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I Want To Look Like A Realtor

I Want To Look Like A Realtor

A version of this originally appeared in The Virginian-Pilot on Apr 29, 2006

Keen-eyed readers may notice a change today. After almost six years of gnomishness , I have a new face.

Actually, I have an old face. A new mug shot.

Yes, the hair is lighter. Nice of you to notice.

Why the new picture?

To launch us into the blogosphere. A blog, as most of you know, is a Web log, an interactive online notebook. More about that in a minute. Back to the picture.

Ask any honest woman of a certain age what's worse than bikini shopping after a big lunch and she'll tell you it's having her picture taken.

The jowls, the chins, that turkey neck.

Face it: The camera does not love a face with any age on it.

When the blog bosses demanded a new portrait, I agreed. On one condition: They wouldn't toss me to the newspaper's photo department.

"I wanna go to the mall," I wailed. "To one of those glitzy studios."

Our photographers are a talented crew. They win piles of awards. They're the best in the business. Just one problem: News photographers deal in unblinking realism. The last thing I need.

"I don't want anyone who shoots politicians, criminals or car crashes shooting this face," I declared.

Besides, news photogs don't do eyeliner.

At the mall, I had my own makeup artist. A young woman - really young - with a dazzling swath of sparkles across her eyelids, flawless skin and perfectly glossed lips. "What look are you going for?" she asked, rummaging through her makeup drawers.

"I want to look like a Realtor," I replied.

You can keep your supermodels, beauty queens and Hollywood stars. For my money - or rather, the Pilot's - you'll find the most photogenic women on the real estate pages.

"No problem," my artist said, as she tossed a drape over my shoulders and began mixing foundation with a spatula. "I do lots of Realtors."

She knew just what I wanted. By the time she was finished, I'd not only be able to hold open houses from 2 to 5, but I'd also have cheekbones.

She spackled. Contoured. Powdered. Polished.

When I headed for the camera, she urged me not to be all business. "You really ought to do a couple of fun shots."

"Like what?"

"Try the red sheet," she suggested, pointing to a couple of portraits that featured women clad in red bedsheets and come-hither looks.

"Everyone looks great in the sheet," she confided.

I was tempted. If only to see the expressions on the faces of the paper's bean counters when I submitted an expense account for a cheesecake shot.

"Nah, let's skip the sheet and stick with Realtor," I said.

"It's up to you," she shrugged.

Yes, it is. And if the blog is sizzling, maybe we'll have a red wrapper layout at Christmastime. After all, blogging is supposed to be fun.

Starting Monday, the Pilot will phase in four new bloggers on www.pilotonline.com: The Road Warrior, John Warren; sports columnist Bob Molinaro; The Daily Break's Malcolm Venable. And me.

I'll be the one wearing lipstick.

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