We all have memories from school picture day. It was the day when you and your classmates would go above and beyond to look your very best.
You probably still have a favorite school photo. Outside of my senior year pictures, my favorite one is probably from first (ish) grade.
I distinctly remember wearing my favorite dress – it was black with pink trim and pink polka dots. My mom had pulled my hair up and let me choose my favorite color (purple) as the background.
I stood in line with 30 other kids for what seemed like forever and, when it was finally my turn, I sat on the stool and a photographer gingerly tilted my head and positioned my hands until it was just right.
Then she told me to say ‘cheese,’ I obliged and she sent me on my way.
I would have never thought at that age that I had any option to do anything other than smile – but I kind of wish I had, because then I would have been as awesome as 5-year-old Drew Miles.
Miles, a kindergartner from Georgia, gave his mom, Andriel, a real shock this school year – instead of traditional pictures, she got a wide-mouthed, mid-scream photo of her son.
At first, mom was upset with the photographer who allowed it to happen – and she took to social media to share her feelings.
Shortly after posting, however, she began to get supportive comments about the photos – and then the images of her son went viral and inspired the hashtag #BlackBoyJoy.
That’s when mom realized that the photos weren’t so bad, and that they truly captured her son’s personality.
“Andrew has always been a silly kid with a HUGE personality! He has taken traditional professional pictures in a school setting in the past that were wonderful. That is the reason this really threw this mom for a loop,” Andriel wrote in another post on Facebook.
“I love my son. All the positive comments really warmed my heart. They opened my eyes to see that everything doesn’t need to be cookie cutter. Being yourself is even more amazing!”
And mom is exactly right.
Things don’t always have to be so mainstream or what we perceive as “perfect” all of the time. We’re all unique. We’re all have our quirks, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
If we all were to embrace who we are and love others for who they are, the world would be a better place.
I commend this mama for celebrating her son and for supporting him by buying a copy of the photo.
He’ll grow up more confident in himself because of it – and she’ll have a story to tell for years to come.
What do you think of Drew’s photo – and what would you do if your kid took a school picture like it? Let us know in the comments.