Watermark Woman Eating Salad

Yet another fantastic photo of me licking my salad.

I’m sure you have this problem too; every photo online where you look even halfway decent is at least partially obstructed by a watermark.

People have said I live a “charmed” life—I do yoga in a field every morning, I eat a healthy breakfast with five generations of my family, I sit on my couch looking contemplative with a glass of wine, and I go to bed in a very, very well-lit room. I guess my life is just so fantastic that people can’t help but photograph me doing normal, everyday things, like smelling pasta or laughing at a mango.

And yet, with so many amazing, realistic, off-the-cuff shots of me floating around the internet for other people to download, I can’t find a single one without a watermark for my own personal use!

Let’s start with my better days—me lying in a blurry field, me waving from the top of my convertible, me pouring a water bottle into my mouth from six feet away. It might seem unlikely to you that I have thousands of photos of myself laughing with my children in an unfurnished white room, but that’s my life, and it’s not for you to cast judgment. The only issue is I can’t find a single one that doesn’t say “Getty” over our faces.

I’ll admit, I have my bad days too. There are quite a few snaps of me screaming at a phone while holding it away from my face, my husband and I looking angry while standing back-to-back, perhaps one or two of me passed out on the street with a lone patent leather red pump on my foot. But even these are rendered totally unusable!

What I really want is just one solitary photo of me doing completely regular things. There are at least 17 photos of me laughing at my salad—a couple where I look damn near flawless—and I can’t use a single one of them for my Gmail default because there’s a giant X through the whole thing. There’s even one of me in a pantsuit climbing the metaphorical “corporate ladder” (I do this before yoga), which would be perfect for LinkedIn.

Last week, I desperately wanted to do a #TBT to my favorite college shot of me and my seven closest multiethnic friends gathered around our Chemistry textbook, but the Shutterstock logo was just completely unavoidable even if I cropped out Chao-Xing.

I’m learning that this is my cross to bear. As long as I keep looking great doing pretty much everything, I’ll continue to attract the attention of photographers everywhere. How they manage to discretely capture all of my most private moments is an equally troubling issue. Unfortunately, I simply don’t have the time to go into that right now since I’m running late for a board meeting where I’m scheduled to give a thumbs up next to a generic bar graph.

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