Pictures of You – A Modern Fairy Tale

Here's another fairy tale, this time in a modern setting. What if people were so obsessed with taking selfies, that they wouldn't be interested in anything else anymore?

Some time ago, I told you how to write a fairy tale. Having written a traditional fairy tale, I also wanted to do a modern version of the same story. Let’s see if you can spot the similarities! Which one do you like better? Let me know in the comments!

There once was a girl who lived for photography. Her big dream was to take pictures of everything, and eventually to shoot the best picture ever. Whether it was of a single flower, or the sea, or an exotic landscape, it didn’t matter. Whenever she saw something she liked, the took a picture, developed it, and put it in her album. Her best pictures she shared online. You would say that this wasn’t really special, but there was something up with the world she lived in. You see, this was a world obsessed with selfies. That meant that the only pictures worth taking, people believed, were pictures that featured themselves in it. Whether they took a picture of them with a single flower, or at sea, or in another country, it didn’t matter.

            Whenever people saw yet another one of this girl’s pictures, they didn’t like them. They commented on them, saying that this was not what pictures were supposed to look like. As a suggestion, they posted yet another picture of them featuring, for instance, a bowl of soup, the sea, or a foreign country. She never listened to them, though.

“Why can’t they see that the world is beautiful, even if they’re not in them?” she sighed, and continued her adventure to take the best picture ever made. What she never told anyone, was that apart from her view that the world was beautiful, she was convinced she was not beautiful enough to feature in her photos. And she was quite content with that, as long as she could take those beautiful pictures of the rest of the world.

At the same time, there was a boy who loved photography too. However, what he really liked doing was taking pictures of other people. He wasn’t a creep, though; he made sure never to photograph anyone who would be embarrassed by his pictures. He preferred to call himself a photographer of the people – and he was immensely popular on the internet. Others loved his pictures, because, in a way, it showed them themselves.

            When this boy saw the pictures of the girl, he loved them. He was surprised that others didn’t, because he could see that this girl had a really interesting way of looking at the world. That is how he made up a new project: photographing the photography girl.

            He followed her around, and whenever she stopped to take a picture, he did the same. He shared his pictures on the internet, and became hugely popular. The girl had no idea, for she was too busy with her own project. She didn’t know the boy became more and more obsessed with her, with the way she held her camera in front of her face, or the way she lifted her left leg on a tree trunk so she had a better view. But what he liked best was the way she seemed to hold her breath right before she took a picture, as if to put the world on pause. He had been following her for a couple of months now, silently so as not to disturb her.

Because he had observed her so closely for so long, he realised that the reason she never took a selfie was because she was so insecure about her own appearance. “Why can’t she see that she’s as beautiful as the world she’s capturing in these pictures?” he sighed.

Eventually, the boy made a sound right before she would take a picture. Shocked, she looked around, and at the exact moment she noticed him, he took his picture. Her first reaction was fear: what if he had taken more pictures of her? Then she became angry.

            “You’ve never asked me permission to take pictures of me!” she shouted.

            “Well, no, but neither have you asked anyone or anything to take pictures of them,” he argued.

            “That’s not the same at all, because my subject matter is very different.”

            “Can’t you see it’s exactly the same? You take pictures of nature and animals in their natural habitat. And you taking pictures is exactly that. Here, let me show you the pictures I have taken of you so far.”

And he showed her his website, filled with pictures of her. Filled with very positive reactions of people, who loved her hair, her face, the way she concentrated with every picture she took. And she noticed the way he looked at these pictures, and at her. She realised that the pictures were indeed beautiful, and she liked this boy for making her look at herself in another way.

In the end, nothing had changed, not really: she photographed the entire world, and he did the same, but with her inside of the frame. And everyone could see how beautiful they were, together.

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