SORRY MOM & DAD: The girl who had her senior pics taken at Taco Bell taught me about life
Dear Mom & Dad,
I have a new hero.
She’s 17 years old.
Before you alert the authorities, please note there’s nothing sexual about my admiration for this underage girl. I’m a lot of things, but I’m not a Duggar.
The teenage girl I admire is Brittany Nicole Creech from St. Louis, Missouri. She recently gave a time-honored high school tradition a big middle finger — and proved some things need to change. She has a “Sorry Mom & Dad” story that needs to be shared. She had her senior pictures taken at Taco Bell.
Everyone knows it’s a big deal to have your senior pics taken. Back in 2003, the summer before I started my final year of high school, it was an even bigger deal. There were no selfies. We took pictures of ourselves with disposable cameras that came out like the worst Instagram filter ever. Unless you came from a large religious family with siblings who shared hand-me-down clothing, and took family portraits for every holiday, the one chance for high-quality photos of yourself was senior pics.
Looking back, my senior pics were really nice. One photo was even the largest senior pic on display advertising Guy Cali Photography for an entire year at The Mall at Steamtown — when people actually shopped at The Mall at Steamtown. But it didn’t capture my true high school experience. I never hung out at a waterfall while posing like an Abercrombie model. I spent my high school years skipping school to attend tapings of “TRL” or to take the bus to the mall and steal coins from the wish fountain for lunch at Roma Pizza.
Creech told BuzzFeed News she wanted to take senior photos that actually captured her personality and her true high school experience. She doesn’t hang out by waterfalls or find herself standing next to a tree in a pretty dress. She stuffs her face at Taco Bell. How could you not admire a chick who says it like it is?
I tried reaching out to my new idol for some life advice — partially because I like her style and mostly because I can’t see my therapist until I pay her the money I owe her. (It sucks when you don’t have insurance and you rely on children’s Flintstones vitamins to procure your health.) We spoke a few times over Twitter and email, but I was unsuccessful at coordinating our schedule, probably because she’s in school during my sober hours.
I did, however, manage to get in touch with the photographer named Brendan Batchelor who took my idol’s photos.
Batchelor said he never took someone’s photo at a Taco Bell before. I coughed from a nasal drip and told him that was interesting.
Speaking with Batchelor, an 18-year-old college student with dreams of being a photojournalist, he said he realized Creech’s attitude not only touched his life, but made an impact on it.
“Now I’ll sit down and talk to my clients to figure out how to capture their personality and show who they are,” Batchelor said. “I don’t know if something this extreme is going to be the new trend of senior photos, but I think people will think more that if they have something they love, it should be incorporated in their photos. Normal senior pictures focus on a nice, pretty background. Focus more on yourself than the background and everything will fall in place.”
There’s a lesson here that doesn’t require senior pictures to appreciate. With anything in life — whether it’s the way you dress or wear your hair, the people you hang out with or the way you pose in a photo — never compromise your personality. You’re all you’ve got. Cherish that.
Reach Justin Brown at 570-991-6652 and follow him on Instagram @justinadambrown