bachelor of technology for photography and later a degree in photojournalism.

(Courtesy of Foto Féminas)

During her time in university and in the industry, Bencomo was introduced to numerous esteemed photographers. Some of them even told her about visual artists in Latin America. Her interest was piqued, and she felt an urgency to discover more. During a three-year gig at Ventana Latina, the art and culture magazine of the oldest Latin American NGO in the United Kingdom, Latin American House, she was given the opportunity to highlight the works of Latin American photographers with monthly interviews for the publication. But soon she realized her features were overwhelmingly of men.

“I researched a lot, but I realized while I was doing this that it was so hard to find women photographers. I was more mature and understanding gender issues, so I began to be more conscious about that,” she said.

Bencomo eventually left England for New York, where she began working as a library assistant at Manhattan’s International Center of Photography, a museum for photography and visual culture and a photography school. While sifting through countless intriguing archives on the job, Bencomo had an idea that could bring all of her interests — gender, Latin America and photography — together.

“I wanted to do something about this, a project, a website, where I could archive and share the content of Latin American women photographers. Everything slowly came together,” she said.

(Courtesy of Foto Féminas)

That’s when Foto Féminas was born. Knowing the barriers that exist for female photographers in Latin America, from being overlooked for assignments that are deemed too dangerous for women or not having the funds to take trips where they can show their portfolio or apply for international awards, Bencomo wanted to create a platform that recognized these women’s work. Additionally, she wanted to use this space to highlight the way local female photographers were telling stories that the world usually sees through the lens of foreign, white men.

According to Bencomo, if this is the only perspective people have access to, they will never have the whole truth. “I left home and there’s a lot of negative news about Venezuela. There’s a lot of truth to that, in Venezuela and elsewhere, but I also come from a family that, despite the struggles and the problems happening in the country, have made things work. There are other more positive and inspiring stories or moving stories,” she said.

In addition to images that highlight state violence and civil unrest, she wants to see photojournalism that captures the spirit of mothers who work two jobs or leave their homelands to provide for their children or that show what it’s like for women to carry a nonviable fetus to term because of stringent abortion laws.

(Courtesy of Foto Féminas)

“The photos we see, the stories we hear, that is one side of the truth, but it’s not the entire picture of Latin America. There can also be other stories to tell,” she said. “I’m interested in seeing variety. I want to see variety. I grew up knowing Caracas is dangerous, but there are other sides as well, and I believe it has to be the same in other countries, too.”

In Hong Kong, thousands of miles away from Latin America, continuing the work of Foto Féminas isn’t always easy. Funding this project with her own pocketbook, she doesn’t always have the means to take flights to the Americas for exhibitions and events. But it’s her passion to break barriers, create opportunities, establish community, shift narratives — including those around the ongoing upheaval in her own nation — and leave a legacy for Latin American and Caribbean women photographers that keep the work afloat.

“It’s all motivation. It’s really motivation that’s the drive,” she said.

Read: In Atlanta, Peruana Curator Monica Campana Is Creating Space For Public Art

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A Latina UFC Fighter Took Out A Man Who Tried To Mug Her And This Is Why Parents Should Sign Their Daughters Up For Self-Defense Classes

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A Latina UFC Fighter Took Out A Man Who Tried To Mug Her And This Is Why Parents Should Sign Their Daughters Up For Self-Defense Classes

What happens when you try to rob a woman who just happens to be one of the best UFC Fighters in Brazil? Well, you get your behind quite swiftly kick, as a man in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, just found out after attempting to rob Polyana Viana. According to Buzzfeed, the 26-year-old mixed martial artist had quite the eventful night last Saturday.

Viana was waiting for an Uber on Saturday night, just outside of her apartment in Rio, when a man approached her. Soon enough, she realized that he wanted to rob her. Well, she wasn’t having it.

Speaking with MMA Junkie, Viana recounted what happened when the man approached her around 8 p.m. in Jacarepagua, a neighborhood in the West Zone of Rio:

“When he saw I saw him, he sat next to me,” Viana told MMA Junkie. “He asked me the time, I said it, and I saw he wasn’t going to leave. So I already moved to put my cell phone in my waist. And then he said, ‘Give me the phone. Don’t try to react, because I’m armed.’ Then he put his hand over (a gun), but I realized it was too soft.

“He was really close to me,” she continued. “So I thought, ‘If it’s a gun, he won’t have time to draw it.’ So I stood up. I threw two punches and a kick. He fell, then I caught him in a rear-naked choke. Then I sat him down in the same place we were before and said, ‘Now we’ll wait for the police.'”

Clearly, the man did not know about her impressive 10-2 record or what a badass she is in the ring.

In an even more surprising turn of events, Viana later found out that the man didn’t even have a gun at all. Instead, it was a cardboard cutout in the shape of a handgun. At the time, Viana suspected it wasn’t a real gun but thought it may have been a toy weapon or a knife. After the man was subdued, Viana asked for help from strangers walking by to call the police. According to MMA Junkie, Viana said that she kept the man’s arm immobilized until the police came and took the man to an emergency care facility in order to treat his sounds. Eventually, they took him to a police station, where she was able to file a report. While there, she learned that he had only recently been released after having been arrested before.

Well, he might think twice about approaching any women who are alone on the street for fear that they fight back with the same power and ferocity that Viana demonstrated.

Unsurprisingly, her story has now spread (thanks to UFC President Dana White) and women are celebrating Viana’s victory over her assailant.

It’s pretty fair to describe this whole thing as a “bad idea” for sure. Although the robber likely didn’t know that Viana is a UFC fighter, he should have been clued in by the shirt she was wearing.

That’s right, Viana was even wearing a “UFC” shirt when he tried to rob her.

Here’s something that we should all probably learn, in addition to just never attacking anyone ever, definitely don’t attack anyone wearing a UCF shirt. You never know when that person will turn out to be exactly the wrong person to attack. Of course, if we could simply teach men to not rob or attack women, that would be even better. In the meantime, we could all learn a lesson from Viana and perhaps sign ourselves up for MMA classes.

In fact, one mom is already celebrating Viana’s victory by reminding us all that this is precisely why she takes her daughter to MMA classes.

This is definitely enough to make any mother proud and enough for any woman to decide to take self-defense classes herself. Sure, Viana is a professional fighter… But we can all stand to learn a thing or two from her, can’t we? Learning to defend oneself, as she has, can definitely come in handy.

Of course, Twitter users agree that this man deserved every punch and kick that Viana gave him.

There’s no question that Viana is Twitter’s (and our) new hero after the way she stood up to this would-be robber. We’re also betting that he is very, very sorry for approaching her in the first place. In the meantime, though, it’s probably time to subscribe to Viana’s YouTube Channel to learn a move or two for ourselves.


Read: A Latina Aide Is Accusing Ohio Representatives Of Making Racist And Sexually Suggestive Remarks

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